Sierra Industries received an STC for an Artex C406 (406 MHz) emergency locator transmitter (ELT) for installation on the Cessna Citation 500, 501, 550, 551, S550 and 560. According to a company spokesman, it provides a “cost-effective solution” for operators to update to current standards. In early 2009 U.S.
Aircraft emergency frequency
Becker Avionics is at Heli-Expo 2010 featuring its newly introduced personal locator beacon (PLB) offering multiple VHF/UHF emergency band operation. The MR510 enables two- way VHF or UHF communication and can operate on the civil emergency frequency, 121.5 MHz, as well as military guard (243.0) and the new 406 MHz search-and-rescue channel. It also includes in a compact, self-contained package, a 12-channel GPS.
The 27-minute search for the life-rafts occupied by the survivors of a Bond-operated Eurocopter EC 225 helicopter that ditched into the North Sea on February 18, less than 1,500 feet from an offshore oil platform, prompted the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) to recommend improved training in the use of personal locator beacons (PLBs) and emergency locator transmitters (ELTs).
Despite proposing mandatory equipage with emergency locator transmitters that broadcast on 406 MHz by Feb. 9, 2009, Transport Canada now says it is delaying the move to give its rulemaking technical committee more time to explore alternative means of compliance. The Aircraft Electronics Association said it will have a representative on the committee, who will help ensure that system installation and maintenance issues are properly addressed.
Customers who bring their Cessna Citation to Sierra Industries of Uvalde, Texas, for major maintenance or inspection events can now drop off their jet and fly home in a loaner airplane. Under Sierra’s Fly-Thru maintenance program, Citation operators will be supplied an equivalent airplane or Sierra’s Williams International-powered FJ44 Citation, providing an opportunity to see how the modified version flies.
In an effort to cut down on the more than 2,000 false distress signals it receives each year from emergency locator transmitters (ELT) and emergency position indicating radio beacons, the Civil Air Patrol has launched its “Don’t Trash the Beacon” public awareness campaign. “The false-alarm rate is between 90- and 95-percent now,” said John Demarais, CAP’s deputy director for operations.
Satellite monitoring of 121.5-MHz emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) will end as of February 1. On that date, the International Cospas-Sarsat Organization will monitor only 406-MHz ELTs, which “transmit a much stronger signal, are more accurate, verifiable and traceable to the registered beacon owner,” the FAA said. According to the agency, only about 15 percent of the registered aircraft in the U.S. are currently flying with 406-MHz ELTs.
The FAA Safety Team yesterday issued a notice to remind aircraft operators that satellite monitoring of 121.5-MHz emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) will end as of February 1.
As of February 1, search-and-rescue satellites will stop monitoring 121.5 MHz, one of the frequencies used by emergency locator transmitters. Although there is no FAA mandate requiring a switch to 406-MHz ELTs, operators should be aware that the international Cospas-Sarsat satellite system will cease to process 121.5-MHz signals on that date.
For the second time in three years the international requirements for ELT equipage are changing, but this time the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) promises that while the new rules will ensnare more airplanes than previous requirements, implementing them will be easier than before.