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Technology emerging in pilot search and rescue

July 19, 2012, 01:56 pm

According to Melissa Rudinger, vice president of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, new technologies in the aviation industry are making search and rescue operations away from airports faster and more efficient.

At the National Transportation Safety Board's General Aviation Search and Rescue Forum, panelists came together to share information about the latest technologies and how they can help improve search and rescue missions in the general aviation community.

An NTSB survey showed that most pilots knew 121.5 MHz emergency locator transmitters no longer ran by satellite. More technologies are being developed for the safety of the general aviation community, enhancing distress signaling capabilities. Therefore, nearly 75 percent of survey participants said they planned to carry other devices or location applications while in the air.

"The survey showed that 96 percent of members knew that ELTs transmitting on 121.5 MHz were no longer monitored by satellite," said Rudinger. "With 13 percent of respondents reporting using newer ELTs transmitting on 406 MHz, the survey indicated that general aviation pilots were well-informed on the issue and making a variety of other choices for their safety."

Although emerging systems are sure to improve search and rescue, it is important for pilots in the general aviation community to obtain pilot life insurance as a safety net.

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