The Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) says it strongly supports the use of deployable flight data recorders or triggered flight data transmission capabilities in addition to the standard cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder already installed on transport aircraft. The FSF believes a deployable flight data recorder should also include an emergency locator transmitter. The International Civil Aviation Organization is considering this option in a proposed amendment to Annex 6.17–Emergency location locator transmitter.
The UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) investigation into the fire on board a Boeing 787 operated by Ethiopian Airlines at London Heathrow Airport on July 12, 2013, discovered improper wiring of the lithium metal battery that powered the aircraft’s Honeywell 406AFN fixed emergency locator transmitter (ELT). According to an AAIB special bulletin published last week, the investigation concluded that the battery had been incorrectly wired to the ELT during the manufacturing process.
Triggered by the loss of an Air France Airbus A330 in June 2009 in the Atlantic and compounded by the loss of a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 in the Indian Ocean in March, representatives of ICAO member states and of the aviation industry agreed on a set of near-term priority actions and a framework for medium- and long-term objectives, at a special meeting on global aircraft tracking at ICAO in Montreal on May 14.
The Air Line Pilots Association said in an April 4 statement that it “is unacceptable that the location of the aircraft [MH370] is unknown.
The FAA issued an airworthiness directive–2013-18-09–on September 18 affecting some Honeywell ASCa emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) installed on transport-category aircraft.
As part of continued cost cutting by the U.S. federal government, the FAA has announced plans to begin decommissioning some instrument approach procedures (IAP) to save on maintenance costs of ground-based navaids. The agency said the plan also stems from a near doubling of new IAPs in the past decade thanks to advances in satellite-based approach systems.
AOPA “vigorously opposes” the U.S. Federal Communication Commission’s plan to prohibit the future use of emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) that use a 121.5-MHz signal. The proposal will have a negative effect on aviation safety, according to AOPA, and the association told the FCC it should immediately abandon its proposed rule changes and defer to the FAA on matters of aviation safety. According to AOPA, there are more than 200,000 general aviation aircraft still carrying 121.5-MHz ELTs.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission issued a new Notice of Proposed Rulemaking addressing the manufacture, sale and use of emergency locator transmitters that broadcast solely on 121.5 MHz. Comments on the NPRM are due 30 days from publication in the Federal Register, according to the National Air Transportation Association. Publication is expected next week.
ACR Electronics CEO Michael Wilkerson believes the best way to keep more boaters, aviators and outdoor enthusiasts safe is to educate them about the value of keeping a 406 MHz emergency beacon close at hand when it’s needed. Because stories about rescue efforts carry considerable weight, ACR Electronics announced its new Survivor Club–www.survivorclub.com–where people who have used an emergency beacon can share their rescue stories on the SurvivorClub.com forum.
Cobham has completed the sale of its U.S.-based rescue beacon business to J.F. Lehman & Co. for $73 million. The UK company also said it has divested its related European operation to management for a nominal sum.
The businesses–ACR Electronics and ACR Electronics Europe–design and manufacture beacons and emergency locator transmitters, with operations in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Vienna, Austria, respectively.
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