February 2013

Experimenter is a magazine created by EAA for people who build airplanes. We will report on amateur-built aircraft as well as ultralights and other light aircraft.

Issue link: https://experimenter.epubxp.com/i/108002

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Page 6 of 44

FCC Seeks More Comments on 121.5 MHz ELTs The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is reopening a prior ruling on 121.5 megahertz (MHz) emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) to generate additional comments on their appropriate treatment under Part 87 of the FCC Regulations. In the Third Report and Order, which resulted from a January 10, 2011 proceeding, the FCC amended Section 87.195 of its rules to prohibit the certification, manufacture, importation, sale, or use of 121.5 MHz ELTs. It adopted this amendment because, among other reasons, the international CospasSarsat satellite system, which relays distress alerts to search and rescue authorities, stopped monitoring frequency 121.5 MHz on February 1, 2009. The FCC is seeking additional comments on the proper timing and implementation of a 121.5 MHz ELT phase-out and transition to 406 MHz ELTs. Specifically, the FCC is requesting comments regarding the following potential actions: • no FCC certifications on new models of 121.5 MHz ELTs in light of the superiority of 406 MHz ELTs • prohibiting further certification of 121.5 MHz ELTs immediately upon the effective date of any 121.5 MHz ELT rule amendments adopted as a consequence of this third FNPRM • prohibiting continued manufacture, importation, and sale of existing 121.5 MHz ELT models beginning one year after the effective date of any 121.5 • adopting a specific date to prohibit the continued use of 121.5 MHz ELTs in service • the costs associated with a mandatory transition to 406 MHz ELTs. Comments may be filed electronically by accessing the FCC's Electronic Comment Filing System at www.FCC.gov/cgb/ecfs or the Federal eRulemaking portal at www.Regulations.gov. Filers should follow the instructions provided on the website for submitting comments. EAA will be filing comments in support of the continued use of existing 121.5 MHz ELTs before the close of the comment period. EAA Works to Investigate Factors in Deadly Accidents In late January, EAA participated in the third meeting of the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee's Second Loss of Control (LOC) Working Group. The Working Group was created to investigate the factors involved in fatal GA accidents resulting from the pilot's loss of control of the aircraft during departure and en route phases of flight and to propose intervention strategies to reduce the accident rate. It is a collaboration of the FAA, NTSB, industry groups, type clubs, and academia. The first LOC Working Group similarly dealt with such accidents during approach and landing and finished its work in April 2012. This second iteration of the group began meeting this past September. "Loss of control is by far the most common factor in fatal accidents," said EAA Government Advocacy Specialist Tom Charpentier, who attended the January meeting. "We are confident that by the end of this process we will develop meaningful and diverse ways to help improve GA safety, from effective education on aeronautical decision making to affordable access to safety-enhancing technology. Investigating these accidents is a sobering task, but it is also rewarding to know that our efforts will hopefully save lives." EAA Experimenter 7

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