11 November 2021
On the 8th March 2014 Malaysia Airlines Flight 730 (MH730) took off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport destined for Beijing Capital Airport in China. Communication was lost with the aircraft after 38 minutes and it deviated from its intended course. Military radar tracked the flight heading west from its intended flight path for a further 370 km before it left radar range. Marine debris was washed ashore in the Western Indian Ocean in 2015 and 2016 and a three-year search across 120,000 square km failed to find the missing plane. All 239 passengers and crew are presumed to have perished.
As a consequence of this kind of loss, the aviation authorities mandated an update to the Emergency Locator Transmitter device standards; for the ELTs to provide a distress signal which identifies a deviation to course or unexpected event. Emergency Locator Transmitter - Distress Tracking (ELT-DT) devices will be mandatory on all new aircraft from 1st January 2023. ELTs reference their position from the COSPAS-SARSAT satellite network and are subject to rigorous testing to COSPAS-SARSAT standards in order to gain the certification required.
TÜV SÜD are pleased to announce that after two years of development of a test solution we have been recognised by COSPAS SARSAT as the first provider to be accredited to perform testing of First Generation ELT-DT devices. We are expecting to start formal testing before the end of 2021.