January 28, 2010
By Ian J. Twombly
ACR Electronics put its foot into the subscription-based personal locator beacon market by acquiring SafeLife Systems, the manufacturer said recently.
By buying SafeLife, ACR is now able to offer beacon testing and non-critical text messaging and e-mail with its devices. ACR PLB owners can register and pay for the annual service online. Basic service that allows for beacon testing is $39.99, and premium service that will send “I’m OK” messages on demand to user-designated contacts is $59.99.
The move puts ACR in direct competition with Spot Satellite Messenger, which offers a device similar to ACR’s PLBs, but without the 406 MHz and 121.5 MHz tracking.
ACR also introduced a new PLB called the SARLink View. The SARLink View is a PLB with 406 MHz, 121.5 MHz, and GPS capability, but the added benefit of a digital readout. The display can tell a user if the GPS and beacon are working, the current GPS coordinates, and how much battery life is left.
The new ACR SARLink View retails for $649.
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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