Editor's Log

March 2013 Issue

121.5

As you should know, the international consortium concerned with relaying electronic distress signals stopped monitoring the 121.5 MHz frequency on February 1, 2009, in favor of emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) and other devices transmitting on 406 MHz. Since the FAA does not require operators to upgrade to the new standard, the practical impact of this action was to obsolete older ELTs and make it more difficult to find a downed aircraft lacking the 406 MHz technology. In 2011, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed prohibiting use of an ELT capable of transmitting only on 121.5 MHz (the 406 MHz ELT standard includes 121.5 MHz signals). Mayhem ensued, and the FCC eventually backed down, in part thanks to FAA and AOPA input.

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