Calls to Air Traffic Control Moments Before Plane Crash

Pilot signals "mayday" and warns, "we’re not going to make the airport"

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    An small airplane made these calls to Potomac Air Traffic Control before crashing into a Herndon, Va. apartment. (Courtesy (Published Friday, May 31, 2013)

    Full transcript of the calls to Potomac air traffic control from a pilot, calling himself DC Photo, before his Cessna 177B crashed into a Herndon, Va. apartment early Friday. (From:

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    Pilot: Potomac, DC Photo. Mayday, mayday, engine out. Heading towards Dulles.

    Pilot: We’re heading towards Dulles Airport. We had an engine ... (cuts out)

    Tower: DC Photo Potomac, Roger.

    Pilot: Potomac, engine barely ... and we are heading towards Dulles. Emergency requested.


    Tower: DC Photo that traffic is breaking out. The airport’s about your 10 o’clock in 2 miles. Altitude at your discretion.

    Pilot: Okay, we now have the tower. DC Photo.

    Tower: DC Photo just continue inbound you can turn your discretion and they are (inaudible).


    Tower: The equipment is coming. At your discretion you can turn (inaudible) there is no traffic there for you.


    Tower: DC Photo, when you get a moment, number of people on board.

    Pilot: (inaudible) on board. DC Photo.

    Tower: Fuel remaining?

    Pilot: Affirmative.

    Tower: (inaudible)

    Pilot: Say again.

    Tower: Fuel remaining sir?

    Pilot: Fuel, I think that’s our problem.

    Tower: Understood, Roger.


    Pilot: Okay, I think we’re um, we’re not going to make the airport. We’re heading for a road just before the Dulles Toll Road.

    Tower: DC Photo (inaudible) calling that in.

    Pilot: We’re not talking anymore.

    Tower: Understand.