Artex suggests testing of the ELT every 1 to 2 months. This provides an indication of the integrity of the ELT and antenna system. If performed at this rate, the accumulated operating time will not reduce the 6-year life rating of the battery pack.
Minimum maintenance requirements for ELTs are stated in CAR Sec 2 Series R Part III appendix A Para 4.
Each emergency locator transmitter must be inspected within 12 calendar months after the last inspection for--
(1) Proper installation;
(2) Battery corrosion;
(3) Operation of the controls and crash sensor; and
(4) The presence of a sufficient signal radiated from its antenna.
To ensure continued reliability and airworthiness, your ELT must be inspected for damage and wear caused by age, exposed elements, vibration, etc. Inspections are also to take place annually per FAR Part 91.409. FAR 43, Appendix D(i) states in part that each person performing an annual or 100-hour inspection shall inspect the following components of:
(1) (ELT unit and mount) for improper installation and insecure mounting.
(2) Wiring and conduits - for improper routing, insecure mounting, and obvious defects.
(3) Bonding and shielding - for improper installation and poor condition
(4) Antenna, including trailing antenna-for poor condition, insecure mounting, and improper operation.
(5) Verification of expiry date of battery
All testing of the ELT may be performed by limiting the transmission of the ELT to 3 sweeps of the 121.5 MHz audio tone. Only transmit within the first 5 minutes after the hour.
Remove ELT Connections -Loosen the thumbscrews and remove the D-sub and RF connectors. Visually inspect and confirm proper seating of all connector pins. Special attention should be given to coaxial center conductor pins which are prone to retracting into the connector housing.
Remove ELT - Remove the ELT from its mounting tray. Inspect the mounting hardware. Ensure the hardware is free of cracks or other obvious damage.
Corrosion Inspection -Inspect all metal parts of the ELT exterior, its mounting tray, RF coax cable, remote switch and cable, and the antenna and its hardware for signs of corrosion. This includes mounting screws, electrical connectors, antenna base mount, etc.