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How is your safety Equipment Mounted? Potential ELT / Antenna Problem

Last updated by XC Triker Comments (2)

Categories: Trike Talk, Equipment, Safety

I just got this FAA Safety notice by email.  Basically they wanted pilots/mechanics aware that some ELTs are breaking free of their antenna connection on impact--> useless for emergency notification.  Many of you don't use ELTs, but some trikers do.  But it got me thinking of other items we have in our trikes with us, and maybe we should give it a group think too.  For example, I used to leash my phone to my trike.  But now I leash it to my flight suit-- thus if I'm thrown from the trike or have to get out quick, etc, the phone is coming with me.

How are your safety devices carried in your trike-- what will happen to them on impact?

Likewise, another FAA directive yesterday noted that several agricultural pilots were killed by striking the dash-  too busy to put on their shoulder restraints properly, FAA felt helmet could help also, but they also noted that items mounted to the dash / yoke contributed to some deaths.

I mounted some vertical handles to my basetube  (HERE & HERE -- Ken got them made for us).  One of the first things I thought of was this thing impacting my neck/face or puncturing my chest.  So, I mounted them rather wide laterally on the base tube AND despite disagreeing with Ken, mounted them just slightly loose so that they would rotate forward if I impacted them-  turns out most of the forces in use are not forward back, but side-to-side so they are plenty tight for that.

What are your thoughts on surviving an impact?


FAA Safety Team | Safer Skies Through Education

Potential ELT Problems
Notice Number: NOTC4589


We are not sure how familiar you are with this issue, but there have been several accidents where the installed ELTs have separated from the mount and broken from the installed antenna, resulting in an ELT that does not transmit effectively. The FAA Aircraft Certification Branch has issued guidance in the form of a Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (available at the link below) aimed at eliminating the problems and we are trying to help them get the message out.

Here is an example:

On August 9, 2010, about 1442 Alaska daylight time, a single engine, turbine-powered, amphibious float-equipped de Havilland DHC-3T airplane, N455A, impacted mountainous tree-covered terrain about 10 miles northeast of Aleknagik, Alaska. Of the nine people aboard, the airline transport pilot and four passengers died at the scene, and four passengers sustained serious injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found that the emergency locator transmitter (ELT) became dislodged from its mounting tray, detached from its antenna, and failed to transmit radio signals to alert personnel of the downed airplane. Aircraft involved in the search and rescue efforts and satellites did not detect any ELT signals. A pararescuer found the ELT loose on the floor of the airplane. The ELT had activated but had separated from its mounting bracket and antenna.

This Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB) (https://www.faasafety.gov/files/notices/2013/Feb/ELT_HQ-12-32.pdf) informs emergency locator transmitter manufacturers as well as installers and aircraft maintenance personnel of a concern with the ability of hook and loop style fasteners to retain their designed capability to restrain emergency locator transmitters during accident impact.

Questions or comments can be addressed to Ms. Charisse R. Green, Aerospace Engineer, Avionics Systems Branch, 470 L'Enfant Plaza, Suite 4102, Washington, DC, 20024; 202-385-4637; FAX: 202-385-4651; email: Charisse.Green@faa.gov



  • cburg

    This crash video shows the pilot slamming and going under the bar. Even my full face helmet would not help if the bar goes upward past my chin.

    I guess you could possibly submarine in some trikes that have you in a more reclined position.

    A four-point with inertial reel is the way to go. I’m in the process of trying different brands of 4-point harnesses on my trikes and gyro.

  • Monty

    hey, anything that prevents serious injury is worthwhile. for some time motorcycle riders have been offered a jacket with airbags built in (inflating at impact). i can't quote the mfr of the jacket, or the efficasy during a crash, but it might be worth pursuing for trikeists to use also. i didn't see shoulder restraints being used in the video, but as i've stated in other articles on this subject relying on gut belts alone will almost certainly allow cervical damage and will only encourage the remains to stay with the wreck and thus be easier to find! monty