Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 28

Thread: What the 406-ELT will get ya!

  1. #1
    Member RocketRick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    ANC
    Posts
    410

    Default What the 406-ELT will get ya!

    I talked to an installer last week because I wanted the GPS hook up installed. He said just using the 406-ELT, w/o the GPS function, will get ya located to within an area about as large as the Mulcahy Stadium. If you do have the GPS function active, you can be located to within an area about the size of a parking space at Mulcahy Stadium.

    I sure thght the difference was much greater. So...for me it looks like the 406-ELT w/o the GPS function is good enough.

    I have the ELT just gotta install it.

    Maybe some of you CAP folk can comment on this.

    Rick

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    3,246

    Default

    My 406 has two frequencies the 406 mhz to send a signal to the satellite and a 121.5 mhz to home in on. Not knowing what 406 you have I do believe you also transmit at 121.5 mhz.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    520

    Default

    I'd say either one beats the 121.5 ELT's all to heck, especially now. I'm planning to install the 406 when I get the Aeronca Sedan flying again. Care to share how much a 406, installed, costs?....Louis
    Louis Knapp

  4. #4
    Member RocketRick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    ANC
    Posts
    410

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Louis View Post
    I'd say either one beats the 121.5 ELT's all to heck, especially now. I'm planning to install the 406 when I get the Aeronca Sedan flying again. Care to share how much a 406, installed, costs?....Louis
    The time is hourly as you know. Some APs charge $60/hr some charge $95/hr.

    You haveta install the wires under the floor and install the ELT in an approved bracket/enclosure.

    Time consuming. I installed the wires during the annual. The AP has to hook them up and install a switch on the panel.

    the folk that installs them, Northern Lights Avionics, said appro0x $500 if the cirrent ELT bracket works. OW,...more expemsove.

    RR

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    96

    Default

    Something to keep in mind is that if you flip your plane over the 406 signal will not hit a satellite so it will not work (antenna mounted on the top of the fuselage). The 121.5 signal will still transmit but at a reduced range. A couple of weeks ago the CAP found a Cub that had flipped over on landing. They just happened to fly over the flipped plane while en route to Bethel and the crew was monitoring 121.5. They picked up the signal when they were within about 1/2 mile of the flipped plane. The plane had flipped over about 30 minutes earlier, no one hurt. It's a good idea to carry an personal locator or a SPOT on you as well as having the ELT in the plane. When you get your ELT check into getting a spare antenna so you can take the ELT out of the plane and set it up if you flip over and the antenna is in the dirt.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    3,293

    Default

    406 location with a standard beacon is a function of time. A good fix is reported to take 8 or 10 minutes in most cases. Mobilizing a response takes a minimum of 30 minutes and more likely around 60 minutes. If the beacon remains active for several minutes the rescuers will have a pretty good idea of where you are before they launch to get you. Where GPS enabling would be beneficial is when the beacon won't survive for more than a minute or so. If the plane sinks, burns, or simply breaks off the antenna after the initial signal burst goes out the rescue agency will know where that initial burst originated. Since every 406 ELT is required to have a panel mounted activation switch you may choose to trigger your ELT when you recognize an accident is imminent.

  7. #7
    Member AK-HUNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Valley
    Posts
    1,029

    Default

    1. Nobody is homing in on a 121.5 signal when the 406 spit out coordinates that are within 10 meters. (or 100 meters) That's fiction.

    2. If u can gps couple it, why not. Maybe not needed, but it's better. When u r standing besides your burning wreckage it'll probably seem worth it.

    3. Don't get your 406elt information from this website or any other sewing circle online. WAY More fiction than fact.

    4. The analogy they used at the avionics store is fairly accurate.
    Good luck

    BTW
    Mr Pid is about a educated on the subject as anyone I know outside the SAR career fields. Has spent time with pros researching. Good reference.

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    3,293

    Default

    I saw a great demo of the ineffectiveness of 121.5 today at Lake Hood. Somebody's ELT was going off. An airport police officer was driving around with a homing antenna and couldn't locate the plane in question. They could hear it but couldn't locate it. Had it been a 406 the owner would have received a phone call to ask what the nature of the problem was and he would have turned it off. If the owner couldn't be reached the RCC would have known the N number. If that wasn't enough the RCC could have told the officer within a few feet where the signal originated. If it was GPS enabled they'd have been able to zero in on the location instantly and viewed it on Google Earth. How cool is that? Really cool if you're hurt and bleeding somewhere in a bent up plane.

    Get a 406!

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    3,293

    Default

    And another thing. The guy whose ELT was going off will probably not be located and his ELT battery will die. Until his next annual he'll likely have NO operational beacon in his plane. I hope he doesn't need one. Not like anyone would know whether that 121.5 ever went off or not, since nobody will be listening for it.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,461

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    I saw a great demo of the ineffectiveness of 121.5 today at Lake Hood. Somebody's ELT was going off. An airport police officer was driving around with a homing antenna and couldn't locate the plane in question. They could hear it but couldn't locate it. Had it been a 406 the owner would have received a phone call to ask what the nature of the problem was and he would have turned it off. If the owner couldn't be reached the RCC would have known the N number. If that wasn't enough the RCC could have told the officer within a few feet where the signal originated. If it was GPS enabled they'd have been able to zero in on the location instantly and viewed it on Google Earth. How cool is that? Really cool if you're hurt and bleeding somewhere in a bent up plane.

    Get a 406!
    I had a DF-88 Direction Finder in my 206s and Cubs. Lake Hood tower several times asked me to find a squaking ELT on the lake. I just taxied around untiil the needle pointed put under the right wing and there it was! The DF-88 also saved HOURS when looking for an ELT signal in the bush. It could pinpoint any VHF signal for more than 100-miles, given a reasonable altitude from which to search.

  11. #11
    Member ocnfish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    542

    Default

    Trilika

    'Something to keep in mind is that if you flip your plane over the 406 signal will not hit a satellite so it will not work (antenna mounted on the top of the fuselage). '

    I think this is what happened in the GCI / Senator Stevens crash, in that situation a local pilot, knowing there was a problem found the crash site.

    I was one of the earily adopters, have had it for two years now. We did not wire it quite right when we installed it and it went off and RCC gave me a call. My mechanic and I went back and got it right, something about power needing to be a direct connect to the battery, not after the master switch.

    You register all your personal information and that elt number in a national database, if the ELT goes off the first thing that happens is they talk to you. Haven't crashed lately so I cannot tell you how well it works.

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    3,293

    Default

    The Otter involved in the Stevens crash had the ELT break loose from the tray and sever the antenna cable. An ELT is only as good as the installation. The TSO requires a max of 1/10th of an inch deflection in the most flexible direction under 100# of pull. That's a serious specification. Clearly the Otter didn't meet it. Mechanics are taking the installs much more seriously now and expect the FAA to do the same. My Cessna wouldn't have complied using the factory ELT location. My mechanic changed it to mount to structure rather than skin. That's a big deal if you want your ELT to work correctly.

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    3,293

    Default

    Pardon me. I said the Otter had the ELT break loose from the tray. That may not be accurate. The ELT broke loose. It was not reported whether it broke loose fro the tray or that the tray broke loose from the airframe. It was reported that it broke loose and severed the antenna cable. Just trying to keep it real.

  14. #14
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    520

    Default

    A good suppliment to an ELT is Spidertracks: http://www.spidertracks.com/ Many operators are outfitting their planes with them. With Spidertracks, there's still going to be a fix near your position, even if the unit is destroyed.
    Louis Knapp

  15. #15
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Kachemak Bay Alaska
    Posts
    4,216

    Default

    The old straight 121.5 ELTS also had the bad habit of reflecting their signals to oddball locations. The old SAR-SAT gear on the satellites would make a few sweeps and give us a basic idea of where the ELT was transmitting. But we often spent hours burning up fuel in the wrong place.

    One incident comes to mind from the year they stopped having the satelites listen for 121.5. RCC called us and said they had a strong signal from the Grewinck Glacier area. So off we went.. And by golly we had a strong signal over the glacier. But when using the off-freq and wing shielding method we could never get a good idea of the direction.
    So after a grid search for a couple hours we headed back to Homer and also had a strong signal over the bluff-ridgeline to the north of Homer. So we grid searched again.
    The weird thing was that somethings the signal would be super strong and then drop out to almost nothing...
    Eventually we ran the C-182 low of fuel and landed back at Homer.

    While taxiing over to Smokey Bay Air for gas, we had the ELT siren sound bleed over onto the local 123.60 channel.

    So I jumped out with my hand-held radio and by using my body as a shield, (plus off-freq bleed and removing the antenna) eventually discovered that the ELT was inside a hangar, in a box full of parts....

    Every time they would open the hangar door, the signal was being channeled out the door, until it hit the ridge to the north of the airport. then it bounced over to the Glacier across the bay and that glacier was the perfect angle to reflect it straight up to the SAR-SAT gear orbiting in space.

    Had it been a 406 we would have at least known who to call first.

    It is amazing how many go off in hangars or in the case of the local commercial fishing boat EPIRBS, go off in the back of their pick-up trucks as they drive all over town.

    Then you look at planes that are wrecked and some of them never go off. Like the CAP Beaver that was wrecked on skis a couple years ago. It had a nice new 406 and while it was undamaged it also never went off. You would think tat a wreck bad enough to rip off the wings would set off the impact switch.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

  16. #16

    Default

    If they want everyone to have one of these why do they make them cost prohibitive.

  17. #17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rppearso View Post
    If they want everyone to have one of these why do they make them cost prohibitive.
    I've enjoyed your entertaining posts thus far. And it seems they are never ending. But.....

    If you consider $600 to be cost prohibitive, then you have no business owning a plane at this time. It costs more than that to buy 8 Iridium Spark plugs! Good luck on your quest. http://www.ackavionics.com/

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    3,293

    Default

    That's a funny comment. I said the same thing to all the guys who waited and used their crap 121.5 boxes until ACK finally got their $600 unit approved. Lots of us had spent $1000 and used Artex 406 units for several years before that (my mechanic has stacks of empty Artex boxes from 406 ELTs he's installed). The common reply from the guys waiting was that $1000 was too expensive. :-)

    Talk about expenses. If 31" Bushwheels weren't expensive enough at $3500 now guys are spending $5500 on 35s. My new muffler was $1100. If you haven't built a new panel lately you can't believe how radios and instruments have gone up. But the bottom line is that we have more choices for better equipment now than ever before in history. Aviation is alive and well. Thank goodness.

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    East Haddam , Connecticut
    Posts
    111

    Default

    Well that internet tracking system, looks interesting to say the least. As for the cost, well the prices are not to bad. You have to have a bit of money to own and fly an airplane even more if its a helicopter. Plus the Up keep hanger or tie down, Insurance, fuel, and recurrent training. The new ELT's are so much better than the old ones, to many false alarms. Well then there is the other thing file a flight plan and update with FSS of any route deviations or ETA changes. Its one of the things that cost nothing to do and it could be a hugh help. I know far to many pilots that don't bother, its foolish not to file, in the lower 48 you can get away with it in most places, just more people roads and towns around, Alaska is way different. I tell my students that you should always file, if you are leaving your local area. In Alaska a 10 min flight and you are on your own. Flying just requires a bit more planning and attention to detail than say driving a car or truck from point a to point b.

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    That's a funny comment. I said the same thing to all the guys who waited and used their crap 121.5 boxes until ACK finally got their $600 unit approved. Lots of us had spent $1000 and used Artex 406 units for several years before that (my mechanic has stacks of empty Artex boxes from 406 ELTs he's installed). The common reply from the guys waiting was that $1000 was too expensive. :-)

    Talk about expenses. If 31" Bushwheels weren't expensive enough at $3500 now guys are spending $5500 on 35s. My new muffler was $1100. If you haven't built a new panel lately you can't believe how radios and instruments have gone up. But the bottom line is that we have more choices for better equipment now than ever before in history. Aviation is alive and well. Thank goodness.
    Sorry I did not realize they were only 600$ total installed cost, even if they are 600$ just for the unit I could install it and get it annualed and be good to go. I was reading 1500-3000 earlier in the thread. I also agree thoes tires are WAY over priced. I think the ones on my dads cub are like 20" ish.

    The reason my posts are good is becasue im straight up, yea I can be wrong sometimes but never the less I dont beat around the bush, you dont get what you want in life if your always beating around the bush and YES it is possible to remain somewhat tactful and still be direct which other people still need to learn.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •