It’s as simple as a press of a button but it has critical implications. Picture this scenario; something has gone terribly wrong in-flight, its happened in a split-second and you realise you have to make a forced landing. You are so occupied with what’s unfolding you don’t have time, or you don’t even think, about sending an emergency message. This could be as simple as pressing a button on your tracking equipment but it’s not going to happen.
In the resulting landing, you may be knocked unconscious, you may be trapped, or you may have lost power to your avionics. However, you are secure in the knowledge that help will soon be at hand, because earlier in the day you had prepared for this very scenario. Just prior to take-off you pressed the Automated Rescue Monitoring (A.R.M) key on the DZMx keypad and Automated Rescue Monitoring was initiated.
Here's how it worked: when you pressed the A.R.M key an activation alert was sent to your tracking provider. The tracking provider acknowledged activation and ‘A.R.M Active’ message came up on the DZMx display. The tracking computer noticed that the aircraft position reports were overdue by a previously agreed period and the heading and GPS location information was sent to emergency services.
What’s the trade-off? After every routine flight, you need to remember to deactivate A.R.M. Beeps in your headset provide a timely reminder of this, and if you ignore them, well… let’s just say you are only likely to do it once.