February 26, 2009
By Ian J. Twombly
The Civil Air Patrol and AOPA are teaming up to remind pilots to properly dispose of their old emergency locator transmitters (ELTs). Because many pilots are upgrading to newer, more capable 406 MHz ELTs—even though 121.5 MHz ELTs still meet the FAA’s regulatory requirement—the possibility exists that the old 121.5 MHz ELT will be set off and prompt a search if not discarded properly.
As part of the program, each CAP squadron is being given access to a poster that reminds pilots, mechanics, and FBOs to disconnect the ELT battery and send the ELT and battery to the local electronics waste facility.
Unfortunately, the campaign became necessary after CAP headquarters received multiple reports of its volunteers spending time and money searching for a beacon that turned out to be in the trash. In California, one squadron searched through trash for six hours at a local recycling facility to locate an ELT and disconnect its battery.
“Emergency beacons were not meant to be discarded like common trash,” the CAP said.
Rob Hackman, AOPA senior director of regulatory affairs, said that while pilots may not be discarding their old beacons personally, it’s a good idea to remind their mechanic to do so. “Pilots can help save vital search and rescue resources,“ he said. “Make sure to remind your mechanic to dispose of your ELT properly.”
Flight Training Editor Ian J. Twombly joined AOPA in 2003 and is an instrument flight instructor.
As the cold weather chills AOPA’s Headquarters in Frederick, many of us are inside generating new resources for flying clubs.
In my house, every Friday night is “Movie Night.” While the movies are rarely educational (I don’t think I learned anything from the Lego Movie), we look forward to the weekly opportunity to spend time together. Why not use the same concept for your Flying Club (with the addition of education, of course)?
AOPA Flying Club Manager Kelby Ferwerda posted the following on the AOPA Flying Club Facebook Page: “Recently I’ve talked with quite a few Flying Clubs about maintaining social activity through the cold winter months. Some clubs host Holliday Parties, others have Potluck Movie Nights. What does your club do to keep members involved during the chilly months?”
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