Mayday Call – Jabiru 7525 – Bathurst area

Mayday call by Chris stott during an Engine failure South of Bathurst on October 8 2011.


Written by Bob Bell –  (Audio taken by ) on 127.350


In some forty years of monitoring aviation radio both from an enthusiast and also a pilot standpoint, I have heard some very “unsettling” Mayday calls made every so often. Even the slightly lesser “Pan Pan” calls, which are still urgency signals. Some calls are made with complete calmness and composure. But others are not. It’s apparent in the latter on occasions that the pilot making the call is deeply concerned about his aircraft’s impending fate, and is perhaps not pyschologically fully prepared for the grim situation he finds himself or herself in.

But the amazing “Mayday” called by Chris Stott of Central West Flying in “Jabiru 7525” just a week or so back was truly an example of a pilot totally in control of a bad situation, and displaying how very professional an airman he is. All Chris knew at the time was that he had what appeared to be an engine failure at 5,500 feet in the Bathurst area, and he needed to glide down to a landing in a suitable paddock pretty soon. But was he super stressed to the point where it showed in his radio call? The answer is a resounding “no”.

This guy is “Mr Cool”. Probably one of the coolest pilots under intense pressure I have ever heard! On the day of his incident, other pilots in the general area of his operations who were also on the Bathurst Airport CTAF frequency heard his call, but it was delivered in such a laid back and calm manner they weren’t even sure it was a real “Mayday” they had just monitored! They are heard soon after on the recording asking Chris if the Mayday was a “practice engine failure, or a real one”. One guy still didn’t believe it when Chris confirmed “real”, and asked him a second time, before enquiring “if he needed any kind of assistance”.

Chris calmly selected his best emergency landing area available, a paddock at O’Connell, about 6 to 8 nautical miles south east of Bathurst. Chris and his student on board walked away with no injuries, and there was no damage to the aeroplane. Best possible result!

Yes, this “Mayday” is worth listening to. It is copy book. The pilot Chris Stott is both Recreational Pilot Certificated (for Ultralights) and General Aviation licensed. He has had tons of experience in the air, and it shows.

Well done Chris! I should have done my fixed wing training with you at Central West Flying!

(Chris Stott has been instructing myself – David Carroll for last 15 months  – im at my last stages for licence  – a brilliant pilot )

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