Getting help – Distress and Diversion Cell (D&D)

The military Distress and Diversion Cell is manned 24 hours to provide an emergency and fixer (location) service for all military and civil aircraft on 243 MHz and 121.5 MHz. Experienced controllers are able to provide assistance and guidance to all aviators.

Practice calls are encouraged on 121.5 providing no real emergencies are being dealt with.

The fixer service, whether used for a real emergency or a practice emergency, provides a non-radar position report based on Direction Finding (DF) equipment. The position provided can have an error of +/- 3 nm. Where supported by radar, the position report will be more accurate.

Emergencies are broken down into two categories by D&D;

Distress – this is a condition of being threatened by serious and/or imminent danger and requiring immediate assistance. A ‘MAYDAY’ should be called.

Urgency – this is a condition concerning safety in the air (including being lost, particularly if near controlled airspace) or concerning safety of a person or vehicle in sight but that does not require immediate assistance. A ‘PAN’ should be called.

A D&D users guide is available here.