SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

ELT Signal Originated at Landfill


August 31, 2017
Thursday PM

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska - Wednesday morning the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad's duty officer received a call from the Federal Aviation Administration's Flight Service Station in Ketchikan reporting an Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) signal. Flight Service advised the rescue squad that pilots were reporting the signal stronger at the airport and weaker the farther west they flew.

At 9:45 AM, the Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue team began to track the signal, setting up direction finding (DF) locations at Bar Harbor and Ketchikan High School. At 10:25 AM the source of the signal was located at the Ketchikan Landfill, the signal was tracked on foot to a 10 foot radius in the active debris pile. The team was unable to located the buried unit in the debris pile. However, the team did locate two empty survival suit bags at the site.

Fight service was notified at 10;45 AM of the unit's location and advised the batteries may take a couple of days to run down before the signal stops.

ELTs are emergency transmitters that are carried aboard most general aviation aircraft in the U.S. In the event of an aircraft accident, these devices are designed to transmit a distress signal.

Currently, ELTs are required to be installed in almost all U.S.-registered civil aircraft, including general aviation aircraft, as a result of a 1973 congressional mandate. The mandate resulted from the 1972 loss of U.S. Representative Hale Boggs and Nick Begich in Alaska after their aircraft crashed and was never found.

If you are discarding one of these devices, please remove or disconnect batteries so the device cannot be accidentally activated. Then, contact an electronics waste facility in your area for proper disposal.


Editing by Mary Kauffman, SitNews



Source of News:

Ketchikan Volunteer Rescue Squad



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