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Yes, an ELT is required in the US for a two seat EAB aircraft. The modern 406 MHz ELT's are far better for finding you in an emergency, but as far as I know it is still legal to install a 121.5 MHz ELT (Ebay +/- $100) - I installed an ACK E-01 several years ago - it was very cheap since the 406's were coming out and a big plus was that it legally used Duracell "D" batteries. I would only install a 121.5 now if I wanted the cheapest possible unit and just wanted to install it to make the plane legal and not really depending on it to help locate you in an accident! It might still be a rational decision if you already owned a personal locator beacon device. All the modern 406 ELT's use proprietary lithium battery packs which are expensive to replace. ACK has a 406 that will retro-fit into my E-01's cradle so I'll probably upgrade to it when time for a battery replacement.
I did the exact same thing John A. did, off Ebay for $80. With the D batteries it's nice because you can change batteries yourself and you can pop new ones in for $10 just before your initial inspection.
Am I correct in understanding that the 406 MHz elt's have to be inspected by a certified shop?
I don't think so, Tom. On an EAB, you can do the installation yourself. Most, if not all, of the modern 406's have a self-test function. According to the ACK E-04's manual, if you ever had to reprogram the unit, it would require a USB dongle to connect to a PC and mentions that some might choose to take it to an avionics specialist instead.
I have an older AK-450 in my 701. There was a proposed AD on that model last year; I think all it involved was testing on the little control box on the instrument panel but not sure about that. I don't know what the final ruling was. I don't care as like John mentioned, it's just there for legality. I have a PLB that I carry with me in the planes, motorbikes and sometimes the car.
I've got an AK-450 that was working when removed from a retired plane several years ago. It's been on the shelf here in the hangar ever since. If you're interested drop me a PM. New ones are listed on Wicks for $238. I'll take $110 shipped lower 48. If you're interested in more than legality you're gonna be out some bucks. As usual LOL
Does a PLB in the plane by itself satisfy the regulation ?
No. Search the web for FAR 91.207, it spells out the details. For a new installation, it must be an elt that complies with TSOc91a. Also note the SAR satellite system no longer monitors the 121.5 frequency used by older elts for sale on ebay and the new 406 mhz provides greater location capability and pilot identification data.
Thanks for all the valuable input. Based on what I can gather from all of you I am considering Artex ELT 345 w/ Whip Antenna from Amazon priced at $549. ELT 345 system includes: whip antenna, remote switch, battery, install hardware with buzzer, and connector.
I would appreciate any comments on this system, anyone might have, as to suitability, cost, or any experience you might want to share. Thanks
Forgot to include "...that complies with TSO C91a or subsequent." as I see manufacturers are now to comply with TSO C126 when building new ELTs. However, we may continue to purchase and install ELTs built to TSO C91a standard until someday when FAR 91.207 changes.