Emergency Frequency...

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DavidNVA

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Hey The spiritwolfpr,

Yeah 121.500 also known as "guard" is the international distress frequency. Most ELT's (Emergency Locator Transmitters) also tend to operate on this frequency as well.
 

DavidNVA

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Actually just to clarify - if a pilot is already in contact with a controller he won't switch over to guard to report his emergency. In most cases he will continue working with the controller. 121.5 would be used if a pilot is not already in radio contact with somebody and don't have a known working frequency handy. 121.5 is monitored by almost every ATC, FSS, and military ground station as well as by many aircraft in flight. If you give a call on 121.5 pretty much anywhere, someone is almost certainly going to hear you.

So if there is an air emergency overhead, don't automatically assume you're going to hear about it on the guard frequency.
 
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gcgrotz

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I heard ATC on 121.500 on the afternoon 9-11 telling anyone still flying that they were at risk of being shot down. Wish I'd had the presence of mind to tape it.
 

twolf816

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i have 121.5 programmed on every system in my mobile scanner and ALL the time i hear pilots checking in, always commercial, and without an emergency; is that normal?
 

K2GOG

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They may not know they are on 21.5 or it could be a smaller airport and they use it for taxi and clearance on the ground for lack of dedicated radios.

-Steve
 

cookiend15

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121.500

Yes

121.500 is the civilian aircraft emergency frequency

243.000 is the military aircraft emergency frequency
 

lexx2

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twolf816 said:
i have 121.5 programmed on every system in my mobile scanner and ALL the time i hear pilots checking in, always commercial, and without an emergency; is that normal?
Yes, very normal. As mentioned by an earlier poster, 121.5 is correctly referred to as "guard" not "an emergency frequency".

It's a 'guarded' frequency that has been established worldwide, and everyone monitors it. Air traffic control units and most aircraft with more than one radio are always monitoring.

It is used far more often to communicate with aircraft that have somehow strayed onto the wrong frequency, and ATC cannot get hold of them on their assigned frequency. If they are listening on 121.5 the controller will probably be able to get through to them and get them back on the correct frequency.

There is no 'law' reserving this frequency for emergencies only. If you are constantly hearing aircraft checking in, I'd assume 'finger trouble' by the pilot, as he has probably selected the wrong radio to make his transmission after having just changed one of the radio frequencies to his newly assigned ATC sector.

Lexx
www.ykf.ca
 

Yokoshibu

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lexx2 said:
There is no 'law' reserving this frequency for emergencies only. If you are constantly hearing aircraft checking in, I'd assume 'finger trouble' by the pilot, as he has probably selected the wrong radio to make his transmission after having just changed one of the radio frequencies to his newly assigned ATC sector.
www.ykf.ca
However if you refuse to turn off an Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) you will face jail time and stiff financial penalty!

same goes with false distress calls on 156.8mhz
 

jparks29

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gcgrotz said:
I heard ATC on 121.500 on the afternoon 9-11 telling anyone still flying that they were at risk of being shot down. Wish I'd had the presence of mind to tape it.
same here, except I heard a few DC ANG fighters giving direct warnings to flights that were straying a little too close to DC.....

sent chills up my spine........

you see the crap in the movies.........but when you hear it in real life......it's spooky.....
 

CLB

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Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that the 406 mhz beacons only fire a short timed data burst to the SARSAT satellites that pass over every 2 hours or so. These still use the 121.5 "BOOOooooo BOOOoooo" tone for direction finding purposes. We're all still trying to figure that one out to the fullest extent.

The fine for intentionally discharging an emergency beacon (ELT/EPIRB/PLB) or transmitting a false distress call is $10,000, and in some locales paying for the "rescue" operation on top.
 

lexx2

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Yokoshibu said:
However if you refuse to turn off an Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) you will face jail time and stiff financial penalty!
Who would intentionally refuse to turn off and ELT? Can't imagine this being a very common occurance.

You are permitted to test an ELT in short bursts during the first 5 minutes of every hour. Satellites will disregard signals received during this time period. That should be enough time for you to test your equipment.
 

Yokoshibu

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lexx2 said:
Who would intentionally refuse to turn off and ELT? Can't imagine this being a very common occurance.

You are permitted to test an ELT in short bursts during the first 5 minutes of every hour. Satellites will disregard signals received during this time period. That should be enough time for you to test your equipment.

It's rare but I have seen it happen, after threatening to break the door to some guys mu-2 and taking him to court he quickly complied.... at 2 am people do dumb things like telling cops to go pound salt...
 

CLB

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Yokoshibu said:
It's rare but I have seen it happen, after threatening to break the door to some guys mu-2 and taking him to court he quickly complied.... at 2 am people do dumb things like telling cops to go pound salt...

That, or sit in an FBO hangar for 2 hours while the pilot says he's on his way after he finishes dinner across town.

And arrives not knowing how to turn the thing off.
 

twolf816

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lexx2 said:
You are permitted to test an ELT in short bursts during the first 5 minutes of every hour. Satellites will disregard signals received during this time period. That should be enough time for you to test your equipment.
is 121.5 the only freq ELT Beacons tx on? ive sat in a hanger with my scanner listning to our local regional airport oh...about 500 times and never once heard this...maybe no one uses it here

and how would the satellites know you are testing and "disregard signals during this time period"?

when i was on the fire dept, we were searching for a downed plane 2 years ago, and all the faa and airport folks were listning on 121.5 trying to find the signal......thats what gave me the idy that 121.5 was the lone tx frequency

and CLB,

how in the world if you turn it on for 2 sec is someone gonna know where it came from?
 
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