View Full Version : ELT..What is the recomendation????
07-23-2004, 09:19 PM
Okay my ELT has bit the proverbial dust! I have been looking at several..What seems to be the flavor of what is the one to have..?
07-23-2004, 09:27 PM
I like ACK. It uses Duracell D cells, and has an indicator panel with a test button that mounts where you can see it. Ameri-King has a similar unit. They both are removable from the plane so if you get to take a long walk home, you can carry the ELT with you. Both are right around $200.
07-23-2004, 10:29 PM
This is a tough one. Be advised that the current constellation of 121.5 satellites is going away in a few years (not sure of the precise date, but believe it's 2009).
There are benefits to the newest 406 beacons: If your 121.5 beacon goes off, RCC ignores the first "hit" on the satellites, since the assumption is it may be a false alarm, and there's no quick way to verify that. So, you crash, your first satellite pass is twenty minutes later, RCC ignores it, and the next pass is an hour later. You've been out there for an hour and a half before anyone even takes notice.
On the other hand, if you had a 406 beacon, it would not only broadcast an emergency signal, but a discrete code, which is assigned to you, and RCC would look up that code, and dial the phone numbers you listed when you registered your beacon. If your spouse answers the phone and says, nope, that Super Cub fool is out flying right now, they will immediately initiate a search.
The down side is that an Artex 121.5/243/406 beacon costs something like $1600 bucks right now. Prices will likely come down, but its' the best technology going right now. They also offer units which automatically send the last known position digitally to RCC from an on-board GPS.
I have to go with Stewart on this one. Buy the cheap one that uses "D' cell batteries. The others are a ripoff. They also use regular batteries. They just mold them in a fancy looking case, and charge an arm and a leg for them. The failure rate on ELTs used to be 90%. Does anyone have any recent figures? My advice, don't depend on your ELT. If you set around on your butt thinking "they" will find you, you may be wrong. If you need your ELT, start making other plans just in case it doesn't work as advertised.
07-24-2004, 06:49 AM
The new ELTs require a remote switch and activation light be installed where it is accesible to the pilot. A simple way to get around this is to call the salvage yards and buy the same make and model as the one you removed. I don't rely much on ELTs either having seen how CAP works around here. I do like the Ameri King and ACK but it takes some time to run the wires for the remote and they are larger than my old Emergency Beacon ELT. I have an extra Narco ELT10 and 2 extra Emergency beacon Corp. G7 if needed.
07-24-2004, 11:35 PM
I installed an ACK in the Champ. It uses off-the-shelf alkaline 'D' cell batteries, plus a 'watch' battery in the remote. They have (I think) a three-year warranty. They're just over $200 from most suppliers, without batteries.
The FAA is getting particular on the installation; it needs to be *solidly* mounted to some real structure, not just to floorboards or interior sheet-metal.
07-25-2004, 07:02 PM
1) Most ELT signals are transmitted from airplanes that are parked on an airport. Hard landings and impatient unloading set them off. For that reason, I like the indicator panel. I also like to test it every now and then.
2) Like T.J. said, I don't trust that an ELT signal will guarantee my rescue within a time that I consider acceptable. If you're considering one of those new really expensive units, I suggest you buy a cheap ELT and a satellite phone, the sum of which will end up about the same. If you're lucky enough to remain conscious, call for help. If you're okay and need a new gear leg or such, save the government's search and rescue money and call for parts. The sat phone will get more use than you can imagine if you spend any time in the wilderness.
07-25-2004, 09:21 PM
And, I can't argue with that logic. There is, though, the remote and not often occuring instance where a pilot is incapacitated and the beacon brings home the bacon, so to speak.
My only point was to get people to think about the new beacons.
Note that with the 406 beacons, a false signal (as in your ramp example) would simply result in RCC calling your contact numbers, and telling you to go shut it off.
The prices of these things will likely come down some, but I'm betting they won't come down a whole lot.
Don't fool yourself that they wouldn't help in some cases. The North Slope Borough has documented a lot of "saves" during their trial period. Granted, most of those situations would have been as well served by a sat phone.
I'm a big fan of the Iridium phones, but ya gotta be able to dial.
01-23-2005, 10:22 PM
I've got a friend just about to cover the fuselage on his J3 restoration. The plane has had an EBC-102A installed for years. He wants to reinstall it with a new battery (@$23.00). I've suggested a new AmeriKing (@$185.00)
Granted the fact that the 121.5 ELT's will (but are not yet) obsolete in the forseeable future, is there any other reason that the EBC should not be reused?
01-24-2005, 08:18 PM
Sam, Were you ever going to send me the picture of the PA-12 that I bought from you??? I know it is all boxed up and ready to go, but it has been a long time since we purchased the aircraft and thought it might have slipped your mind???
01-25-2005, 11:41 PM
Spend the $800 plus $ and go with the 406MHZ. 121.5 is old and useless in my book. But don't believe me ask the U.S. Coast Guard and the SAR folks what they think of 121.5
01-26-2005, 08:13 AM
Thanks for the reply!
Everyone/anyone else agree? The plane will be flown, mostly locally, on the east coast U.S.
01-26-2005, 08:59 AM
What 406 MHz ELT is available for $800? If I could find one, I might consider it.
01-26-2005, 11:58 AM
Artex has the new ME406, brochure says "priced around $1000 complete"
Available in April
01-26-2005, 12:10 PM
Get the 406.
I flew over six hundred missions in the u.s. coast guard, many of them on ELT searches. It was VERY rare that we ever found anyone. Most of our searches were over water, so we may have had better luck on land-based searches. However, the 406 seems like a bargain if you are operating anywhere remote. Believe me the difference is like day and night for the SAR crews.
You an ex Coastie? I was at C-gas San Fran from 62-66. Flew as Air Crewman in HO-4S, HH52A, HU-16E. HC130B. My opinion of the older ELTs is similar to yours. They "may" work or they may not work. Better than nothing, but just barely.
Idea: What about leaving your current ELT alone, and maybe going with a portable that you can use in or out of the aircraft. I know 121.5 goes away in what 2009? But if you want the 406 now with GPS interface, this may be something to consider.
You could thow it on the dash or strap it to your leg for easy access. Take it with you when you go walk about! Seems to be alot easier on the wallet!
What do ya think??
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