My concern here is very basic : a MAYDAY call, as I understand it, mandates the scrambling of very expensive SAR equipment and I find it very difficult to justify this as an opening gambit for each and every (let us say) engine-stop – when statistically the proportion leading to serious injury is small – I have watched as I can since 1956
Totally disagree here. As an Irish Coast Guard SAR crewmember, the first thing you should do is issue a MAYDAY and not be concerned about costs. The crew train/fly every day regardless and the service is paid for by the tax-payer...i.e. YOU.
Maurice, not everyone will be as successful as you when encountering an emergency. Surely knowing ATC or another aircraft is aware of your plight means the PIC can concentrate on the emergency ( and yes a rough running engine, or worse...a failure... is an emergency). I remind you of the sad event when two persons were fatally wounded in a Schweizer in the midlands last year. The crew of R116 were only notified of the accident the following lunchtime when it was reported overdue. They located the accident site within 20minutes.
The rescue helicopter crews are there for everyones benefit and have no problem being turned back due to a successful forced landing. However, better they arrive with two paramedics to a forced landing with injuries rather than not being called because no MAYDAY issued.
Please please, issue a MAYDAY.