December 2018 Issue

Who You Gonna Call?

When “something” happens and your ELT is triggered, there’s a wide array of assets that will deploy to find you. Here’s how to make their job easier.

Last summer, while flying over the largest wilderness in the lower 48 states, I heard a radio call: “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday. White Cessna... [broken and inaudible transmission].” I heard just enough to understand something bad was happening, but not where. I repeatedly tried to hail the aircraft to get them to repeat their location, to no avail. My attempts, however, did pique the curiosity of other aircraft on the backcountry frequency, all of which were south of my position. None of them had heard the call. I deduced the distressed aircraft must have come from somewhere north of my position, so I turned to head upriver where the most likely airstrips were and tuned to 121.5 MHz to listen for an ELT.

To continue reading this entire article you must be a paid subscriber.

Subscribe to Aviation Safety

The monthly journal of risk management and accident prevention, is packed with useful, timely information on basic and advanced technique, accident analysis and, most important, practical articles on how you can develop the judgment that will keep you in the air and out of the NTSB's files.

Already subscribe but haven't registered for all the benefits of the website? Click here.

Subscriber Log In

Forgot your password? Click Here.