France’s Kannad (Booth No. 4541) is unveiling its new 406AF automatic fixed emergency locator transmitter (ELT) here at NBAA’07. The compact device has been developed as a cost-effective option for operators of smaller business aircraft, and the whole package is priced at less than $1,000.
Swearingen SA-226-TC Metro, Paris, Tenn., Feb. 8, 2006 – The Tri-Coastal Airlines Metro cargo flight, en route from Dayton, Ohio, to Harlingen, Texas, crashed near Paris, Tenn., in an 80-degree nose-down, nearly vertical attitude. The ATP-rated pilot was killed and the airplane destroyed.
The royal air force of Oman has signed a $1.5 million contract with SARBE for new generation beacons to replace SARBE 6 beacons by the end of this year. The previous generation beacons will become obsolete on February 1, 2009, as analog transmissions will no longer be monitored by the COSPAS-SARSAT network. Beyond that date only 406MHz signals will be detected.
A 757 crew did not get the response they expected when they declared an “emergency” instead of “mayday.” According to an incident filed with NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System, the crew found that the word “emergency” didn’t get the desired results outside U.S. airspace. The crew diverted to an airport in South America and declared an emergency, but the non-English-speaking controllers didn’t recognize what that meant.
406-MHz emergency locator transmitters must not be activated for testing during the first five minutes after any hour, unlike 121.5-MHz ELTs (see AIM revised paragraph 6-2-5). Since 406-MHz ELTs use a network of satellites, switching them on for even a brief test alerts search-and-rescue officials almost instantly.
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.
Business jet operators knew three years ago that they would have to be equipped with approved ELTs by January 1 this year or be grounded until the installation was made. Many operators apparently didn’t take this notice seriously (maybe counting on the FAA to delay compliance, as it has a history of doing) and waited until the last minute to make arrangements for the installation. Or they simply forgot about it.
As reported last month in AIN, under FAA requirements civil jets must be equipped with ELTs starting this month. U.S. operators have been advised to consider installing 406-MHz units because satellite monitoring of 121.5-MHz units is scheduled to end in 2009.
A new and easier way to test emergency locator transmitters (ELT) has been developed by Artex (Booth No. 548) from an earlier palm-held programmer, of which some 500 or so have been sold to date. Previously, in order to test an ELT, it was necessary to use a PC, but a handheld device is clearly preferable.
Sarbe is synonymous with search and rescue and personal locator beacons (PLBs) and the Signature Industries’ company is launching a new emergency locator transmitter (ELT) approved to Cospas-Sarsat standards. The new product was initially developed to support the requirements of a major export customer who had concerns about the crash survivability of existing ELTs carried in military rotary-wing aircraft.