General aviation pilots can now fly safer and get help faster with their inReach satellite communicators linked to Lockheed Martin Flight Services.
DeLorme reported that its inReach satellite communicator is now a supported device for the Lockheed Martin Flight Services Adverse Condition Alerting Service (ACAS) and Surveillance-Enhanced Search and Rescue. Once an inReach device is enrolled in the free program, pilots filing flight plans with Lockheed Martin Flight Services can receive ACAS alerts of any new or modified adverse conditions, such as severe weather or airport closures, which may arise after the pilot has received an initial briefing and filed the flight plan.
In addition, the inReach automatically transmits its GPS coordinates at regular intervals to Lockheed Martin Flight Services during the flight. If the aircraft stops moving or reporting its position, an alarm is triggered immediately at Lockheed Martin Flight Services, rather than the traditional method of waiting until a plane is 30 minutes overdue. The aircraft’s most recent position coordinates are relayed to search-and-rescue (SAR) authorities, narrowing the search radius. Lockheed Martin Flight Services personnel and SAR responders can exchange text messages with the inReach to ascertain the nature of the emergency, ask clarifying questions and reassure the pilot that help is on the way.
The inReach also has a dedicated SOS button that, when pressed, immediately sends a distress message with GPS position to a SAR coordination center. If the pilot is unable to press the distress button, Lockheed Martin Flight Services will still automatically initiate a SAR response.
“We are pleased to offer pilots an additional benefit by integrating DeLorme’s inReach devices into our Adverse Condition Alerting and Surveillance-Enhanced Search-and-Rescue services,” said Jim Derr, director, Lockheed Martin Flight Services. “Inflight alerts for hazardous weather and TFRs, as well as the faster initiation of search-and-rescue procedures with a greatly reduced search area are big wins for pilots.”
With its built-in GPS, location-tracking, SOS and two-way messaging features, inReach enables pilots to communicate via satellite from the air with virtually anyone, anywhere in the world. When paired with a smartphone or tablet, pilots can view ACAS alerts and other messages and use DeLorme’s free Earthmate app for texting, as well as access to unlimited topographic maps and U.S. NOAA charts.
inReach communicates over the Iridium satellite network, providing global two-way satellite connections, high network reliability and low-latency data links (less than 60-second delivery of messages end-to-end) anywhere on Earth, with no gaps, fringe or weak signal areas.
Pilots can sign up to receive ACAS services from Lockheed Martin Flight Services by visiting www.1800wxbrief.com and clicking on the tab labeled “Alerts & Position Reporting Devices” to begin the enrollment process.
Suggested retail price for inReach SE is $299 and inReach Explorer is $379, with a choice of annual satellite subscriptions or no-contract Freedom Plans with a minimum 30-day commitment. Freedom Plans start at $14.95 per month for the safety service and go up to $99.95 per month for the highest service level. The company’s standard annual contract plans offer a monthly cost ranging from $11.95 to $79.95 per month.
inReach is designed and manufactured in the U.S. and is available at most aviation retail and online outlets. A list of retailers is available at www.inreachdelorme.com.