May 7, 2009
AOPA ePublishing Staff
For the time being, pilots who fly to Canada don’t need to worry about being forced to upgrade to a 406-MHz emergency locator transmitter in order to continue flying in that country. Canadian Minister of Transport John Baird suspended the controversial rule which would have required all aircraft flying in Canada to be equipped with the 406-MHz ELT starting this year.
Canadian Owners and Pilots Association President Kevin Psutka has confirmed for AOPA that the minister refused to sign the rule because it did not include any viable alternatives to equipping with the 406-MHz ELTs. A new rule is to be drafted that includes alternatives and gives the acceptance of the new 406-MHz ELTs a shot.
Right now, the switch to the 406-MHz ELT is cost prohibitive for many pilots. Installation of the new equipment starts at $1,000 but can increase dramatically.
AOPA has been opposed to any proposal that would require the switch to a 406-MHz ELT, believing that such a decision should be left to the pilot’s discretion based on the type of flight operations and areas in which he or she frequently flies.
In October 2008, AOPA filed formal comments on the Canadian proposal, suggesting an alternative that would allow foreign-registered aircraft to carry a 406-MHz personal locator beacon in addition to the 121.5-MHz ELT already installed in most U.S. general aviation aircraft.
“We’re pleased that Canada’s Minister of Transport recognized the detrimental impact the mandate would have had on general aviation aircraft flying into the country,” said Rob Hackman, AOPA senior director of regulatory affairs. “The FAA does not require a 406-MHz ELT, so consistency in regulations between the United States and Canada make it easier for pilots to fly in both countries.”
The AOPA Medical Advisory Board is the latest group to urge quick action on the proposed FAA rule that would allow thousands more pilots to fly without the need for a third class medical certificate.
Mexico has lifted a requirement that pilots of arriving and departing private general aviation flights use a third party provider to file advance passenger information system (APIS) manifests.
The Perlan Project is less than a year away from the first flight of a glider being built to ride waves near the edge of space. While construction continues in Oregon, the team’s pilots are staying proficient in more ordinary aircraft.
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