Distress Beacons

My beacon is registered, what now?

Safety, Distress Beacons

Tuesday 18 October, 2016

Now that your beacon is registered, it is important to keep it dry and store it appropriately. Refer to the manufacturer's user manual for specific instructions for your model.

Distress beacons are stowed depending on the type. Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) have mounting brackets, Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELTs) are installed permanently and Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) are carried in pockets or lifejackets.

It is important to keep distress beacons away from:

  • items that may accidentally knock the activation switch;
  • magnetic sources, such as microphones and radio speakers;
  • high pressure water sprays; and
  • children who may play with the beacon.

To prevent your beacon being stolen, keep it locked away or out of sight when not in use.

Do not store beacons in high temperatures.

In an aircraft, ELTs are usually hard-wired into the aircraft and mounted in a rack. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) regulations allow pilots flying General Aviation aircraft to carry a PLB or EPIRB as an alternative to an ELT. This can also be used as a secondary alerting device should the ELT be destroyed or does not activate. PLBs should be carried on the pilot so that it is within easy reach.