ELT question

captainphil

Well-Known Member
I know I should really know this, I have a good understanding of it but I just want to be sure, is it a good idea to get into the habit of checking your ELT after every landing? But I studied in the oral that you can only check it 5 minutes after the hour , what if I landed at a time of 1:30 as opposed to 1:05 how can I check that I didn't set off the ELT if it falls after the 5 min after the hour time frame? and if I wanted to check it I would just put in 121.5 and than once it's on the frequency how do I determine if my elt was activated?
 

BobDDuck

Island Bus Driver
If you tune in 121.5 and there is an ELT going off, you'll sure as heck know. Now, how to know if it's yours or not? No way really, unless you have one of the new ELTs that states the N number every 2 minutes.
 

HeyEng

NAHB Doesn't Give a Crap
You are supposed to check it at :05 after and we are required to check it on the C-5 as part of our preflight and I can tell you I do it whatever the time is. If I waited until :05 after the hour, it would mess up my SOE and create a headache. In the 10+ years of flying, it has never been an issue (except for a short time when our controllers were getting bent out of shape about it.) Would I check it after EVERY flight? Not me...it's kinda what you want to do or what your school/FBO policy is. In GA flying, I will check it PRIOR to flight if I am flying over a remote area.

Yes, dial in 121.5 and you will hear the sweeps...make it SHORT and sweet.
 

captainphil

Well-Known Member
so if I tune in 121.5 , all I have to do is listen? And this can be done legally at anytime? If that's the case why do they state check 5 minutes after the hour? I'm scaring myself, I know I should know this entirely but I guess t hat's what JC's good for.It can't be mine if it's in the armed postion right?
 

pwttogfk

Well-Known Member
Okay, I'll try to clear this up: the FARs describe TESTING the ELT; postlanding you MONITER the ELT. On :05 past the hour, you can turn on the ELT briefly to confirm that it transmits on 121.5. You can tune in 121.5 anytime to listen for ELT activation. In fact, if you have an available comm, it's good practice to be monitering 121.5 all the time--you might be able to assist in an emergency situation.
 

mooneyguy

been around forever
As the above post references, after Feb 1 2009 the Current 121.5 satellite system will no longer work, meaning the satellites will no longer be “listening” for the 121.5 elt beacon. The elt will still work, and someone might be listening, but it will not be the satellites after this date, 121.5/243-MHz distress signals transmitted from ELTs operating on the lower frequency will only be detected by ground-based receivers such as local airport facilities and air traffic control facilities or by overflying aircraft. If you are a renter, after that date you might want to ask if they have upgraded to the new elt, if you care!
I know a lot of people who will NOT ugrade, the cost is about $1000 not including install.

Has your CFI ever instructed you to periodically switch to 121.5 to see if there is a distress signal nearby?
 

sdfcvoh

This is my Custom Title
Okay - to go further - how do we know how much time is on the clock for our ELT to determine if (on the same battery) it has been used for an accumulated time of 1hour? Anyone?
 

AMH

Well-Known Member
I know I should really know this, I have a good understanding of it but I just want to be sure, is it a good idea to get into the habit of checking your ELT after every landing? But I studied in the oral that you can only check it 5 minutes after the hour , what if I landed at a time of 1:30 as opposed to 1:05 how can I check that I didn't set off the ELT if it falls after the 5 min after the hour time frame? and if I wanted to check it I would just put in 121.5 and than once it's on the frequency how do I determine if my elt was activated?

It's good practice to monitor 121.5 before you shut down to make sure your ELT wasn't falsely activated. The ELT is set off when a G force sensor registers a large G loading (I'm not sure how many). This can happen after a very bad landing. If you greased it in or not so much, I wouldn't worry about doing the check.

The 5 minutes after the hour is a completely different test. This is done to ensure your ELT is in working order, and can be done by tuning in 121.5 and switching the ELT from armed to "on". You'll know if it's working properly (there's no mistaking the sound). This regulation prevents every knucklehead from testing their ELT willy-nilly so that in the event of an ELT going off out of this window, you know it's probably for real.

Hope this helps. Good luck

-A
 

captainphil

Well-Known Member
As the above post references, after Feb 1 2009 the Current 121.5 satellite system will no longer work, meaning the satellites will no longer be “listening” for the 121.5 elt beacon. The elt will still work, and someone might be listening, but it will not be the satellites after this date, 121.5/243-MHz distress signals transmitted from ELTs operating on the lower frequency will only be detected by ground-based receivers such as local airport facilities and air traffic control facilities or by overflying aircraft. If you are a renter, after that date you might want to ask if they have upgraded to the new elt, if you care!
I know a lot of people who will NOT ugrade, the cost is about $1000 not including install.

Has your CFI ever instructed you to periodically switch to 121.5 to see if there is a distress signal nearby?
No, but now I know what to do ,thanks everyone for clearing that up.As long as it is in the armed postion it can't be activated right?
 
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