Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Where are you? The ELT Police

I took the Cubs ELT out Sunday, checked that it was off and put it in a box on the floor. The battery expired in 1996 and I figured it wasn't good anymore.

About 12:40 am Monday morning there was a knock on our door. The local constabulary had sent one of their finest along with a Sky Nazi (CAP) Captain and his high school age underling. "Did I have an ELT or portable safety transmitter? Darn.

I went into the garage and pulled it out of the box. The switch was on. I turned it off, pulled it out of the mounting bracket and borrowing the officer's Swiss Army Knife, unscrewed the back and removed the battery. They couldn't find Steve Fossett in over a year, but they find me in 9 1/2 hours. He said they're not supposed to work when you flight into a mountain. I said, "then why even have them?"

I did find out some interesting data on them from him. 95% of all ELT transmissions are false/unintended, only 17% of crashed aircraft set off their own ELT's and best of all, this happened to a friend of mine 2 weeks ago.

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