banner graphic
Airport Webcams
Who's Online
20 registered (Pilawt, Don Fenton, jnpjohnson, Barnett, multisync, Henry M., Aerodon, 172kevin, mallard, Rod Man, Seawings172, Bob2, magman, Joeman434, Dickc82, troppo, SeaProbe, Enlisted Pilot, AdamMWells, 1 invisible), 456 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Ziutek, Mich, Vol76L, Engine Guy, Vamsi
12367 Registered Users
Top Posters
Bargain Bob 216468
Rusty Rudder 8363
vettdvr 7724
Joeman434 6780
Cessna Dude 6628
California Flyer 6199
Willie 4728
Clyde Cessna 4485
Don Tedrow 3659
Peedie Montgomery 3456
wrecksum 2704
ytodd 2582
Ward Holbrook 2436
XP Driver 2407
November X-ray 2303
Jim_1 2278
N5479R 2232
Viper_96 2044
Wayne R 2001
Henry M. 1988
Bigdoggh 1966
Challenger1 1947
oilwell1415 1906
Pilawt 1889
cadcap 1842
Nightowl 1826
Showboatsix 1817
Nintendo Pilot 1744
Glenn Darr 1708
KevinMcP 1665
Top Posters (30 Days)
Joeman434 90
DeputydogK9 79
Challenger1 76
Viper_96 65
cadcap 56
Jon H 43
N5479R 37
Rusty Rudder 29
Peedie Montgomery 20
CD. 16
multisync 15
magman 14
Wrench 14
mx757 12
Skydawg 12
wildduk 12
Gooneybird 12
C420sailor 11
CaptPenner 11
skyhawk3 11
OldGunbunny 10
Henry M. 9
Jim Faulks 9
Underdog 9
Sondavid 8
deltafox 7
SeaProbe 7
California Flyer 7
Opee 6
torquen 6
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#136422 - 07/14/13 09:33 AM 406 mHz ELT
Pilawt Online   content
Club Sponsor
Gold Pilot

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 1889
Loc: AZ
My mechanic and owner of the local FBO suddenly became a fervent evangelist for the gospel of the 406 mHz ELT, and is urging all of his customers to get one, ASAP.

It seems that a couple of weeks ago he was flying his PA-12 to his remote hunting cabin in the mountains east of Talkeetna, Alaska, and ... well, read the rest of the story here:

http://www.adn.com/2013/07/02/2961740/two-men-resuced-after-small-plane.html

Excerpt:
Quote:
The men were prepared for rough weather but the mayday didn't get picked up until about 3:30 p.m. Monday, a full day after the crash.

The plane used older equipment that transmits on a frequency that can only be picked up by an aircraft flying overhead. Newer beacons transmit information to satellites that are monitored by the U.S. Mission Control Center.
_________________________
Jeff Jacobs
C-172N-180
KGYR / Phoenix, AZ

Top
#136428 - 07/14/13 10:19 AM Re: 406 mHz ELT [Re: Pilawt]
oilwell1415 Offline
Gold Pilot

Registered: 09/20/12
Posts: 1906
Loc: Tulsa, OK
This has been preached for 4 years now, but pilots aren't listening. It will never happen to them and if it does their 121.5 unit will save them. It never ceases to amaze me how many pilots are either unaware or in denial about the comparative uselessness of a 121.5 unit these days. They are better than nothing, but not reliable enough to bet your life on.
_________________________
1947 North American Navion N8747H. It isn't the fastest, doesn't have the biggest payload, burns gas almost as fast as I can pour it in the tank and requires lots of TLC, but it's cool as hell and that's why we play the game.

Top
#136432 - 07/14/13 11:36 AM Re: 406 mHz ELT [Re: oilwell1415]
Shuswap Offline
Gold Pilot

Registered: 09/19/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: British Columbia
I've been siting on the fence with respect to getting another rescue/crash beacon and I still have no idea what to invest in. I fly in extremely rugged and remote areas of British Columbia and help is not always nearby.

Portable would be interesting, too, as we ride our motorbikes many miles from civilization.

There seem to be alternatives to the 406, such as SPOT, PLB, and others and I'm too stupid to figure out what is the best bang for the buck.

Anybody have thoughts to share on this?


Edited by Shuswap (07/14/13 12:18 PM)
_________________________
1969 172K 160HP Ram

"Try to stay in the middle of the air. Do not go near the edges of it. The edges of the air can be recognized by the appearance of ground, buildings, sea, and trees. It is much more difficult to fly there."

Top
#136441 - 07/14/13 12:02 PM Re: 406 mHz ELT [Re: Shuswap]
vettdvr Offline
Club Sponsor
Diamond Pilot

Registered: 06/24/10
Posts: 7724
Loc: Slidell La
I have an ACR 406 portable I used in my boat off shore. I use it now in the plane but still have the old 121.5 eiper. The new one is portable and has to be hand activated but it is registed with the FEDs (and theh have already followed me with a blackhawk so they know how to find me even if I don't turn it on)
_________________________
Vettdvr

Single/Multi/instrument/type/commercial But then I am still learning.

Top
#136461 - 07/14/13 01:40 PM Re: 406 mHz ELT [Re: vettdvr]
elliot172 Offline
Bronze Pilot

Registered: 08/07/11
Posts: 608
Loc: Trinidad,co
The 406mhz is good technology, but still had limitations and drawbacks. I have been involved in several searches using them and they tend to be off by 15 miles. Most search teams are not equipped to search for the 406mhz beacon and have to reely on Air Force Rescue Center out of Tyndell Florida for information.

Top
#136465 - 07/14/13 02:31 PM Re: 406 mHz ELT [Re: elliot172]
Shuswap Offline
Gold Pilot

Registered: 09/19/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: British Columbia
15 MILES!! Using area of a circle, that's almost 700 sq miles to search.


Edited by Shuswap (07/14/13 02:32 PM)
_________________________
1969 172K 160HP Ram

"Try to stay in the middle of the air. Do not go near the edges of it. The edges of the air can be recognized by the appearance of ground, buildings, sea, and trees. It is much more difficult to fly there."

Top
#136466 - 07/14/13 02:34 PM Re: 406 mHz ELT [Re: Shuswap]
Cap10John Offline
Pilot in Command

Registered: 04/27/11
Posts: 455
Loc: Maryland, USA (KFME)

Top
#136499 - 07/14/13 05:24 PM Re: 406 mHz ELT [Re: Shuswap]
vettdvr Offline
Club Sponsor
Diamond Pilot

Registered: 06/24/10
Posts: 7724
Loc: Slidell La
Originally Posted By: Shuswap
15 MILES!! Using area of a circle, that's almost 700 sq miles to search.
Position Information:
o 1-3 nm (2-5 km) accuracy on average. Position
calculated by Doppler shift analysis.
_________________________
Vettdvr

Single/Multi/instrument/type/commercial But then I am still learning.

Top
#136517 - 07/14/13 07:51 PM Re: 406 mHz ELT [Re: vettdvr]
oilwell1415 Offline
Gold Pilot

Registered: 09/20/12
Posts: 1906
Loc: Tulsa, OK
Even if they are off by 15 miles that is much better than the 121.5 units even when they were being tracked by satellite. Most 121.5 signals are now being reported by airliners that might be hearing them from 100 miles away. That doesn't even get you close enough for an aircrew to track them using a Cessna. It might take 5 or 6 reports from the airlines to get a reasonable idea of where the signal is coming from and initiate a search. Even then it may not be good enough to find the source before the battery dies. Best case scenario that means we have a pilot flying around with a dead ELT battery. Worst case, that pilot dies alone in the forest because he laid out there for 3 or 4 days after he was trapped in a survivable crash because his ELT couldn't be tracked.

When it gets really crazy is when you have multiple 121.5 beacons being reported and nobody knows there are multiples. When we had satellites picking them up it was fairly easy to look at the hits and determine if it was one or more beacons. That isn't the case these days.

Any crew that can track a 121.5 beacon can track a 406 beacon if they can get close enough, and that's the trick. The 406 beacons also emit a low power 121.5 signal but you have to be within about 10 miles to pick it up. We have also learned over the last 2 or 3 years that there are multiple flavors of 406 signal and not all tracking equipment will track all of the flavors. It is getting better, but is still far from perfect.

1-3nm accuracy on a 406 beacon is perfect world marketing. That is true for maybe 50% of them. The others are considerably less accurate than that.
_________________________
1947 North American Navion N8747H. It isn't the fastest, doesn't have the biggest payload, burns gas almost as fast as I can pour it in the tank and requires lots of TLC, but it's cool as hell and that's why we play the game.

Top
#136530 - 07/14/13 09:14 PM Re: 406 mHz ELT [Re: oilwell1415]
Willie Offline
Platinum Pilot

Registered: 12/28/10
Posts: 4728
Loc: Ft McMurray Alberta Canada
I have a 406 unit
The first year after it was recertified it went off when I was reinstalling it
With in 15min I received a phone call
The tower and the FBO also received calls about an ELT going off at the airport
_________________________
Flying is the 2nd greatest thrill known to man
Landing is 1st

Top
#136566 - 07/15/13 04:37 AM Re: 406 mHz ELT [Re: Willie]
atmcpm Offline
Safety Pilot

Registered: 02/16/10
Posts: 50
Loc: EQY
After doing more research on this I think the best (safest) option is to install a 406 ELT in the plane (I have one) and carry a portable portable locator as well (looking).
_________________________
Andy


Top
#136568 - 07/15/13 05:18 AM Re: 406 mHz ELT [Re: atmcpm]
Rusty Rudder Offline
Diamond Pilot

Registered: 02/26/10
Posts: 8363
Loc: Fair Haven New York
Wow, two lucky guys ! I would like to convert to a 406 ELT, I'll be looking while @ Oshkosh this year.

I am hearing the negative's about some of these ELT's(and would like to stay away from those), has anyone found the top end unit and if so, who is the manufacturer and or model.

What is the date for the mandate for 406, in the USA for recreational flyers?
_________________________
Take-off's are optional, landings are manditory


Top
#136632 - 07/15/13 12:40 PM Re: 406 mHz ELT [Re: Rusty Rudder]
oilwell1415 Offline
Gold Pilot

Registered: 09/20/12
Posts: 1906
Loc: Tulsa, OK
I don't know that these have been in use long enough to decide which is the best. I suspect less than 25% of the fleet are equipped with a 406 ELT and of those very few have needed them. I think the thing to do instead of finding the best is to find the worst and avoid them. As you said, there are some horror stories out there. I don't remember what brand mine is, but I just registered it last week and that was very easy. Hopefully I never find out if it's any good or not.
_________________________
1947 North American Navion N8747H. It isn't the fastest, doesn't have the biggest payload, burns gas almost as fast as I can pour it in the tank and requires lots of TLC, but it's cool as hell and that's why we play the game.

Top
#136667 - 07/15/13 05:16 PM Re: 406 mHz ELT [Re: oilwell1415]
Nintendo Pilot Offline
Gold Pilot

Registered: 05/22/11
Posts: 1744
Loc: Utah
I had the ACK E-04 installed interfaced with my Garmin 430W. Position reporting is very accurate. How do I know? I got a call when the installer accidently left it on after testing and the location was close enough to know which hangar the aircraft was in. These can be purchased with internal GPS or linked to your panel GPS. My wife and I also carry ACR PLBs.
_________________________
Prior C172 owner, now 1963 Beechcraft Bonanza P35, (N9673Y)
Alan C.
PP-ASEL

Blog http://ontarget-spionen.blogspot.com/
Youtube Channel http://www.youtube.com/user/spionen007?feature=mhee

Top
#136760 - 07/15/13 09:09 PM Re: 406 mHz ELT [Re: Nintendo Pilot]
Willie Offline
Platinum Pilot

Registered: 12/28/10
Posts: 4728
Loc: Ft McMurray Alberta Canada
I'm not sure about down south , but here the only monitoring of 121.5 is other planes flying past
If they have a radio tuned to monitor 121.5
_________________________
Flying is the 2nd greatest thrill known to man
Landing is 1st

Top
#136810 - 07/16/13 12:18 AM Re: 406 mHz ELT [Re: Willie]
Henry M. Online   content
Gold Pilot

Registered: 08/23/11
Posts: 1988
Loc: Leander, TX
Speaking of PLB's, does any ody have any experience with the rescueME PLB1? It claims to be the smallest one available. Some say you don't want something too small, but this u it seems like something you could carry in your pockets wherever you go. I wonder how sturdy is is.
_________________________
Henry
1965 C182H

Top
#136951 - 07/16/13 08:55 PM Re: 406 mHz ELT [Re: Henry M.]
Willie Offline
Platinum Pilot

Registered: 12/28/10
Posts: 4728
Loc: Ft McMurray Alberta Canada
Around here Spot seems to be the most popular back up unit
_________________________
Flying is the 2nd greatest thrill known to man
Landing is 1st

Top
#136962 - 07/16/13 11:28 PM Re: 406 mHz ELT [Re: Willie]
Henry M. Online   content
Gold Pilot

Registered: 08/23/11
Posts: 1988
Loc: Leander, TX
Spot requires a monthly subscription. A PLB does not. I don't need the service enough to justify a subscription. I mostly fly in/near populated areas and only go places where I might need to be located maybe once a year.
_________________________
Henry
1965 C182H

Top
#136965 - 07/17/13 12:08 AM Re: 406 mHz ELT [Re: Henry M.]
Willie Offline
Platinum Pilot

Registered: 12/28/10
Posts: 4728
Loc: Ft McMurray Alberta Canada
Every flight here is over miles and miles of forest
So 406 and something like Spot make a lot of sense
_________________________
Flying is the 2nd greatest thrill known to man
Landing is 1st

Top
#137027 - 07/17/13 12:56 PM Re: 406 mHz ELT [Re: Willie]
Shuswap Offline
Gold Pilot

Registered: 09/19/10
Posts: 1304
Loc: British Columbia
Originally Posted By: Willie
Every flight here is over miles and miles of forest
So 406 and something like Spot make a lot of sense


I'm near Vancouver and any flight over 5 min is into mountains or over the deep blue sea....with few landing choices....and even those choices stink!

We also off-road ride into very remote areas and I have been thinking we need a better way to get help in a crisis. I've heard both good and bad about the spot, but what does a PLB do that makes it a better system?


Edited by Shuswap (07/17/13 12:56 PM)
_________________________
1969 172K 160HP Ram

"Try to stay in the middle of the air. Do not go near the edges of it. The edges of the air can be recognized by the appearance of ground, buildings, sea, and trees. It is much more difficult to fly there."

Top
#137032 - 07/17/13 01:15 PM Re: 406 mHz ELT [Re: Shuswap]
oilwell1415 Offline
Gold Pilot

Registered: 09/20/12
Posts: 1906
Loc: Tulsa, OK
Originally Posted By: Shuswap
[quote=Willie] snip... I've heard both good and bad about the spot, but what does a PLB do that makes it a better system?


The big difference is how the message reaches rescue personnel. A Spot locator is a commercial device operating on commercial satellites operated by private vendors. Since it is a private venture there are more levels of communication to go through before anyone who can actually save you is alerted. Since this is a private venture, the status of their network is also up to corporate decisions. If a satellite quits working, it is up to some bean counter somewhere to decide if it is fixed or another one is moved into position to cover for it. Same for every link in the chain. If you have a PLB it is monitored by government satellites that send a signal directly to a responsible government agency that will initiate response procedures immediately upon the beacon being detected. They also ensure that the satellites are working properly and are in the best positions they can be in to do their jobs. What does this mean in the real world? Probably nothing. The difference between a rescue started in response to a Spot is probably 10-15 minutes slower than a PLB in the worst conditions. That doesnít sound like much and is likely not going to be the difference between life and death in most cases. Where it WILL matter is if that 10-15 minutes is the deciding factor in launching a rescue right now or waiting until tomorrow. If the signal comes from an area that will take 30 minutes to reach by helicopter 45-60 minutes before dark they will probably launch a rescue. If that call comes in 30-45 minutes before dark they probably wonít, so it could be the difference between spending the night in pain on a mountain side or going home that night. An advantage of the Spot is that some of them allow you to send a message, which could be very beneficial to search teams. The best solution would be to have both. If that isnít an option, contact the agency responsible for SAR operations in your area and ask them which will get you help faster.
_________________________
1947 North American Navion N8747H. It isn't the fastest, doesn't have the biggest payload, burns gas almost as fast as I can pour it in the tank and requires lots of TLC, but it's cool as hell and that's why we play the game.

Top
#137064 - 07/17/13 04:58 PM Re: 406 mHz ELT [Re: oilwell1415]
KCDean Offline
Pilot in Command

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 337
Loc: East Texas
I've bought the ACK E-04 and will have it installed next month when the plane is in the shop to be painted. I will also have it hooked up to my 430W at that time.
_________________________
1965 C-172F - N8186U

Top
#137070 - 07/17/13 05:59 PM Re: 406 mHz ELT [Re: KCDean]
Nintendo Pilot Offline
Gold Pilot

Registered: 05/22/11
Posts: 1744
Loc: Utah
Originally Posted By: KCDean
I've bought the ACK E-04 and will have it installed next month when the plane is in the shop to be painted. I will also have it hooked up to my 430W at that time.


Great! I'm getting new paint in Sept. Talk about a quick way to make your wallet very light!
_________________________
Prior C172 owner, now 1963 Beechcraft Bonanza P35, (N9673Y)
Alan C.
PP-ASEL

Blog http://ontarget-spionen.blogspot.com/
Youtube Channel http://www.youtube.com/user/spionen007?feature=mhee

Top
#137087 - 07/17/13 08:25 PM Re: 406 mHz ELT [Re: Nintendo Pilot]
KCDean Offline
Pilot in Command

Registered: 02/09/11
Posts: 337
Loc: East Texas
It is definitely going to leave a hole! :-P
_________________________
1965 C-172F - N8186U

Top
#138323 - 07/25/13 01:08 PM Re: 406 mHz ELT [Re: KCDean]
oilwell1415 Offline
Gold Pilot

Registered: 09/20/12
Posts: 1906
Loc: Tulsa, OK
Earlier in this thread I mentioned that there were a variety of flavors of 406mHz ELT signal and that they were not all created equal. The funniest thing happened yesterday. A draft report crossed my desk telling me the same thing and providing a lot more detail about the flavors and which ones were tasty. Here are the big pieces. I will post the entire report if/when it becomes approved for public distribution.

There are currently 25 different frequencies in use in the 406mHz world. Of those 25, 10 are currently authorized for use or are asignable for use. 4 of those 10 have actually been placed in service. On those 4 bands, there are currently about 1.5 million units in use and about 200,000 of those are ELTs. There are two dates that are important here. The first date is 1 Jan 2004. This is the date that the 3rd and 4th bands went active. The second date is 1 Jan 2007. This is the date that the first two bands were no longer used for the production of new beacons. In 2004, there were less than 50,000 406 ELTs in use. By 2007 the number had doubled to about 100,000 units.

Now let's look at the ability to track them. As of the draft date in April, there were 356 search aircraft that are known to be equipped to track a 406mHz beacon. Of those, 241 were only equipped to track the first two bands. The remaining 115 can track all 10 406mHz bands. Fortunately, all 406 ELTs have a 121.5 signal that is transmitted at low power anytime the beacon is activated. The problem is that the search crew must A)be close enough to received the signal, B) realize the situation and understand that they need to reconfigure the tracking equipment and C) be able to safely reconfigure the equipment in flight. The chances of each of those happening is remote.

What does this all mean? Basically, it means that if you have a 406 ELT produced before 2004 you are as good to go as you can be. All of the search aircraft that are equipped to handle the 406 band can track your ELT. If your ELT was manufactured on or after 1 Jan 2007 you will only have a 32% chance that your 406 signal will be trackable. If your ELT was made between 2004 and 2007 there is at least a 32% chance your 406 signal can be tracked.
_________________________
1947 North American Navion N8747H. It isn't the fastest, doesn't have the biggest payload, burns gas almost as fast as I can pour it in the tank and requires lots of TLC, but it's cool as hell and that's why we play the game.

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >


Cessna172 Tribute
THIS MONTH'S SPONSOR
Special thanks to:
You!
Thank you for making this site great
Today's Birthdays
asthecrowflys, BrentVDW, crfflying, Mistersky, Sandman
Helpful Links
100LL Price Finder
AD Directory
Aging GA Aircraft
Aircraft Directory
Airplane Report
AirNav
Airport Facilities Directory
AOPA
Aviation Weather
Barnstormers
BaseOps
C172 History
Cessna
Controller
Crash Records
DUAT Voyager Planner
DUATS
FAA
FltPlan
Flight Aware
Flying Tools (Files)
Google Earth
Ground Speed Records
National METAR Map
Sky Vector
Trade-A-Plane
Uvalde Flight Ctr
All the Webcams
Shout Box

AOPA
AOPA
Weather Lookup
Airport code:
(separate multiple codes with spaces)

List of stations