At the request of the FAA, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on January 11 rescinded its rule prohibiting the “certification, manufacture, importation, sale or use of emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) that transmit distress alerts on frequency 121.5 MHz.” Monitoring of 121.5-MHZ ELT signals by the international Cospas-Sarsat satellite system ended on Feb.
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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.
Many operators are installing 406-MHz emergency locator transmitters in place of the 121.5-MHz units as the January 1 deadline approaches on a new regulation (FAR 91.207) that requires all U.S.-registered jets with maximum payloads of less than 18,000 pounds–virtually all business jets except business jetliners–to be equipped with an ELT.
Have you installed your 406-MHz emergency locator transmitter (ELT) yet? If trips to international destinations are in your plans, the sarsat units are must-have equipment after January 1.