Home Ask an Air Traffic Controller What happens when a plane squawks 7700?

What happens when a plane squawks 7700?

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What happens when a plane squawks 7700?

Reader Submission:

I’m not really a ‘plane geek, I mean, I’ve only got two ADSB boxes, PlanePlotter’s just a hobby, My FlightAware T-shirt’s in the wash, and everyone’s got LiveATC as a short-cut, don’t they? It’s just that I’ve always wondered, what do you actually see in the tower when a pilot dials in 7700? Is there a big bell, or an AAROOOOOOOgaaaaaa claxon, or a specially trained spotty-faced youth running around yelling “Oh Sh*t, Oh Sh*t, Oh Sh*t”? Do you see extra stuff on the spinny dial thing, or fit-inducing flashing lights? I mean, there must be something that makes everyone gather round and say “Oh Dear, that’s not good” -Keith

Dear Keith,
Many of our readers are unfamiliar with what 7700 even means (I know I was). I looked it up on wikipedia and found this: “The Nokia 7700 is a mobile phone produced by Nokia, announced in 2003 but never released. It was expected to be the first multimedia smartphone from Nokia, and the first smartphone to use the series 90 GUI on Sybian OS”. I don’t really know how a phone that was never released would set off alarms in the Security Tower, but anything can happen I guess. Most times those alarms begin to go off when an aircraft squawks the emergency code “9182”, or when two airplanes are finished narrowly avoiding trading paint. The spotty-faced youth is named Trevor, and he’s a good kid, but he sucks at cone flipping. I’m sorry I couldn’t answer your question, but congrats…you’re the first fan to stump me. Your reward is one free “Proceed Direct” card. It’s only redeemable at the Harrisburg Center location, but is transferable. Maybe this Christmas you’ll gift it to some Mooney pilot that flies around in that fucked up airspace. Cheers. -AX

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