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EMERGENCY LOCATOR TRANSMITTER (ELT)

REQUIREMENTS

EMERGENCY LOCATOR TRANSMITTER (ELT)

REQUIREMENTS

FAA Urges Operators to Help Reduce ELT False Alerts

 

Following the high number of false alerts from 406 MHz emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) used on aircraft last year, the FAA has released Information for Operators (InFO) 18007 to educate the aviation industry on steps that operators can take to minimize the problem.

In the event of an aircraft accident, 406 MHz ELTs transmit a distress signal to a satellite. In 2017, these devices generated 8,786 false alarms in the United States, a figure that reportedly accounted for over 98 percent of all ELT alerts. Such accidental activations unnecessarily put search-and-rescue (SAR) personnel in harm’s way and waste valuable resources.

“False alerts generated by emergency beacons are a significant problem for SAR personnel,” said Mark Larsen, CAM, NBAA’s senior manager of safety and flight operations. “NBAA strongly encourages its members to familiarize themselves with this new InFO and take steps to mitigate the risks of ELT false alerts.”

According to the FAA, the majority of 406 MHz ELT false alerts occur during testing and maintenance. To help reduce the number of such false alerts, the FAA urges aircraft operators to ensure that ELT self-tests and annual tests follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

To decrease the time that SAR personnel spend responding to false alerts, business aircraft operators should register their ELTs with the NOAA Satellite-Aided Tracking (SARSAT) Beacon Registration Database so that they can be contacted by phone when an activation occurs. SAR personnel respond immediately to each activation and will stop only when they confirm that a false alert has occurred. Operators who register with the database should keep their contact information up to date.

To cancel a false alert, operators should call the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at 800-851-3051 or the nearest FAA air traffic control facility and provide the beacon’s hex ID.

Read the InFO18007.pdf


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