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Few quick questions on Emergency mission
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Author:  paddymac [ Mon Nov 19, 2007 9:24 am ]
Post subject:  Few quick questions on Emergency mission

I'm sorry if this has already been asked but was just wondering about the emergency watch to do with the antenna.
I've done my research but would like something clarified.....

When the cap is unscrewed does the emergency signal automatically start or is it when the antenna is pulled out?


Author:  Roffensian [ Mon Nov 19, 2007 10:07 am ]
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You have to pull the antenna all the way out before the signal is triggered - then just wait a few hours for the helicopters to arrive :lol:

Author:  aleister [ Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:40 pm ]
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And DON'T try it just for fun unless you have a loaded bank account. The helicopters WILL come (seen it myself, a very expensive and stupid trick performed by a stupid relative - but since I don't like the guy, it was quite fun...).

Author:  bnewbie [ Mon Nov 19, 2007 2:00 pm ]
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Author:  chance97 [ Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:09 pm ]
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So I know you get stuck with the bill for fraudulently pulling the antenna, but what if its a real emergency? Do you still pay for it plus your own personal crisis?

Author:  Roffensian [ Mon Nov 19, 2007 4:35 pm ]
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The 'bill' is really a fine - $60,000 in the US if I remember correctly, for misuse. Different rescue organisations and government agencies have different rules over whether they charge individuals for the cost of rescue operations. Usually it comes down to whether the incident is 'act of god' or human stupidity, although the cynic in me will say that the existence of a good insurance policy may have a lot to do with it.

It's worth noting that technically the Emergency / Emergency Mission are exclusively for use in 'aviation related emergencies', and this has been the topic of voluminous and often passionate debate on some forums. In my opinion if you are in an emergency situation where life is at risk I'd be pulling that antenna and worrying about the details later, and to my mind anything that helps the emergency services locate you is a good thing both from a well being standpoint and from a cost of rescue operations standpoint.

Finally, if you deploy the antenna in a genuine emergency situation you send the watch back to Breitling and they will send you a replacement watch. You can probably also expect a request to appear in future advertising!

Author:  phil [ Tue Nov 20, 2007 3:29 am ]
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As for use in aviation emergencies only, then surely the Breitling module is just a standard EPIRB system on the 121.5MHz frequency?

The exact same system is used for land and sea based emergencies, so why aviation use only? Seems strange to me.

[EDIT] This makes interesting reading. Apparently this frequency won't be monitored by satellites after 2009. I was going to bid on one too. Bah :(

Author:  Roffensian [ Tue Nov 20, 2007 5:48 am ]
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phil wrote:
As for use in aviation emergencies only, then surely the Breitling module is just a standard EPIRB system on the 121.5MHz frequency?

The exact same system is used for land and sea based emergencies, so why aviation use only? Seems strange to me.

And hence why there is always so much debate.....

I guess it's because it is sold as an aviation watch, but really - who is going to issue a fine for misuse because you triggered it when your luxury yacht sank rather than when your Gulfstream IV plunged into the ocean :?:

Author:  phil [ Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:19 am ]
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I'm drowning, but I won't activate it in case I get a fine. Hmmmm :D

Sign here sir, before we winch you up. :lol:

The transmitter is water resistant to 30m is it not? Bit of a giveaway there. Unless of course it is accidentally triggered in the handbasin of the Gulfstream :shock: :D

Author:  Roffensian [ Tue Nov 20, 2007 8:00 am ]
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Ok, so the switch from 121.5 (and 243) to 406 is a little bit of a red herring.

Effective in 2009 satellite monitoring of the older 121.5 and 243 MHz frequencies is going to cease and only 406 MHz will be monitored - but only by satellites.

121.5 will continue to be monitored by rescue organisations as part of he search process, as well as by planes monitoring the frequency. The implications are that in theory it will take longer to locate a triggered emergency because there won't be constant coverage by satellite monitoring. However, in reality I suspect that the transmitter on an Emergency isn't strong enough to be picked up by satellite anyway. I don't know that for sure, but I suspect the range is insufficient.

To the best of my knowledge the few instances where an Emergency has been used in a rescue situation were all plane based locations, not satellite.

Hope that clarifies :?

Author:  aleister [ Tue Nov 20, 2007 2:07 pm ]
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Just as a comparison - my stupid relative, who just HAD to test the emergeny signal, had a fine of approximately $16.000. I guess the size of the fine depends a bit on the country and on your location - it's easier (read less expensive) to have an emergency call in a city than up in the mountains...

Author:  Alien [ Mon Nov 26, 2007 8:40 am ]
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There are differences: Breitling charges nothing for the restauration of a regularly used emergecy transmitter (You cannot rewind the antenna and put it back in by Yourself). If it was misused, Breitling charges half the price of a new watch (not sure, what they will do with a gold watch...).

Aditionally to that cost, You might have to cover the SAR mission cost. That can be quite expensive. Also, You can have a legal process, that can add some extra cost. But these things will depend, on where the signal was triggered. If SAR receives a signal from central Chicago and no airplane in the area is missing, everyone will just sit down and relax after the first adrenalin rush and nothing at all will happen. If the signal comes from somewhere out in the canadian rockies, the situation can become very expensive....

A funny story:
About 15 years ago SAR at Vienna airport started to receive an ELT signal for different intervals. They could never really locate the source, as every time, they had the searchplane out of the hangar, the transmission stopped. After about a month, they received a call from moscow, that they should turn off the ELT in Hangar 2. Every time, the hangardoors where open, they could receive it, when the doors where closed, they could not.


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