AmeriKing ELTs

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Steve D
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:50 pm
Location: Grand Republic of Texas

AmeriKing ELTs

Post by Steve D » Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:52 pm

On my certified plane I have an Ameriking 450 ELT. It just had an AD put out on it taking it out of service at my next inspection. Since we are Experimental, could I use it in my Pietenpol?

alexb
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:48 pm
Location: MN

Re: AmeriKing ELTs

Post by alexb » Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:43 pm

"Part 39.3 “FAA’s airworthiness directives are legally enforceable rules that apply to the following products:
aircraft, aircraft engines, propellers, and appliances.”
Part 39.5 “FAA issues an airworthiness directive addressing a product when we find that:
(a) An unsafe condition exists in the product; and
(b) The condition is likely to exist or develop in other products of the same type design.”
Part 39.7 “Anyone who operates a product" - read a write up on this by an aviation insurance guy here http://www.sandersaeronautics.com/libra ... liance.pdf

Also,
14 CFR 91.207 more than likely requires an approved and operable ELT installed in the airplane as well. Looking at the AD, it seems to me that the FAA does not consider this ELT to be approved or possibly even operable - looking at the Ted Stevens crash, that airplane had one of these ELTs and it failed to activate.

The best answer might come from your neighborhood FSDO. They're actually good at answering questions (at least the Minneapolis FSDO) and have always seemed happy and eager to help when I've called, and they've been prompt in getting back to me if they can't answer it right off hand. I would think that maybe it would be a good idea to pay follow the AD even if not required on an experimental; an ELT is something that I like to be confident in in the off chance I need it - kind of like shoulder belts!

Alex

Steve D
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:50 pm
Location: Grand Republic of Texas

Re: AmeriKing ELTs

Post by Steve D » Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:25 am

Correction, I read the headlines and not the "story". The AD simply states how it must be inspected and if anything goes wrong, It must be replaced and cannot be repaired. Also that type of ELT can no longer be installed in certified aircraft. It is the AmeriKing 450 and 451.

My reading of it perhaps some cheap ones will come on the market for experimentals.

BTW IMHO I have pretty low confidence in ELTs by in large. There are very few instances of them working in such a way as to save a life. Actually I have found none where they saved a life. I think the PLB is a much better device and useable in different cases. But the FAA drives this bus.

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taildrags
Posts: 283
Joined: Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:39 pm

Re: AmeriKing ELTs

Post by taildrags » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:48 pm

My airplane, NX41CC, made an unplanned power-off landing into an unimproved south Texas brush country area where it struck encountered very rough terrain and a bad weld let go on one of the gear legs. Both gear legs failed, the nose dug in, and the airplane went over on its back. The airplane had a current annual and a current battery in the Narco ELT 10. Two days later when I made it to the airport where the damaged airplane was stored till I got there (I was not the pilot in the incident), the ELT battery was dead and no one had heard it or if they had, they did not respond to the 121.5 Mhz signal.

Battery corrosion killed that ELT but I obtained another ELT 10 on eBay, used but serviceable, and my airplane flies with that unit today. It tests fine at every annual and I keep the battery fresh per the expiration date on the battery. However, I consider that ELT to be in place on the airplane merely as a pacifier is to a small child... it keeps the FAA happy but doesn't do anything else very useful. And yes, I know that a 406 Mhz ELT would be much better.

Interesting statistic: there were no commercial passenger jet deaths in the United States in 2017. Another statistic: cockpit voice recorders and airline "black boxes" did not prevent a single aircraft incident, accident, death, or injury in 2017.

Steve D
Posts: 50
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:50 pm
Location: Grand Republic of Texas

Re: AmeriKing ELTs

Post by Steve D » Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:29 am

I am considering getting a PLB Personal Locator Beacon about the size of a cell phone. It is a GPS based system that "drops breadcrumbs" and sends a message to a GPs sattelite and that is relayed to the company. Then your location can be sent to any email or text system you want. It is trackable on Google earth. You can also send limited messages on them They run from $150 to about $300. I Think it is a leap ahead in technology and reliability.

One example. http://www.cabelas.com/product/SPOT-LLC ... lsrc=aw.ds

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Terry Hand
Posts: 57
Joined: Thu May 18, 2017 2:37 pm

Re: AmeriKing ELTs

Post by Terry Hand » Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:06 pm

Steve,

IMHO, the ELT requirement in an experimental airplane is a joke, but it is, technically, a requirement that we all have to live with. My intention is to meet the letter of the law by installing the cheapest 121.5 ELT I can find. Then do as you are doing and have a PLB attached to my person that I will use religiously. I guarantee you that when your bread crumbs stop moving, people will know where you are far better that an old 121.5 ELT will inform them. Yes, a 406 ELT gives a better, satellite received signal, but I think that the best bang for the buck is the PLB and a concerned friend or loved one keeping an eye on the signal.

My $0.02.
Semper Fi,

Terry Hand
Athens GA

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