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NTSB wants pilots to get new ELTs

The NTSB last week recommended that pilots be required to equip their aircraft with a 406-MHz emergency locator transmitter (ELT). This recommendation comes because satellites will not longer monitor 121.5-MHz ELT signals after February 1, 2009.

"Pilots should be able to decide which ELT they want in their aircraft based upon their type of flying," said Melissa Rudinger, AOPA vice president of regulatory affairs. "We've alerted the FAA and the NTSB that we will oppose any attempt to require all pilots to equip with 406-MHz ELTs."

Aircraft, ground stations, and air traffic control will continue to monitor 121.5 MHz after February 2009.

AOPA also is concerned about a mandate to equip with a 406-MHz ELT because it costs between $1,000 and $1,800, whereas the 121.5-MHz ELT costs $200.

The association has been working to educate pilots about the two ELTs, personal locator beacons, and cell phones with GPS receivers that can be used in case of an emergency. For more information, read " Getting a better signal" in the January 2005 AOPA Pilot.

September 13, 2007

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