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PPL » Flight Radio » Emergency Locator Transmitter

2.8 Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT, aka ELBA or ELB).

2.8.2 State the frequency(ies) on which the ELT transmits.

The ELT is a battery operated radio transmission device that emits a radio signal which is modulated by a downward swept audio tone:

  • on the international distress frequency 121.5 MHz (VHF) and
  • every 50 seconds also transmits a pulse on 406MHz (UHF).  

This 50 second interval transmission contains identification data programmed into the ELT and is received by satellites which then transfer the data to the National Rescue Coordination Centre (RCCNZ). 


2.8.4 State the requirements for the carriage of an ELT.

All aircraft must carry at least one operable ELT, except:

  • an aircraft that is equipped with no more than 1 seat if the pilot is equipped with an ELT(S) or PLB:
  • a glider or microlight aircraft if at least 1 person carried in the glider or microlight aircraft is equipped with an ELT(S) or PLB:
  • a glider, or powered aircraft, including a microlight aircraft, that is equipped with no more than 2 seats, if the glider or powered aircraft is operated not more than 10 nm from the aerodrome from which the glider or powered aircraft took off:
  • a manned free balloon.
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