EVIL ELT HIDING

Home NESA MAS Inflight Guide CAP Grids Features ELT Information ES Projects Downloads & Links

406 PLB for ELT
DF Unit Interference
UHF L-Per Training
DF Unit Gallery
ELT/EPIRB Gallery
Jetstream Radios
Practice Beacon Mods
Evil ELT Hiding
Underwater ELTs
Stupid DF Tricks
Build A DF #1
Build A DF #2
Here are some absolutely wicked ideas for hiding a practice beacon.  Having had many of these tricks played on me, and having played a few of the milder ones on others, I thought it a good idea to list some of the truly twisted ways to hide a practice beacon.   There is one VERY large caveat, however....

DO NOT USE THESE HIDING METHODS ON NOVICE OR NEW TRAINEES.   THE FRUSTRATION YOU WILL CAUSE THEM IS COUNTERPRODUCTIVE TO TRAINING.   THESE HIDING METHODS ARE TO BE USED AGAINST EXPERIENCED AND QUALIFIED AIRCREWS AND GROUND TEAMS.   I GIVE ANY NEWBIE PERMISSION TO SMACK YOU AND THEN FILE A FRAUD, WASTE, AND ABUSE CLAIM AGAINST YOU IF HE CATCHES YOU USING ONE OF THESE TECHNIQUES AGAINST HIM.

Why even do this? Some of these hiding techniques represent experience we've had in the field.  Most of them represent non-distress beacons that have offered significant challenges.  The wilderness ELT (one that's attached to a real crashed aircraft) is generally relatively easy to find.  In the wild, if you can get within yards of the ELT then you will have located the crash site.  This is the level of training that members need to attain before even the easiest of tricks are played against them.  So keep this standard in mind when using these hiding techniques.  Time is on your side when you're hunting a non-distress beacon.  Therefore, it is not critical that personnel be able to find an ELT quickly in these conditions.  The final thought in this line of reasoning is that you can't know which ELTs are non-distress until you actually find them.  The bottom line is that these hiding techniques can increase experience, provide for good training, and be fun!

If you use any of these hiding techniques, the danger to your practice beacon is increased.  Where possible, it is recommended that you up-armor your practice beacon by using a practice beacon box.

That being said, here it goes in list format. A few of the methods are described in detail on their own page, as linked.

    - Hide the practice beacon underwater
    - Place it in a real airplane hooked up to the airplane's ELT antenna
    - Hide the light of the Pointer 6000 practice beacon with tape
    - Put the beacon under a road or highway overpass
    - Buried with just the antenna protruding
    - Buried completely
    - In trees suspended by string (at least 6 feet off the ground)
    - In the hollow of a tree
    - Off a granite cliff
    - In the back of a panel van (or any vehicle) that's moving
    - Tied to a turned-off electric fence
    - Around / under power lines in general
    - Place practice beacon in one of several barrels
    - Insert antenna in a stovepipe
    - Place beacon in a culvert
    - Use a gain antenna that is pointed in a particular direction
    - Bury the beacon upside down in the sand
    - Hide it in a cave
    - Place the beacon in a shallow cave that opens into a canyon -- granite is particularly tough due to reflections
    - Use a practice beacon that is modified to transmit carrier-only (no sweep tone)
    - Use a beacon that has a external power source (power-box mod)
    - Alter the power output of the beacon (to include continual change of the output)
    - Place it in / around steel cargo (shipping CONEX) containers
    - Reflection hell in a storage lot
    - Around metal buildings (such as hangars)
    - Try in and around semi trailers
    - In a junkyard (camouflaged as junk)
    - Put it in a place where you need a lawyer to know its legal to go

Use these hiding techniques for good training, not to prove how smart you are to the new people!  Most importantly, have fun.

This page of the CAP Emergency Services Resources website was last updated 01/06/2009

1998 - 2007 Scott E. Lanis.  All Rights Reserved.