ISLAMABAD – The harrowing news of PK-661 flight crash has saddened the whole country, and you must have until now heard the captain of ill-fated flight PK-661 calling ‘Mayday’ before the plane went down.

However, this term may be unknown to many of you.

Mayday is the word used around the world to make a distress call via radio communications by airplane pilots when they are in the severe emergency.

It is made three times – like ‘Mayday, Mayday, Mayday’ for making it clear to the control tower that the plane is in severe danger, owing to any chance like shortage of fuel or adverse weather conditions.

Mayday originated from the French word ‘maider’ that means ‘help me’ and it was officially coined by Frederick Mockford, who was a senior radio officer at Croydon Airport in London.

It officially became a part of aviation industry in 1948.

As the PK-661 plane crashed near Havelian in a tragic turn of event, its pilot, Captain Saleh Janjua also made the same mayday call minutes before the crash, according to a Civil Aviation Authority officer.