Recent input from NBAA and new ICAO documents help clarify international ELT requirements. Starting this month, commercial air transport operators, including those under Part 135, flying in Europe, Russia and on long-range over-water flights (at least 400 nm offshore) must carry two ELTs capable of transmitting on 121.5 MHz and 406 MHz (ICAO Annex 6, Part 1).
Aircraft emergency frequency
Thanks to the efforts of a Flexjet Learjet 31 crew, a former airline pilot and his three passengers were spared spending a cold February evening outdoors after their Bonanza A36’s engine quit over Mexico’s rugged Baja peninsula.
En route from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, to Van Nuys, Calif., in mid-afternoon early this year, Learjet pilot Adam Fine and copilot Steiner Krogstad picked up an ELT distress signal on 121.5.
The FAA issued a notice last month reminding operators that satellite processing of distress signals from 121.5 and 243 MHz emergency locator transmitters is scheduled to end on Feb. 1, 2009. Operators will have to switch to ELTs operating at 406 MHz, which are more reliable and provide search-and-rescue agencies more complete information for detection by satellites.
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