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TOPIC: PLB - Are you using one?

PLB - Are you using one? 2 years 7 months ago #458

  • STEVE ELLS
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Hi Scott;
I am a wimp; I want someone to find me and rescue me as soon as possible. Therefore I bought a DeLorme InReach satellite messenger. It costs more than the Spot and does require a monthly subscription payment that varies with the amount of service desired. I'm keeping the 'maintenance" rate of $12 a month.
The DeLorme allows me to set up email address and to send and receive emails; and to set up and send pre-set messages to the people on my mailing list. It also has an emergency button to call for help when needed.
It's bigger than the spot but offsets that by providing a healthy battery life. I am a belt and suspenders guy and also have a 406 MHz ELT installed in my airplane.
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PLB - Are you using one? 2 years 8 months ago #442

  • Mark Brenberger
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Terrific topic, very thought provoking. We fly over the Appalachian mountains a few times a year had there are long stretches of green without any man-made structure. We really appreciate the discussion. A PLB will go on our equipment wish-list and we look forward to others' comments on the subject.
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PLB - Are you using one? 2 years 9 months ago #417

  • Scott Sherer
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Thanks so much for the detailed message about your Spot experiences. While I haven't been down in a field yet (and hopefully never) I have found myself thinking about predicaments like that in much the same way you have laid out. I have been fortunate to have a loaned ACR ResQLink+ sitting on my desk that just arrived. I'll open it tomorrow and start testing it immediately. I have a long flight next week that I want to take it on from here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to the Cessna plant in Wichita, Kansas. I have a feeling that I'll be buying one shortly and I'll never want to take it off. I'll let you know my experiences soon.

Best,
Scott Sherer
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PLB - Are you using one? 2 years 9 months ago #416

Scott,

Yes...I use a SPOT tracker.

I bought the first orange SPOT Gen 2, then upgraded the following year to a SPOT Gen 3.

The rebates offered by SPOT (and/or 3rd party vendors) basically pays for the hardware. Since I was going to get the subscription anyway, I decided to get a Gen 3 and sold my Gen 2 for $50 (after I had gotten it for free with the rebate).

I primarily got it when I started flying/instructing in gliders. After "landing out" one day, i realized how I would have been more stranded in that harvested soybean field, had it not been for a few other glider pilots monitoring the same frequency. In that field, my cell phone was without signal. I was not a far walk to a local 2-lane highway, but...still.

Once I got my own plane, I was convinced how an emergency (engine failure, etc), could end up with me being incapacitated. As it is, the SPOT allows a single deliberate button-push to ensure help is on the way. I plan on pushing that button BEFORE I touch down. Also, it is very easy to explain to my passengers how to use it, if we need it.

The other three buttons are programmable as to the message sent and the receivers of the message (via text/email/both). I use one button as an annunciator to my emergency contacts that the trip is going well. If nothing else, my mom likes being able to track me on cross-country's!

I use a button to signal:
1. "Trip going as planned"
Meaning: "all is well" and you can keep tracking me if you want.
2. "Diverted but don't need help...will contact you in an hour"
This is in case I plan on landing somewhere with fuel and a phone, but then if no phone is there and/or I have a more serious problem then I thought, someone will get curious in an hour.
3. "Need help, no emergency"
This is if I divert and I know I need a ride, or if the plane had a malfunction and I need to make sure people come looking for me, but I'm not hurt or anything.

The SOS is tied to a center that will notify local officials of my EXACT lat/long. I expect the local sheriff to drive up to the plane in a cornfield or on dirt road, long before CAP launches a 182 to get somewhere within 5 miles of my 406 ELT.

The battery life is great, using high-end rechargeable AA's.

Getting the LM website to understand my trying to register the SPOT on my profile was a bit difficult, but it was finally resolved.
Last Edit: 2 years 9 months ago by John "Omar" Bradley.
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PLB - Are you using one? 2 years 9 months ago #415

  • Scott Sherer
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Are you using a personal locator beacon? I'm do a bit of research to see if I should get one. If you have one, can you please let me know what you're using, whether you're happy with your purchase, and whether you'd recommend one?

Thanks so much,

Scott Sherer
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