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Pilots urged to help prevent 121.5 MHz ELT ban

AOPA is reminding pilots concerned about the Federal Communications Commission’s plan to prohibit the certification, manufacture, importation, sale, or use of 121.5 MHz emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) to submit their comments to the FCC by April 1. The FAA has estimated that replacing 121.5MHz ELTs with 406MHz ELTs would cost $1,000 to $2,000, ... [which] would drain limited resources from maintenance, or prevent an aircraft owner from investing in equipment that would have a direct… ( More...

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Jeff Lawson 6
I've submitted a comment suggesting that they only ban new 121.5 MHz equipment, allowing 406 MHz to be slowly phased in as existing equipment fails and needs to be replaced (which is likely to be a long time).
Sorry...Just way too logical, Jeff. Can't believe you'd even suggest they consider such a patently reasonable idea!
D.M. Pyeatt 6
This is another example of a government totally out of control. The FAA is decreasing aircraft safety by laying off air traffic controllers while the FCC is piling a major expenditure on the aviation industry in the name of "safety".
Toby Sharp 5
the Money pit continues, nothing new
dmanuel 3
If the push to remove 121.5 from the mix, continues, I am concerned that folks will over look the benefit of having a common (guard) frequency one can put their handheld on to contact SAR elements. What exactly is the benefit of doing away with the ELT units? If you choose to use the older technology, knowing full well your rescue could be delayed to the point it is a recovery, then that should be your perogerative. Has self determination been overridden by the Nanny state mentality?
larry clement 2
I have tried repeatedly to post a comment/protest to the proposed rule, but the system won't accept it. the 121.5 works fine, and the odds of using an ELT are extremely low. Only the gov't can waste money like tis.
Jeff Lawson 2
Their comment form appears to require that you upload your response as a file. Did you try saving your message to a plaintext file and using that form linked to by the web page?
S.A. Bunker 1
First off, the FAA estimate for $1,000 to $2,000 dollars is an old statistic. The supply is up and prices have come down to what a brand new 121.5 MHz ELT cost prior to the change over to 406MHz.
Second, 121.5 as an international guard frequency won't go away and it will still be monitored. The new ELT's still transmit 121.5MHz at a lower power output so existing ground search & rescue personnel and equipment can direction find (DF) to the crash site. The 406MHz portion of the ELT is for the SAR satellite to pinpoint your location within 100 meters (as opposed to 3-5 miles using the 121.5MHz primary ELT).
And for those who say we should go back to the old 121.5MHz ELT's, that's not going to happen. That would literally require sending up new satellites. As the satellites wore out, they were replaced with new satellites that only have the capability to "hear" the new 406MHz ELT's.
But why would you want a new "old" ELT with 121.5?? They are certified to a MUCH older technical standard order (TSO) and are subject to a great number of failures and interference that impedes being found. The new 406MHz ELT's pinpoint your location, are far better in design and crash survivability, and get you rescued exponentially faster. And now that the prices have dropped to around $500 dollars (and some are even desinged to fit the existing ELT bracket), why would you buy an old ELT?? There's simply no logical argument for buying and installing a 121.5MHz ELT. Unless you want to get lost and not be found, I guess.


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