Avionics News December 2013 - 22

canceling TSO-C91a, the basis for approved 121.5 MHz ELT
manufacturing, while grandfathering existing production. With
no effect on operation, the 121.5 MHz ELT remains legal for
use in U.S. airspace.
Sales of the superior alternative, new-technology 406 MHz
digital ELTs, suggest that even more pilots recognize the parallel to the tree-in-the-forest question. By their purchase decision,
these pilots seem to recognize the benefits of the new technology and ignore institutional flexibility in favor of improving their survival odds.

406 MHZ ELT

Continued from page 21

broadcasting digital data with GPS-generated position information.
All these options come with their own limitations and shortcomings. And for now and the foreseeable future, none of these
product-and-services combinations, however, satisfy Federal
Aviation Administration requirements for a functional ELT.
Models exist with integral GPS, others
without but with a connection possible
Because of its acknowledged
- and all are more powerful and accurate than the obsolete alternative, the
superiority as a signaling
121.5 MHz ELT.
device, the 406 MHz ELT enjoys

Reducing Vulnerability: Improved ELTs
Improve the Odds of Discovery

Listening to the hangar-flying debate raises questions about whether
most aviators truly comprehend the
widespread acceptance and
Power, Precision, Performance -
relative differences between the
approval as the international
Key Factors of 406 MHz ELTs
two ELT technologies. Those difBecause of its acknowledged suferences underpin why the rest of
standard supported by nearly all
periority as a signaling device, the 406
the world moved on.
members of the International Civil
MHz ELT is the international standard
Unfortunately, even before their
Aviation Organization.
supported by nearly all members of the
introduction, critics erroneously burInternational Civil Aviation Organization.
dened the 406 ELT with much of the
If your tree falls with the 406 MHz option
baggage of the well-known shortcomings of
available, ears should hear it within minutes - on
121.5 MHz ELTs - even issues long-ago resolved.
the outside, an hour.
You just read about the greater accuracy and resolving
And the search-and-rescue folks will have a better starting
ability of the 406 MHz units. Another improvement: Newpoint to focus their efforts from the beginning of the search: a 1
design G-switches that improve triggering and reduce false
to 3 nautical mile diameter for the 406 MHz units without GPS,
alarms like those that plagued early 121.5 MHz ELTs.
versus a 12 to 15 nautical mile diameter for the 121.5 MHz units.
Are the new units better? Yes.
Satellite monitoring of 406 MHz is global with nominal alert
Are they flawless or failure free? No. But they do work far
times for transmitters in the worst position for satellite reception
better than the old technology - particularly once triggered.
at an hour - versus as long as 12 hours for the 121.5 MHz satelHowever, failures have occurred, and installation errors
lite monitoring that no longer exists.
have been a factor.
The weaker 0.1 watts of 121.5 MHz beacons limits their efOne famous failure occurred in the mountainside crash
fective range, and the signal is easily attenuated by landscape
of a de Havilland Turbine Otter in Alaska on Aug. 9, 2010.
and flora; the 5 watts of the 406 MHz better assures the signal
The Part 135 aircraft routinely visited Canadian airspace
will be heard. And the distinct identifier code identifying the
and employed a GPS-informed 406 MHz ELT. But the ELT
owner and aircraft using a 406 MHz ELT allows rapid resolution
failed to provide a signal strong enough for the satellites
of actual need and a huge reduction in false alarms - by simply
to hear because of what investigators called an improper
calling the registered owner.
mounting of the ELT - which crash forces detached from
Nearly all ICAO members ended use of 121.5 MHz ELTs
its mount and separated the unit from its antenna cable.
and now require 406 MHz ELTs to satisfy the requirements of
Five of nine people onboard died, including Ted Stevens,
the individual member states. Well, nearly all member states.
Alaska's senior senator. Authorities believe the hours lost
Mexico, flights through the Caribbean, and throughout Eufinding the aircraft might have allowed others to survive.
rope and Africa all require 406 MHz ELTs, but aviation and
Ironically, a prior Alaska crash is forever, erroneously
communications authorities in the U.S. continue to sanction
linked to the FAA's mandate for functional ELTs - the disuse of the 121.5 MHz technology to satisfy Federal Aviation
appearance of a Cessna 310 flying between Anchorage and
Regulations requiring a functional ELT onboard most aircraft.
Juneau. The aircraft carried House of Representatives MaThe FAA did take a step toward cutting off expanded use by
jority Leader Hale Boggs, Alaska Rep. Nick Begich, Rus22

avionics news

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december

2013



Avionics News December 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News December 2013

Point of Communication
AEA Now
The View From Washington
International News and Regulatory Updates
Beltway Briefing
Want to be Found ... and Legal?
Member Profile
Trig Avionics Ltd.
Avionics News Through the Years
EEDirect
A Conversation With...
Member Profile
Avotek Publishes New AET Study Guide
Civil UAV's
Business Basics
AEA Newsmakers at NBAA Convention
What's New
Marketplace Classifieds
Avionics News December 2013 - Intro
Avionics News December 2013 - Cover1
Avionics News December 2013 - Cover2
Avionics News December 2013 - 1
Avionics News December 2013 - 2
Avionics News December 2013 - 3
Avionics News December 2013 - Point of Communication
Avionics News December 2013 - 5
Avionics News December 2013 - AEA Now
Avionics News December 2013 - 7
Avionics News December 2013 - 8
Avionics News December 2013 - 9
Avionics News December 2013 - 10
Avionics News December 2013 - 11
Avionics News December 2013 - 12
Avionics News December 2013 - 13
Avionics News December 2013 - The View From Washington
Avionics News December 2013 - 15
Avionics News December 2013 - International News and Regulatory Updates
Avionics News December 2013 - 17
Avionics News December 2013 - 18
Avionics News December 2013 - Beltway Briefing
Avionics News December 2013 - Want to be Found ... and Legal?
Avionics News December 2013 - 21
Avionics News December 2013 - 22
Avionics News December 2013 - 23
Avionics News December 2013 - Member Profile
Avionics News December 2013 - 25
Avionics News December 2013 - 26
Avionics News December 2013 - 27
Avionics News December 2013 - Trig Avionics Ltd.
Avionics News December 2013 - 29
Avionics News December 2013 - 30
Avionics News December 2013 - 31
Avionics News December 2013 - 32
Avionics News December 2013 - 33
Avionics News December 2013 - Avionics News Through the Years
Avionics News December 2013 - 35
Avionics News December 2013 - EEDirect
Avionics News December 2013 - 37
Avionics News December 2013 - 38
Avionics News December 2013 - 39
Avionics News December 2013 - A Conversation With...
Avionics News December 2013 - 41
Avionics News December 2013 - Member Profile
Avionics News December 2013 - 43
Avionics News December 2013 - 44
Avionics News December 2013 - 45
Avionics News December 2013 - Avotek Publishes New AET Study Guide
Avionics News December 2013 - 47
Avionics News December 2013 - 48
Avionics News December 2013 - 49
Avionics News December 2013 - Civil UAV's
Avionics News December 2013 - 51
Avionics News December 2013 - 52
Avionics News December 2013 - 53
Avionics News December 2013 - Business Basics
Avionics News December 2013 - 55
Avionics News December 2013 - 56
Avionics News December 2013 - 57
Avionics News December 2013 - AEA Newsmakers at NBAA Convention
Avionics News December 2013 - 59
Avionics News December 2013 - 60
Avionics News December 2013 - 61
Avionics News December 2013 - 62
Avionics News December 2013 - 63
Avionics News December 2013 - 64
Avionics News December 2013 - 65
Avionics News December 2013 - What's New
Avionics News December 2013 - 67
Avionics News December 2013 - 68
Avionics News December 2013 - 69
Avionics News December 2013 - Marketplace Classifieds
Avionics News December 2013 - 71
Avionics News December 2013 - 72
Avionics News December 2013 - 73
Avionics News December 2013 - 74
Avionics News December 2013 - Cover3
Avionics News December 2013 - Cover4
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