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Thread: Apple Watch fall alert

  1. #1
    Sirota's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Tucson, AZ

    Apple Watch fall alert

    Hi Everyone, Hope you had a good holiday. Thought I'd let you know about an experience I had last week. I wear an Apple Watch and one of the features is a fall alert (a g-meter I assume). I was flying last week and my watch sent a message to my emergency contacts saying I had a "hard fall" and it provided my location on a map. I don't recall hitting my watch against anything, no significant bumps, and (for those that know me) it was a pretty good landing. My girlfriend received the alert, knew I was flying, and assumed I had crashed. She freaked out and called my airplane partner, who in-turn, called the tower to see if they were talking to me. They weren't - Search & Rescue was dispatched. All this time i was fat, dumb, and happy enjoying a flight to nowhere. It took quite a while after I landed to get everyone back to a heart rate.

    The Hard Fall feature is a good thing and might act as a back-up to an ELT but it can cause A LOT of unnecessary worry and stress. To avoid a repeat, I bought a Spot Messenger. The girlfriend now knows to see if I'm moving on the Spot map if she gets another SOS alert. If I'm still moving faster than a walk, I'm probably still flying.

    I hope this story helps others from having a similar experience.

    Happy New Year,

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    While I don't have an Apple Watch, this reminded me of a story from a flight instructor relayed on Facebook (so take it with a grain of salt).

    Apparently their airport sits just under the shelf of controlled airspace, so students are told to say below 1500 feet AGL for a certain distance and direction, at which point they can proceed to the training area or whatever.

    Anyhoo, one of their students on his second solo performed a hard landing sufficient to set off the ELT; rather than immediately come back to land, decided the best way to proceed was to trim the aircraft for stable flight, unbuckle, and move to the back of the aircraft to turn off said ELT.

    The shift of CG caused the aircraft to climb into the controlled airspace, and the tower there began to have a come-apart, calling the field to say they had an aircraft climbing into their airspace with the ELT ringing. The student had returned to his seat by the time the local field got him on the radio and told him to land.

    The student was told to find another field and instructor, and it became a Local Legend.

    I find the story a bit fishy, as no type of aircraft was given, and it's against everything I would do as a pilot.

    If I ever made a hard landing sufficient to set off an ELT, my actions would be two-fold: First, I'd land to check out the aircraft right away. Second, I'd poll the field to ensure there were enough witnesses (even second hand) to validate my story.

    Then, if ever someone said they smacked it in, I'd jump in and say "Hell, son, you ain't landed hard - the ELT didn't even go off."
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    And here I thought it would be a story about Fall colors and apples falling to the meadow below. I wonder how much this cost the taxpayer to launch a SAR mission not to mention that any mission activation also puts them in possible jeopardy.

  4. #4
    FlyingRon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    NC26 (Catawba, NC)
    I don't know but frankly the latest iOS and WatchOS software update was a disaster. I lost a days work because the thing was so screwed up that I head to reset the watch.

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