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The FAA issued a notam (http://www.faa.gov/NTAP/NTAP05AUG4/gen050 04.htm) announcing plans to end satellite processing of emergency locator transmitter (ELT) distress signals broadcast over 121.5 MHz and 243 MHz on February 1, 2009. This comes at the request of the Cospas-Sarsat program, an international search and rescue program that uses satellite-aided tracking, and is part of a transition to 406-MHz ELTs whose signals provide more information with greater accuracy than the current ELTs.

These new units could costs about $1,000, with installation adding more to the cost. ELTs that transmit over 121.5 MHz will still satisfy FAA requirements and be legal after the transition date, but they will provide limited assistance in the event of an accident because a satellite will no longer receive their signals. They will still be monitored by the FAA and Department of Defense from the ground.

The new 406-MHz ELTs use digital technology to transmit information specific to you and your aircraft, including your GPS coordinates and personal contact information.

If you are still building and haven't bought your ELT, you might consider getting this new style.

Heard on the Q-List

Here are a couple of important issues that came up on the Q-List that I would like to document.

Chris Rayner writes: Guys, I found a problem which maybe only affects me, but maybe not. Nearly twenty years ago, the original builder of my Q followed an instruction in the builders manual and "trundled down to the local plumbing store" and bought some PVC pipe which he built in the two filler points. (Just to clarify, Chris has a filler to his header tank which is not in the plans.)

Jump to the present, and I have had the fuselage upside down for a few weeks while I work on the underside. There was a little fuel in the tanks and this was sitting around the filler caps. After a while, some drips appeared around the caps, so I tried to tighten them a bit. I found that the PVC had gone very soft and distorted. The epoxy is fine.

The side one had pvc down pipe;wrapped in BID, with a PVC threaded opening and cap. The header filler had just the threaded parts. It was mainly the threads which lost their strength -went very soft and bendy. The down tube just went a bit soft - not very quantitative, but I think you get the picture. These were soaking in avgas for some weeks, so probably reacted rapidly. But I think the long term effect in vapour could be similar.

Maybe no-one else has used the PVC option, but maybe someone has and isn't aware there could be a problem. I am replacing the PVC with metal - steel and aluminum.

After reading this Jerry Marstall reports: Chris, thanks for the post on the PVC problem. I used PVC between the header tank and the main tank. Upon reading your post I checked mine to

find soft spots as well. Thanks for taking the time to note your problem so the rest of us could benefit..

The next subject was on stripped spark plug holes in a VW RevMaster engine.

Dave Dugas writes:

Has any one used a threaded insert to repair a stripped spark plug hole in their Revmaster? The #3 lower spark plug came out hard and ruined the threads.

Dave got several responses.

Gordon's response was: I took my stripped cylinder to local automotive machine shop and had a new insert installed. Very inexpensive.

Jon Finley responded with: Yes, this is very common. I used the Heli-Coil brand (IIRC) on the top plugs. I suspect doing the button plugs is the same but I have no experience with them.

Leon McAtee wrote:

While Heli-coils may repair the damage there is a better product for the repair of VW's stripped plug holes - especially the 1/2" reach ones. Look for someone that can put in Time-Sert brand inserts. They are a one piece insert that gets the last few threads rolled during the installation locking the insert into the head. They don't back out the way Heli-Coils can.

And finally some advice came from Barry Tanner:

Use some spark plug anti seize to help stop plugs from striping out your plug holes. Also , make sure the plug isn't too long. The carbon build up on the protruding threads make it hard to remove plugs.

You can order a printed copy of Q-talk #114 by using the Q-talk Back Issue Order Page.