406 ELT Pirep ?

Discussion in 'Maintenance Bay' started by Briar Rabbit, Jan 20, 2020.

  1. Briar Rabbit

    Briar Rabbit Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The bird is in the shop for it's annual and due for a new ELT battery, an older 121.5 unit. Aircraft Spruce has a ARTEX 345 kit with the ELT, tray, antenna and new switch for $549. This unit broadcasts on both frequencies and specs show GPS accuracy stated at 100 meters.

    Is this the best alternative or does anyone have a suggestion for a more economical approach to step up to the new technology?
     
  2. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC En-Route

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    I've been happy with the elt406gps.
     
  3. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    Are these for certificated planes? I thought 406 ELT's were way more than $550?
     
  4. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    FYI: all ELTs must meet TSO requirements per Part 91 regardless if the aircraft is TC'd or E/AB.
     
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  5. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    Really,, do we really need ELTs in the lower 48?
     
  6. Briar Rabbit

    Briar Rabbit Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yes
     
  7. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    ACK E-04. I was working on my Cub one day and heard an odd sound. It was the ELT buzzer indicating it was broadcasting. RCC called me about three minutes later to see if I was okay, but they already knew I was in my tie down at Lake Hood. Mine cost $500 and is connected to my G3X for GPS position. Pretty cool tech.
     
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  8. Briar Rabbit

    Briar Rabbit Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I believe that is correct.
     
  9. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach

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    How much is the replacement battery?

    And this will chap some hides. Now that everyone is ADS-B compliant, why do you need a more accurate emergency locator transmitter. They've already got you on the fish finder, right?!?
     
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  10. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    Willing to bet your life on ADS-B? It isn't "full coverage". 406 is.
     
  11. NordicDave

    NordicDave Cleared for Takeoff

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    Some asked this question (keep 121.5 or get a 406) at a local FAA Wings presentation on this topic. Our local CAP commander said "depends how fast you want to be found". We can search 10 square miles or 330 square yards.

    Both the Artex or ACK E-04 are good units. I installed a ACK 2 years ago and like it.
     
  12. YooperMooney

    YooperMooney Pre-Flight

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    ADS-B coverage isn’t that great in remote areas unless of course you crash onto a 5000’ cloud. But this is real life. Finding a wrecked plane in a forest is literally like finding a needle in a haystack. The premise is that you physically and mentally survive the upset and will be able to reach help via the beacon. Cellphone coverage is non existent in the bush. I’d even recommend carrying a GPS locator beacon on your person.
    ADS-B did nothing for him:




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  13. Briar Rabbit

    Briar Rabbit Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The battery is a 6 year lithium, $189. I frequently fly a lot of the Nebraska Sandhills where radar coverage is sparse.
     
  14. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    An 406- compliance ELT with GPS, is not approaching $2500. and a great cell phone will get it done better.
    The compliance is very much out dated, 91.207 is really stupid.
     
  15. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    If I think I'm about to have a problem I can turn the ELT to transmit from the panel (all 406s can) and if I have a cell phone and the anticipated emergency works out better than planned I'll answer the phone when RCC calls me. Since cell reception is highly unlikely for me I'll use my sat phone to call them. No call made to call them off? They're coming. IF ADS-B was a reliable tracking system nobody would begin to look at it until somebody reported you overdue, and then it wouldn't have near the accuracy of a 406. Rationalize your risks any way you want. 121.5 ELTs are worthless weight in the back of your planes. They have been for over a decade.
    8C417A07-E157-4ED8-879D-9A5B1FBF0AA9.png
     
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  16. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    When you asked for pireps, I couldn't help but think: "Whatever you do, don't get the BryTEX ELT-9.5. I crashed into a mountain and the thing never transmitted. I ended up dying 3 days later. My debris/remains were never found."
    :)
     
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  17. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    I have the artex one that you referenced, it’s also connected to the panel GPS, it costs more to do that connection, but totally worth it if you ever need it.

    Haven’t used it, hoping to stay that way
     
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  18. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC En-Route

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  19. Briar Rabbit

    Briar Rabbit Pre-takeoff checklist

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    We ordered the Artex 345 from Sarasota Avionics - $539 for the kit. Tray, battery, antenna, coax, remote panel switch/indicator and ELT unit. The shop that does our annuals was familiar with the Artex equipment and recommended it. The battery lasts 6 years and currently is $189. Our current 121.5 ELT batteries cost $50 and only last 2 years so the net outlay over the next 6 years is $389 more than the batteries we would have purchased plus the installation charge.
     
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  20. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    FYI: Don't forget to register/re-register it with NOAA SARSAT every 2 years.....
     
  21. donjohnston

    donjohnston Line Up and Wait

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    Are you saying a cellphone is a better emergency locator than a 406MHz ELT?
     
  22. Radar Contact

    Radar Contact Pattern Altitude

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    I have no idea if one is better than the other. I just got done doing the same research you mention here and ordered the ARTEX 345 from Spruce. They already wired it when I had my panel re-done a few months ago. Should be an easy install during annual.

    Let’s hope neither of us needs to use it! :)
     
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  23. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    Yes,, many of the 406 ELTs don't have the GPS the only the expensive ones do.
    the cheap ones are no better then a 121.1
    my cell does better job and it has a GPS, In the lower 48 there isn't much area that would not work.
     
  24. donjohnston

    donjohnston Line Up and Wait

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    The reason "many of the 406 ELTs don't have the GPS" is because it's an additional, unneeded expense. An ELT doesn't require a built in GPS to have position data. Most airplanes today have a GPS. So even if the ELT doesn't have a built in GPS, connecting the output from the panel mount GPS will take care of getting position data.
    Not really. If you crash near an interstate or populated area, you'll have pretty good coverage, but after that it's a roll of the dice. For example, driving between Panama City and Lakeland on US98 (350 miles), much of that trip will have marginal or no cell coverage.
    Please tell me about the time when you crashed and the 406MHz didn't do it's job but your cell phone did.

    And your phone won't do much good if you're unconscious. While the impact switch on ELT's may not be perfect, at least there's a chance it will active the ELT. My phone definitely doesn't have that feature.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
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  25. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    Have the ACK in the Venture, nothing to report thankfully. Money better spent than ADS-B lol.
     
  26. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    Most the accidents occurred after the chance to get help'
    and in most the cell phones will survive the crash.
     
  27. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Cleared for Takeoff

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    I've been many places in the lower 48 where my cell phone didn't work.
     
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  28. donjohnston

    donjohnston Line Up and Wait

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    This makes absolutely no sense.
    Agreed. But that phone will be of no use to an unconscious survivor or no cell coverage.
     
  29. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking PoA Supporter

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    It would make sense if you are calling 911 as you descend.
    If you are 5000' how much time would have before the the fan stopped?
     
  30. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Only if it activates like it should.
    today’s smart phones have gps and can be pinged for an exact location. Or at least their last location if they’re destroyed in the wreckage.
     
  31. jrcox19

    jrcox19 Pre-Flight

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    That still only works if there's coverage in the area.
     
  32. donjohnston

    donjohnston Line Up and Wait

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    Assuming where the plane went down has cell coverage. And getting the phone company to release that data takes time. You would probably either walk to help or die by the time A) someone knows you’re missing and B) someone is able to get your last location (which may be miles from where you are) from AT&T, Verizon or whoever.

    I turn mine off in the air. Otherwise the battery won’t have much of a charge after landing. Besides, most of the flight, it has no connection.

    So rely on your cellphone as a substitute for a proper ELT. I’ll stick with my 406MHz ELT with GPS position data from my WAAS GPS.
     
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  33. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

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    For guys stuck in the old rhetoric about how G switches never worked well in 121.5s, you need to read how we test 406 accelerometer switches. Pretty simple.
     
  34. donjohnston

    donjohnston Line Up and Wait

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    Considering that unless I'm near a populated area at 5,000', a lot of times my phone can't get a signal. And if you are able to get through to 911, I can't help but wonder how the 911 operator is going to respond when you tell them you're in an airplane and getting ready to make a forced landing.

    So I guess I'm just a dinosaur. If I was at 5,000' and the engine stopped, I would just let ATC know (or broadcast it on guard if I was VFR) with that antiquated box called a radio. :rolleyes: