September 2005- The federal requirement for ELTs started out as a Congressional amendment to the OSHA act of 1970. A group of Senators were lost in an aircraft accident in Alaska and this was the catalyst for this amendment. The FAA was required by Congress to add to the FARs a requirement that most aircraft have ELTs installed by June of 1974.
Additional types of aircraft were recently added (effective January 1, 2004) to include turbojet aircraft. The original ELT specification was TSO C-9 1, updated to the current TSO C-91A.
During the early 1970s, there was a rush to manufacture ELTs and in the haste, a variety of problems were created by such causes as poor workmanship, substandard materials, improper testing and batteries of poor design and construction.
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