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I am planning a trip to LFKO, Propriano, from Belgium and I realise a dinghy and a PLB are mandatory and plain common sense on this trip as it involves a long sea crossing. There is a McMurdo fast find 210 for sale on AFORS with an out of date battery for appx £100 less than a new item. Seems like a bad idea? A new one surely is better, or is the replacement not a big cost? I can’t seem to find the cost online, only that you need to send it to a dealer to be done.
Does anyone have experience with this or any other brand of PLB to share?
Also, any dinghy’s for sale would be interesting, there will only be two POB so any size would be adequate (unless there are one man units I have not seen :-) ).
Best Regards

A McMurdo replacement battery indeed costs 125Euro+VAT (+some weird explosion risk overcharges).So if the battery expired 1 year ago,it is still functionable for your 1 trip.Check the voltage.You can easily remove it.And dont forget to Register.


maxallup wrote:

and I realise a dinghy and a PLB are mandatory

I think neither one is currently mandatory. If you remain within 100 nm of the coast, you don’t need a life raft (according to French regulations, I don’t know if Belgium has anything stricter). The shortest distance to Corsica happens to be just below this limit. From August 2016, it will be the pilot’s responsibility to assess if dinghies are necessary from 50 nm out according to PART NCO:

NCC.IDE.A.220 Flight over water

(d) The pilot-in-command of an aeroplane operated at a distance away from land where an emergency landing is possible greater than that corresponding to 30 minutes at normal cruising speed or 50 NM, whichever is the lesser, shall determine the risks to survival of the occupants of the aeroplane in the event of a ditching, based on which he/she shall determine the carriage of:
(1) equipment for making the distress signals;
(2) life-rafts in sufficient numbers to carry all persons on board, stowed so as to facilitate their ready use in
emergency; and
(3) life-saving equipment to provide the means of sustaining life, as appropriate to the flight to be undertaken

I’ve flown to Corsica without a raft twice, but bought my PLB for the first occasion and always carry it on me during flights over water. It’s just about the biggest size that I can still tolerate wearing on my belt, and sometimes the antenna comes out of its bracket. Otherwise I am happy with it. I cannot tell if it works well or not in case of need, though.

A dinghy is a very good idea if you have the space and charge available in your plane.

Thanks for the info,
MedFlyer, as I thought the battery costs more than the saving and you then have a S/H unit!
Rwy20 the unit you have is on offer in the UK for £199.00, I think that will be the one to go with? And I have a PA28 – 140 so plenty of space as I only think of it as a 2 person plane. I weigh 100kg and my girlfriend 60kg, so with full fuel we have 51kg for baggage and the back seats are only for bags etc! So the dinghy will be easy to accommodate.
One more question please, when flying to Corsica do you have to follow the VFR routes depicted on the chart?
Thanks for the help,


Again, it’s in the AIP ENR 1.2 (“Visual Flight Rules”) in this case.

OT: was working with AIPs not covered in you training, not even very briefly?

The answer to your particular question is yes and no. That is: the regulation says that these routes are mandatory, but then goes on to say that other routes can be approved by ATC. So, in practical terms, it means that you have to flight plan along these mandatory routes, but you will likely be able to route more directly, after agreement with ATC.

Last Edited by boscomantico at 05 Jul 17:52
Mainz (EDFZ), Germany

My (limited) experience is that you will have to set out for the turning point MERLU, and then get a more direct clearance on the way, but not much before MERLU. Once it was at OMAR, once a bit before. I think this is related to the danger area LFD54.

maxallup wrote:

Rwy20 the unit you have is on offer in the UK for £199.00, I think that will be the one to go with?

I bought it around 6 years ago, so the battery change is actually due in the beginning of next year. I haven’t looked at the market since then, so it really wasn’t a recommendation, just one data point. The unit has a solid “feel” to it and I think it does what it is supposed to, but I don’t know if technology has evolved in the last 6 years. I’ll study that in a few months when I start researching how to replace the battery. :)

Last Edited by Rwy20 at 05 Jul 18:39

Bosco, when I did my training the internet was in its infancy, mobile phones were still analogue and GPS was a fantasy, the like of which James Bond would use! So, no, French VFR routes, if they existed back in the 80’s were not covered in my UK training, but I did once fly the low level SVFR route Burnham – Ascot to the West of Heathrow Zone and flew many times up and down the Manchester Low level corridor as my brother lived minutes from Barton as it was then called, it is now Manchester city airport!. Add to that a layoff of many years and you may understand why I thought a polite question here would point me in the right direction? So instead of mulling over pages and pages of irrelevant text (They do seem to use so much more text now on the net than the old books?) and as Rwy20 stated he had recently flown the route, I thought maybe he could give me a quick answer as to the current procedures? Seems logical no?

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