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Roger Lee

New ELT mandate

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uh oh look here,

FCC BANS 121.5 ELTS

 

<img width="128" align="right" height="131" hspace="8">The Federal Communications Commission took the general aviation world by surprise when it said in a recent report it will prohibit the sale or use of 121.5 MHz emergency locator transmitters, effective in August. The Aircraft Electronics Association said it just learned of the new rule today, and has begun working with the FAA, FCC and others to allow for timely compliance without grounding thousands of general aviation aircraft. The 121.5 ELTs are allowed under FAA rules. The FCC said its rules have been amended to "prohibit further certification, manufacture, importation, sale or use of 121.5 MHz ELTs." The FCC says that if the 121.5 units are no longer available, aircraft owners and operators will "migrate" to the newer 406.0-406.1 MHz ELTs, which are monitored by satellite, while the 121.5 frequency is not. "Were we to permit continued marketing and use of 121.5 MHz ELTs ... it would engender the risk that aircraft owners and operators would mistakenly rely on those ELTs for the relay of distress alerts," the FCC says. AOPA said today it is opposed to the rule change.

 

"The FCC is making a regulatory change that would impose an extra cost on GA operators, without properly communicating with the industry or understanding the implications of its action," said AOPA Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Rob Hackman. "There is no FAA requirement to replace 121.5 MHz units with 406 MHz technology. When two government agencies don't coordinate, GA can suffer." The AEA said dealers should refrain from selling any new 121.5 MHz ELTs "until further understanding of this new prohibition can be understood and a realistic timeline for transition can be established."

 

Watch AVweb.com for More on the FCC's Decision

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While the FCC wording sounds harsh, it'll probably end up being "no more 121.5 units being sold or installed after a certain date". Which makes sense. If GA has to retrofit the fleet to 406 units, I'd bet we'll be given quite some time to comply.

 

Of course, I upgraded to a 406 to meet the 2009 Mexican requirement, which was postponed until 2010, then postponed again until the end of 2011. Oh well. I got a Ameri-King 451, which was a pretty simple replacement of the existing unit.

 

Remember, some 406 units have GPS input from you panel unit, and some don't. Obviously the GPS-connected units are more $$$, but more accurate.

Tim

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Roger,

 

You beat me to it!

 

Someone posted that same AVWeb link on the Cirrus site and I was about to cross-post it.

 

I have an AmeriKing 121.5 mhz ELT in my Sky Arrow, so this will affect me as well. I have not intention of upgrading until forced to do so, preferring to either buy a PLB or a SPOT2 to backup my current ELT if I start feeling paranoid.

 

BTW, what ELT comes installed in the CT, and does it have a panel remote?

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Hi Eddie,

 

Most come with the Ameri King 450

 

I asked about the remote, because my Sky Arrow did not come with one. When I had the DAR help with my conversion to E-LSA he pointed out that the remote was a necessary part of the installation - the manual clearly states the remote is NOT optional.

 

I found room in my panel for one, and my Sky Arrow dealer was nice enough to provide the remote and cable for free (he had a few lying around). In any case, I think the remote was only about $35.

 

4724460848_c07e938b7c_b.jpg

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does it have a panel remote?

 

Eddie, my 2008 CTLS has a panel mounted remote activation switch and monitor light.

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I think Russ had a solution for the 406 ELT. As far as what to buy.

 

I'm afraid that I will not be much help. I had Gary Annas purchase and install the AK-451. I did not even watch him do the work; I just wrote a check. I think that the installation used the existing (AK450) wiring to the remote and the existing remote making the installation straightforward. Gary was of course killed in a crash a year or so ago. The operation of the 451 and the 450 is the same.

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I asked about the remote, because my Sky Arrow did not come with one. When I had the DAR help with my conversion to E-LSA he pointed out that the remote was a necessary part of the installation - the manual clearly states the remote is NOT optional.

 

I found room in my panel for one, and my Sky Arrow dealer was nice enough to provide the remote and cable for free (he had a few lying around). In any case, I think the remote was only about $35.

 

4724460848_c07e938b7c_b.jpg

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Ed,

 

Do you think your dealer may have an extra portable antenna laying around too?

 

Doug in IL

 

My used 06 SW came without.

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From AOPA news...

 

A ban on 121.5 MHz ELTs? Not under the FAA’s watch.

 

The agency has officially stepped in with a letter to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration requesting that the Federal Communication Commission withdraw its notice that would prohibit the “certification, manufacture, importation, sale, or continued use of 121.5 MHz ELTs.”

 

The FAA is following all of the steps necessary to ensure that the FCC’s notice does not get published in the Federal Register...

 

Full AOPA article

 

Tim

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