Jim Parker at Caribbean Flying Adventures is alerting pilots that they will soon need a 406 ELT for flight to the Bahamas and Mexico.
Parker notes that he successfully collaborated with Civil Aviation authorities in the Dominican Republic and The Caymans Islands to obtain a waiver from the 406 ELT requirement. The Dominican Republic waiver is indefinite, he reports. The Cayman Islands waiver is valid through Dec. 1, 2013, but will almost certainly be extended, he said, adding his company “will work to insure that this happens.”
“Unfortunately, the waiver for an installed 406 ELT for the Bahamas will expire Feb. 1, 2013, and for Mexico June 1, 2013,” he said. “In order to be legal, pilots who want to fly to the Bahamas or Mexico will must install a 406 ELT.”
Parker noted his company researched this issue and found that the U.S. Coast Guard continues to utilize the 121.5 frequency in their search and rescue operations. Thus, mandating the installation of the 406 ELT makes little sense for island flying, he said. Additionally, ICAO experts have concluded than an installed ELT is useless once the aircraft sinks after the passengers have safely exited the aircraft. A hand held personal locator beacon then becomes the optimal search and rescue tool.
“The bottom line is that pilots do not need to spend thousands of dollars installing a 406 ELT in order to fly to the Dominican Republic, The Cayman Islands or Puerto Rico,” he said. “But begining Feb 1, 2013, they do need to spend the money in order to fly to the Bahamas.
For more information: CaribbeanFlyingAdventures.com