Pre-Flight Planning resources

Pre-Flight Planning

Safety precautions


Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) requirements CAR 252A

An ELT must transmit, when activated, in the frequency band 406MHz – 406.1MHz, and on 121.5MHz. An ELT must also be registered with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. See CAR 252A para (4) to (6) for further ELT requirements.

When undertaking a flight more than 50 nm radius from the aerodrome of departure, you must carry a serviceable ELT. If the ELT is installed on the aircraft it must be armed before flight. If it is a portable ELT it must be carried in a readily accessible place.

Exceptions to this requirement are:

  • flights wholly within 50 nm of the aerodrome of departure
  • aerial agriculture flights
  • where CASA has issued an approval (CASR 21.197)
  • the aircraft is new and the flight is for a purpose associated with its manufacture, preparation or delivery, or
  • the flight is for the purpose of moving the aircraft to a place to have an approved ELT fitted to the aircraft, or to have an approved ELT that is fitted to it repaired, removed or overhauled.
    • an entry has been made in the aircraft’s log book stating the ELT make, model
      and serial number together with the date it was removed and the reason for
      doing so
    • a placard stating ‘ELT not installed or carried’ has been placed in a position visible to the pilot, and
    • not more that 90 days have passed since the ELT was removed.

AusSAR – Australian Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) AIP GEN 3.6

AusSAR is the Australian RCC.


Australian Rescue Coordination Centre, GPO Box 2181, Canberra City ACT 2601
T: 1800 815 257 or 1800 641 792. F: 1800 622 153

Monitoring of 121.5MHz

Pilots should monitor 121.5 MHz before engine start and after shut down. Reception of an ELT transmission must be reported to ATS or the RCC immediately (AIP GEN 3.6).

Checking ELTs

There are two types of ELT beacon testing: self-testing and operational testing. Self testing signals are not processed by satellite equipment. All 406 MHz beacons can be tested at any time using the self-test function without prior approval from the RCC. The operational-testing mode requires prior approval from RCC Australia as it impacts on the Cospas-Sarsat system.

Test transmissions from ELTs should be limited to five seconds and it is preferred that such tests be conducted within the first five minutes of the hour. Before conducting operational tests operators must notify AusSAR, and where the beacon is operated on 406 MHz, its HexID must be provided (AIP GEN 3.6).

Inadvertent ELT activation

If your ELT has been inadvertently activated for more than 10 seconds, this must be reported to ATS or the RCC immediately (ERSA EMERG).

Emergency use of ELTs

Refer to ERSA EMERG.

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