What is This, Y2K?


This is a public service announcement from SkyGeek. On second thought, let’s just call this a helpful reminder. Smokey the Bear has probably already blown your “public service announcement gasket” which incidentally may have caused a forest fire. Didn’t think of that did you Smokey? You know what the ironic part is Smokey, only YOU could have prevented it by letting everyone breathe in the mid 90’s without bombarding them with information they already know. Sorry, I know he’s a fictional character but I had to get that off my chest.

Anyway, there is a bit of information every Pilot should be aware of. On February 1, 2009 satellites will no longer be processing emergency distress signals on 121.5/243 MHz emergency beacons. Aviators using emergency beacons will need to switch to those operating at 406 MHz if they want to be detected. Basically, on February 1st your 121.5/243 MHz emergency beacon becomes a glorified paper weight. Well, ok, not that bad – it is 100% mandatory if you fly to Canada & Mexico.  If you fly in the US you will still be tracked via 121.5 Freqs but the 406 Mhz is much more accurate and results in a 100% quick location.


If you’re not 406 compliant, don’t worry, SkyGeek has you covered. We carry 406 mhz beacons at the best possible prices and they’re all fully compliant with the February 1st changes.

AirGizmos™ Universal Gust Locks – This is an extremely handy little gizmo that allows you to quickly lock down virtually any control surface securely. If you don’t know what that means, trust me, your pilot will.

Now that you know what emergency beacon you’ll need for 2009, let’s try and make sure you don’t have to use it. One of the best ways of avoiding it is to have a safety checklist. Every pilot should have a checklist to make sure they’ve done everything they need to ensure their safety before take-off. If you go to the grocery store without a list, once in a while you’ll forget something.

The difference? If you forget something at the grocery store you could end up with a dry turkey sandwich. If you forget something before take-off you could end up with a dried up corpse. Spike Lee told everyone to “do the right thing.” I think he was talking about getting a safety checklist. 

Along with a safety checklist and a 406 mhz emergency beacon, there are a few other Airplane Essentials that should be sured up for the New Year. I have something to say about all of these essential products, but it all has to do with me blaming Smokey the Bear for their necessity. I figure I’ll spare you the vent. Go to the Airplane Essentials page and you can check them out for yourself…you’ll thank me later.

Lastly, I figure it’s about time to show the Airbus Pilot some love. Too often he or she gets overlooked in our discussions. Well, it’s 2009 (hours away anyway) and I’m turning over a new leaf. If you drive an Airbus, and you want to use your standard General Aviation Headset, you’re in luck. SkyGeek offers nifty little adapters that allow you to do just that. Airbus people, it’s your time to shine.
Well, that’s it ladies and gents. That’s it for this message, and that’s it for 2008.
Happy 2009 from SkyGeek and thanks for making 2008 a great year !