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.
A new FAA policy on obstructive sleep apnea that addresses many of the concerns raised by AOPA is scheduled to take effect March 2.
AOPA and the National Business Aviation Association have jointly filed an amicus, or friend of the court, brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as part of the ongoing legal battle over the future of Santa Monica Municipal Airport.
Fourteen aviation organizations have banded together to urge the FAA to take immediate steps to lower barriers to ADS-B equipage.
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