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FCC Ban on 121.5 ELTs

by John M. White |

In a move that surprised many the FCC announced that starting in August 2010 there will be an FCC ban on 121.5 ELTs which are found in most general aviation aircraft. 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. Aircraft ELT Unit In an amazing statement of stupidity the FCC said that to continue to allow the sale and installation of the 121.5Mhz ELTs in aircraft would endanger pilots by allowing them to assume that these ELTs would send a signal for rescue in the event of an accident. Unfortunately the FCC did not coordinate this rule change with the FAA, and the FAA has not issued any rule banning the use of the 121.5Mhz ELTs. The new ELTs operate on a frequency of 406.0-406.1 Mhz and this signal is accessed by satellites. While this technological advance is an improvement over the current system, the problem lies in the fact that there are over 100,000 aircraft flying today with these ELTs in them. Given current economic conditions forcing aircraft owners to upgrade their aircraft with the newer ELTs places an economic hardship on them, along with not providing adequate time for the transition. A number of the alphabet groups, including AOPA, are urging the FCC to delay implementation until a reasonable timeline for compliance can be determined and established. Once again we hear from our government - "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help you." Amazing Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7 All the calculations show it can't work. There's only one thing to do: make it work. — Pierre Georges Latécoère, early French aviation entrepreneur ps: Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter "All Things Aviation" here!

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