NOTE: An alternating red and green light is used as a general warning signal and means to exercise
extreme caution. It is not a prohibitive signal and can be followed by another signal at the proper time.
PROVIDE ASSISTANCE FOR IN-FLIGHT EMERGENCY
a. Consider that an in-flight emergency exists when declared by either the aviator, ATC
personnel, or officials responsible for operating the aircraft. When reports show that an aircraft has
made (or is about to make) a forced landing or that the crew has abandoned the aircraft or is about to do
so, an in-flight emergency exists. An in-flight emergency also exists when an emergency radar beacon
is received, when intercept or aircraft escort services are required, and when the need for ground rescue
appears likely. When an emergency locator transmitter (ELT) signal is heard or reported also is a sign
of an in-flight emergency.
b. When an in-flight emergency occurs, start help as soon as you have enough information on
which to act from the aviator or aircraft operator. Information requirements will vary, depending on the
existing situation. Minimum required information is the aircraft identification and type, nature of the
emergency, and aviator's desires. After beginning action, get any other pertinent information as
c. Orient an aircraft, if required, using the most proper method. Approved methods include
radar, pilotage, and direction finding (DF). Other approved methods are navigational aids (NAVAIDs)
and sighting by other aircraft.
d. When you must and if weather and circumstances permit, recommend that the aircraft keep
or increase altitude. Keeping or increasing altitude improves DF, NAVAID, radar, or communications
e. Although 121.5 megahertz (MHz) and 243.0 MHz are emergency frequencies, it is
sometimes best to keep the aircraft on the initial contact frequency. Change frequencies only when there
is a valid reason. Coordinate the efforts of all agencies to the maximum.
PROVIDE ASSISTANCE FOR GROUND EMERGENCY
Consider that a ground emergency exists when declared by any of the personnel listed in
paragraph 4a. When a ground emergency occurs, control other air and ground traffic to avoid conflicts
in the area where the emergency is being handled. Always provide the maximum assistance possible as
soon as you obtain enough information from liable or reliable sources on which to act.