Image of crash drop-test
A Cessna 172 aircraft undergoes a controlled crash drop-test at NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia. (Credit: NASA/David C. Bowman)

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has adopted NASA’s Search and Rescue (SAR) office’s recommendations regarding the installation and maintenance of Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELTs), the NASA-designed, satellite-aided search and rescue beacons installed in planes.

For manufacturers, the SAR team recommended testing processes more representative of a real crash scenario, making sure that beacons respond to the correct amount of crash forces in any direction. This method of testing also reduces the number of false ELT activations due to hard landings, which allows rescue forces to focus their resources on users in distress.