June 2010 Issue

Which ELT Is Best For You?

Is it time to upgrade your ELT to the new 406 MHz standard? A risk-cost-benefit analysis of the options.

New motorcyclists often ask how much they should spend for a helmet. The flippant answer is, "How much is your head worth?" While not very satisfying, its true to a great extent: The helmets offering the best protection and comfort are typically the most expensive. This is largely true for ELTs; the solution most likely to enable a timely rescue under adverse conditions is probably going to cost a lot. As pilots, we constantly balance cost, risk, safety, practicality and utility. There are always trade-offs to weigh in making just about any decision. Now, we can add ELTs to the list of items whose cost we must balance against the risks well encounter and the degree of safety we want to achieve.

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