June 2008 Issue

Rescue Me: Accusat is Our Top PLB

Itís small, light, strobe equipped and the price is right. With 121.5 Mhz ELTs on the way out, any one of these gadgets can substitute for a 406 ELTóto a degree.

Emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) are one piece of equipment airplane owners love to hate. They donít work very well and they always seem to need replacement batteries. Beginning next year, the government will cease satellite monitoring of 121.5 MHz ELTs, making what didnít work that well to begin with instantly all but useless. Rather than invest as much as $4000 in a new 406 MHz ELT, one option owners have asked us about is carrying one of the new 406 MHz, GPS-enhanced portable locator beacons or PLBs. Theyíre relatively inexpensive, have a good record thus far and can do double duty as an ELT and a rescue-me beacon for the car, the boat or outdoor activities of all kinds. While this makes sense, there are some limitations. Read on.

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