Although the FAA does not specifically require 406-MHz emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) for U.S.-registered aircraft, it seems inevitable that owners and operators will eventually adopt the latest technology.
Aircraft owners in the U.S. are bristling after the Federal Communications Commission last month announced plans to impose a total ban on the “certification, manufacture, importation, sale or continued use of 121.5-MHz ELTs.” FAA regulations require U.S.-registered aircraft to carry fixed emergency locator transmitters, but the rule doesn’t specify whether they should operate on 121.5 or 406 MHz.
The Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) yesterday clarified the FCC’s recent announcement that it plans to ban 121.5-MHz ELTs in airplanes. According to the AEA, August is the “absolute earliest” the FCC rule could become effective since the agency has not submitted a final rule to the Federal Register for publication, which would then start a 60-day clock for implementation.
Aircraft owners in the U.S. are bristling after the Federal Communications Commission announced plans last week to impose a total ban on the “certification, manufacture, importation, sale or continued use of 121.5-MHz ELTs.” If adopted, the FCC rule could take effect as early as August.
The FAA has issued a supplemental type certificate (STC) to Sierra Industries for the installation of the Artex C406 (406 MHz) emergency locator transmitter on the Cessna Citation 500, 501, 550, 551, S550 and 560. The STC provides a solution
for operators to update their emergency transmitters to current standards.
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.
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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.