Watch How You Dispose of Your Old ELT

I remember a story from years ago about a group of local kids near an airport who broke into several airplanes and stole avionics. They were found out when someone heard an ELT whoop-whooping on 121.5 and they tracked it to the trunk of a junk car where the kids had stashed the loot-after unwittingly tripping an ELT among the booty. The Civil Air Patrol and AOPA are concerned that aircraft operators installing new 406 MHz ELTs will carelessly dispose of their old units, causing CAP cadets to be committed to dumpster diving as they track spurious signals. Though satellites may no longer monitor 121.5, other pilots and the CAP will. So do the CAP a favor and be sure to disconnect the batteries from that old ELT, or otherwise disable it, before you ditch it.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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