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FAASTeam Notice
Type: Airworthiness
Notice Date: Friday, April 18, 2014
Notice Number: NOTC4648
Maintenance Safety Tip
This notice expired on

Runaway ELTs

You know that Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELTs) are installed for one purpose and one purpose only. That is to help save lives by effectively signaling the location to rescuers if an accident occurs. That’s why you, the AMT, take extra care when you install them, inspect them, and test them.
However, they need to “stay put” in their mounts to do this and you need to know that too many times this is not the case. The FAA is aggressively addressing concerns with the ability of hook and loop style fasteners to retain their designed capability to restrain emergency locator transmitters during accident impact. As an AMT, what can you do to help?
1. Get your hands on and read the FAA Special Airworthiness Information Bulletin (SAIB), HQ-12-32, dated May 23, 2012, Title: “Hook and Loop Style Fasteners as a Mounting Mechanism for Emergency Locator Transmitters." Advise and/or provide a copy of the SAIB to the owner/operator of any aircraft you work on.
2. Before your next inspection or maintenance action on this style mounting, research all manufacturer data. Look for instructions to enable you to positively determine tension serviceability AND corrective maintenance action, if not serviceable.
3. If inspection criteria and/or maintenance action is lacking or vague, take extra care to inspect the fastener for wear and environmental degradation from vibration, temperature, or contamination.
4. If your assessment results in concern that the hook and loop restraint may not be acceptable to keep the ELT secured during aircraft impact, advise the owner. Contact your local Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) to discuss your concerns and what acceptable course of action is available to you, the AMT. It would be helpful to have a copy or a reference to the SAIB.
You can access and download a free copy of this SAIB by going to, and selecting “Mechanics” and then follow the links to the SAIB.  Or, you can click on this link to go directly to the SAIB. 

Now, we gave you information and recommendations on how you can help prevent potential “Runaway ELT’s” . . . so, what are you going to do?