Just read some material on this Satellite tracking system and it's potential for use in lieu of VFR, Family, Friend and GOKALL. The system has found many fans in high density traffic areas and for flying off to a frozen lake beyond wherever. It is another thing to buy, of course, but the tariff is ~ $100/yr. One hamburger trip might be worth it ? I'm wondering how many EAA pilots are using this and their experience with it.
I have used a spot on every flight since oshkosh 2008. Don't leave home without it.
I was really interested until the $100/yr subscription....just seems expensive per month. It's ANOTHER subscription...another bill...
$100 per year
50 flights per year
tracking progress for family and friends, $2.00 per flight
potential to save your life, priceless
Conversely, I acquired one at Oshkosh 2008 and used it maybe twice.
If you do sign up for it, beware the automatically renewing subscription. Buried in the smallprint of their contract is a clause that says "if you don't cancel, we will automatically charge you for another year". This cost me $100 for something I never used.
does anyone know if Garmin or Trimble make a real gps unit that also has these features? I'd feel better about paying $100/year if I had other uses for the thing.....
If you are interested in getting the Tech ham radio license (easy multiple choice exam with no morse code required) you can use a tracking system that has far more resolution and features than SPOT and there are no subscription fees. To see a forum with lots of info about the cool APRS tracking system, go to this link:
Here is what an APRS track looks like:
More info about the tracker installation in my RV-6:
Thanks Sam, since I already have my Ham license, I'll be looking into the APRS.
I'm interesting in finding something that can be carried on person (hiking, skiing, etc) and can also be used in flight for tracking. Like the spot, but maybe with more functionality?
For relatively low annual cost (in aviation monetary units), SPOT provides a great service to allow family and friends to see where you're at for piece of mind or just for fun ("Where did you fly today?"). Gives FSS an alternative to locate the aircraft if overdue. Allows emergency response with manual activation and allows 'bread-crumb' tracking in the event of a crash ie without time to manually push the '911' button. For more functionality, you can also get the unit which allows satellite text messaging service though it's a bit pricier for my use. The "Check-in" button is handy for letting the wife know when I've arrived at my destination or back at the hangar. Just be careful about placement of the unit on your dash (face up) or otherwise to ensure the built in antenna gets good signal.
Yeah, count me as a big fan of this little unit. It's money well spent.