What is an ELT or PLB?
ELT stands for Emergency Locator Transmitter and is a radio transmission device in an aircraft intended for emergency call in the event of an accident, which indicates the location of the accident and triggers activities of the state’s search and rescue entities. Similarly, the PLB – which stands for Personal Locator Beacon – transmits the said signals; however, it is not aircraft mounted but carried by a person, its transmitting time is shorter due to the battery size and is activated manually.
Shall my aircraft be equipped with an ELT device?
Commission Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 laying down technical requirements and administrative procedures related to air operations defines technical requirements for the use of ELT in commercial operations. As of August 25, 2016, this is also applicable for non-commercial operations of aircraft registered in the Republic of Slovenia with EASA Certificate of Airworthiness. This is defined in the said regulation in Part-NCO (Non-commercial operations with non-complex motor powered aircraft); the said aircrafts shall be equipped with the ELT or PLB device. This is applicable for all flight regardless of the operation type.
Below is the summarized part of the regulation applicable for airplanes:
NCO.IDE.A.170 Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT)
(a) Airplanes shall be equipped with:
an ELT of any type, when first issued with an individual CofA on or before 1 July 2008;
an automatic ELT, when first issued with an individual CofA after 1 July 2008; or
a survival ELT (ELT(S)) or a personal locator beacon (PLB), carried by crew member or a passenger, when certified for a maximum passenger seating configuration of six or less.
(b) ELTs of any type and PLBs shall be capable of transmitting simultaneously on 121.5 MHz and 406 MHz.
And part of the regulation applicable for helicopters:
NCO.IDE.H.170 Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT)
(a) Helicopters certified for a maximum passenger seating configuration above six shall be equipped with:
an automatic ELT; and
one survival ELT (ELT(S)) in a life-raft or life-jacket when the helicopter is operated at a distance from land corresponding to more than 3 minutes flying time at normal cruising speed.
(b) Helicopters certified for a maximum passenger seating configuration of six or less shall be equipped with an ELT(S) or a personal locator beacon (PLB), carried by crew member or a passenger.
(c) ELTs of any type and PLBs shall be capable of transmitting simultaneously on 121.5 MHz and 406 MHz.
Why do I have to register my ELT/PLB?
Registration of the transmitter can literally make a difference between life and death. The registration of your transmitter will allow Search and Rescue teams to obtain key information about yourself and your aircraft and information from persons who can provide key information (your contacts in emergency situations). Further information on this topic is available on the following website: COSPAS-SARSAT.
ELT/PLB registration process
Find your Hex ID
Find the 15 space Hex ID identification mark on your transmitter (numbers from 0 to 9 and letters from A to F, for example: 123ABCD456FFBFF)
Register the transmitter on the following webpage:
(klick after having read all the steps for registration) https://www.406registration.com/
Decode your transmitter identification code (Hex ID)
When having accessed the webpage www.406registration.com, choose Login and indicate how many ELTs/PLBs you wish to register. Once the Beacon Hex ID window opens, enter the Hex ID and then klick Next. The webpage will decode the Hex ID and define the country code. For Slovenia this number equals 278.
What does 'country code' refer to?
Part of the Hex ID determines the state of origin which is programmed into the transmitter. Usually this code has already been installed by the seller and it corresponds to the state where the transmitter was bought. The country code determines where and under which conditions the transmitter could be registered. The Republic of Slovenia enables open access for users to register the transmitter.
Follow the 5 steps of registration on the webpage:
After the initial login to the system, follow the five steps of registering your transmitter. Enter all mandatory information and as many other useful information as possible which could be beneficial to search and rescue services.
Print the certificate
In the final step, print the certificate or save an electronic version which will be a required for issuing the EASA Certificate of Airworthiness. A copy of the certificate shall also be sent to the Civil Aviation Agency (by mail) or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the written note ELT/PLB Registration. Those EASA Airworthiness Certificates holders who have not yet done so are encouraged to do so as soon as possible. Registration of an emergency locator transmitter will be checked during airworthiness and ACAM oversight.
Additional information on the registration and information in relation to ELT/PLB is available on the following website: COSPAS-SARSAT.