Any opinions on best color?

Homebuilt Aircraft & Kit Plane Forum

Help Support Homebuilt Aircraft & Kit Plane Forum:

Dan Thomas

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2008
Messages
7,230
How about flight following and other tech? Do they have ADSB built out for good coverage?
Canada is far different from the US in terms of population density, radar and cell services and so forth. I posted this cell coverage map over in the Pilot training thread:
Cell coverage map.png

80% of Canada's population lives within about 150 miles of the Canada-US border. Even at that there are large areas there with no radar coverage. Canada's population is only about 11% of the US's, in a larger area than the US, so the tax base to support more services just isn't there. Pilots here just have to get used to being responsible for their own safety if they're going to fly cross-country over those unserviced areas, which means a good ELT and maybe a SPOT, and a really accurate flight plan or flight itinerary, and sticking to it.

Good judgement about when to stay on the ground is also important. A friend was lost on a cross-country flight back in about '93 when he tried to get home in a snowstorm, a non-IFR pilot. Disappeared for over three years until a rancher, rounding up cattle in the bush, came across the airplane. And he wasn't that far from home, either; maybe 40 miles. ELT didn't work, for whatever reason. The airplane was buried in the bush, pretty much invisible to search airplanes. One doesn't have to be too far away from civilization here to be lost forever. About 22 years before that a twin, with three on board, went down due to icing in the same area. It took several years before another pilot caught a sunflash off something and circled until he saw the airplane.

One of the neat things about Canada is that you can actually get far from civilization if you need a real break from all the rat-race and schedules and electronic stuff that rules us now. But that comes with the risk of never being found if you get stupid or have some bad luck. It is what it is. One has to deal with it, or stay near the airport.
 

byGeorge

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2022
Messages
72
I have no idea if it is apples to apples (or kumquats). But there are many satellite phones for sale online with voice/data plans for far less than the cost of the newer 406 ELTs. A couple are cheaper than new 121.5s. (Which I consider to be expensive paperweights.)
 

byGeorge

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2022
Messages
72
Canada is far different from the US in terms of population density, radar and cell services and so forth...The airplane was buried in the bush, pretty much invisible to search airplanes. One doesn't have to be too far away from civilization here to be lost forever. About 22 years before that a twin, with three on board, went down due to icing in the same area. It took several years before another pilot caught a sunflash off something and circled until he saw the airplane...
They still haven't found those poor girls on 'Yellowjackets' have they?
 

geraldmorrissey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2008
Messages
101
This subject was thrashed about over on the biplane forum. Pitts, Miniplane, Baby GL pilots struggle with this simply because there's not much airplane to see. The best system I've seen is a smoke system. Other aircraft might not see the you, but turn on the smoke and you are immediately visable. A small light system with a pint of oil might be an option for occasional use. My airport, S50, is uncontrolled and can be very busy. Thinking about designing such a system for my Bearhawk build in combination with natural aluminum wings and Coast Guard colors on the body/empennage.
Gerry
 

Dan Thomas

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2008
Messages
7,230
I have no idea if it is apples to apples (or kumquats). But there are many satellite phones for sale online with voice/data plans for far less than the cost of the newer 406 ELTs. A couple are cheaper than new 121.5s. (Which I consider to be expensive paperweights.)
The sat phone assumes that you (and the phone) survived the impact. Unfortunately, many victims are injured or disoriented or unconscious or trying to stop the bleeding, too busy to find the phone and call for help. The ELT was intended to be a "passive" or "transparent" device, needing no action on the part of the pilot. All other tracking methods rely on pilot actuation (even the SPOT) and thereby are not accepted by governments as replacements for the ELT.

But the other stuff is still handy. A sat phone, especially, along with the SPOT. The automatic tracking device I mentioned earlier as probably replacing the ELT sometime in the future, sending frequent pings to satellites during the flight, would also have to be passive, not requiring the pilot to switch on at the beginning of the flight. Oil pressure switch, maybe, and staying on for some time after the pressure drops off.

Even at that, we sometimes found ELTs switched OFF in some airplanes we serviced. Somebody had had it out and stuck it back in without turning it to "Arm."
 

Riggerrob

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2014
Messages
2,785
Location
Canada
Equally annoying is ATC getting all flustered about an ELT signal ... transmitting from within the airport fence ... the day after you replaced the batteries in your ELT.
More frustrating for CSAR crews is pilot failing to "register" their new ELT with ????????
 

TFF

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
17,355
Location
Memphis, TN
While 121.5 is not the preferred ELT signal. It is still emergency voice.

The stations that controllers sit at all have one button push to be on that channel. They can narrow it down to the best antenna they receive it through.

An inadvertent ELT going off in a city with a tower pretty much kills any voice message usage until it shuts off.
 

Daleandee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2015
Messages
1,847
Location
SC
That's true in some places in the US as well. Look how long it took to find Steve Fossett.

Same with a much less known pilot named Theodore Weiss. After extensive searches were finally called off he was found by a hiker six months later ... less than two miles from the departure airport. 8~(

 

Tiger Tim

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2013
Messages
4,729
Location
Thunder Bay
I passed by a number of Spirit Airbuses the other day and as far as airliners go it seems bright yellow is the answer. They stood out almost like they had an aura around them.
 

Pops

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
11,013
Location
USA.
Same with a much less known pilot named Theodore Weiss. After extensive searches were finally called off he was found by a hiker six months later ... less than two miles from the departure airport. 8~(

There are over 20 downed airplanes never found in WV. I remember a cold, snowy winter day then a C-421 went down and was never found in the Cranberry Glades Wilderness area of the Monongahela National Forest. 20 years latter a man just retired and decided he was going to find the airplane. Research all the information and started searching with a powered Parachute. Months latter he spotted a refection off of something in the forest. Him and his brother hiked all day from the nearest road in the thick mountain laurel and at times they were cawing on their hands and knees. Found the spot from the GPS coordinates and didn't find anything and camped for the night and hiked out the next day. Took another flight in the powered parachute and at the same time of day and saw the reflection again. They hiked in again. They found a tail fin leaning against a tree about 100' from where they had camped before. The pilot was alone and they found a piece of the tie he was wearing from a picture that was taken before takeoff. The aircraft had burnt and the engine was covered up in the years of leaves from the trees and the crash was down in the thick laurel.
I have camped the the Cranberry Glades area. Were I camped, it was 32 miles from a ranger station, the closest building. Lots and lots of bears.
Mountain Laurel
 

Riggerrob

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 9, 2014
Messages
2,785
Location
Canada
A similar crash occurred near Chilliwack, B.C., Canada around the turn of the century. A Cessna 182 had just dropped a load of skydivers from 10,000 feet above a farm strip near Chilliwack. He disappeared into clouds and was not heard from again. Chillwack may be on the flat valley floor, but it is surrounded by steep mountains that exceed 6,000 feet in many directions. Despite extensive low-altitude searches by RCAF Buffalos and Cormorants, no trace was seen. Three weeks later a para-glider glimpsed the Cessna wreckage down between trees on a steep mountain side. Mountain passes through the Canadian Rocky Mountains are littered with scrap aluminum.
 

geraldmorrissey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2008
Messages
101
Friend of mine was restoring a PT-22. He researched and located a wreck in the San Gabriel mountains and hiked up there once a year to scavenge parts. This was before the days of cordless drills. Used a hand powered drill to remove rivets. The AL skins he brought back were a beautiful golden color. He never told anyone of it's location as far as I know.
Gerry
 
Top