Kannad Aviation FAQ
You bet. The Kannad Universal Mounting Tray fits pretty well all legacy 121.5MHz ELTs, so changing over the unit is simple. You can generally use the existing co-axial antenna cable, though you will of course have to change the antennas. With the choice of Remote Controls offered by Kannad Aviation, there is a replacement to fit the panel holes of every legacy model. The last job, then, is to replace the end fittings on the remote control cable. It is simply a matter of cutting off the old connectors and soldering on the Kannad ones. From April 2011 you will be able to order retro-fit installation kits for all other brands, with pre-assembled cable fittings, making retro-fitting even easier, and taking away the need to do any soldering.
The real question is ‘how often do batteries have to be changed?’ They actually last about twice as long as the recommended replacement period, but regulations require manufacturers to build in a safety factor. The Kannad PLBs require a battery change after 5 years; the Kannad ELTs require a battery change after 6 years. You may get a few extra months, and the replacement date is printed on the beacon.
First, you may not have a choice, as either a PLB or an ELT may be mandated in your country, so check your local regulations.
If you have a free hand to choose, select an ELT if you want an automated rescue alerting system which can call for help even if you are unconscious or a PLB if you are happy to rely on manual activation. Remember that a PLB has no way of calling for help if you are unconscious.
If you want maximum security, select both – an ELT for your plane and a PLB in your pocket.
The short answer is Yes, unless you can mount the ELT is a place where it can be operated, and the indicator light viewed, from the pilot’s normal flying position. You can’t, for example, avoid having a Remote Control by mounting it on a shelf behind the pilot.