General Aviation (GA) today lacks an appropriate Cospas-Sarsat (C/S) solution for alert message transmission in case of distress. Neither the Personal Locator Beacon, nor the existing aeronautical Emergency Locator Transmitters are fully suitable for the needs of GA pilots and SAR services. PLBs are complicated to activate in case of distress (they, in particular, suppose that the pilot is conscious) and ELTs are not transportable, activate only manually or on crash detection when most of the time the transmission system does may not survive the crash. In addition, registration and information collection management should also be improved in the meanwhile to better help RCCs complete their tasks. It is then crucial to make sure that an appropriate solution is developed for General Aviation, which would improve the survival rate of pilots and passengers, based on the combination of advantages of ELTs (aircraft external antenna, and possibility to introduce automated in-flight activation) and PLBs (portability, cost).
Based on these elements, the European Horizon 2020 project GRIMASSE believes that the Galileo SAR service as part of the C/S MEOSAR system can contribute to a significantly improved flight safety and proposes to develop:
- a complete operational concept and an associated demonstrator of a GA C/S distress beacon, designed to specifically cover the needs of GA Search & Rescue operation chain stakeholders (pilots, aircraft operators, RCC operators)
- The operational concept and a demonstrator of a highly automatized SAR communications management system based on the ICAO’s System Wide Information Management (SWIM, SESAR in Europe) services architecture for SAR operation actors. This new system shall contribute to improve the response times and increase the survival rate of GA users.
The below questionnaire which should takes you up to 10 to 15 minutes to complete, aims at collecting and understanding your needs. With your input, we will be in position to define an adapted solution for General Aviation and make sure of its dissemination to the SAR authorities as well as aeronautical authorities.

You can visit Grimasse project website :
You can visit Gricas project website :

GA pilot needs for a distress beacon
« GA pilot needs for a distress beacon »
Last name *
Your answer
First name *
Your answer
E-mail *
Your answer
Entity *
Your answer
What is your activity? *
Your answer
Are you a pilot? *
Have you ever been involved in *
If you ever experienced a distress situation, how did you proceed ?
Your answer
Were you equipped with a C/S beacon? ELT or PLB? *
Why were / weren't you equipped with such an equipment? (multiple choices possible)
Did you manually activate?
Other activation? Please kindly explain
Your answer
From whom did you receive communication? On which communication channel (phone, radio, …) and what information did you exchange?
Your answer
According to you, on which type of General aviation aircraft is it mandatory ?
Your answer
How would you consider the concept of a distress beacon for GA that could be activated automatically when detecting an event during a flight ? *
Would not consider
Might or might not consider
Definitely consider
No opinion
Unusual Attitude
Unusual Altitude
Loss of propulsion
Low Speed
Fire on board
Water detection
From "not at all important to essential", how important is for you each of the following listed functionality that could be implemented in a GA distress beacon? *
Not at all important
Low importance
Moderately important
No opinion
Rescue mode (remote activation if contact cannot be established)
Manual activation (from the cockpit)
Manual activation (on the beacon)
Manual deactivation
Automatic deactivation
How would you rate these GA beacon 's following features? *
Not a priority
Low priority
Medium priority
High priority
No opinion
Pilot’s mobile phone number encoded in the distress message transmitted by the beacon
Visual or aural signal to the pilot informing that the beacon is activated
An efficient way to code and to register the beacon (via a smartphone for example)
Installation of a GA beacon : Considering that the GA beacon would be connected to the aircraft (power...) is an STC (Supplemental type certificate) needed? *
According to you, would a specific GA beacon (with auto triggered functions) be useful? *
How likely are you to buy or recommend this GA beacon if it were available for general aviation? *
Extremely unlikely
Extremely likely
« would you be ready to help to get fundings from… *
What are the most valuable features/attributes of the proposed solution? *
Your answer
What features/attributes are least appealing to you? *
Your answer
At what price would this new product start to look expensive?
Your answer
At what price would this new product start to look inexpensive or cheap?
Your answer
What would be the ideal price for such GA beacon? *
Your answer
What benefits such a GA beacon would bring to pilots and general aviation organization? *
Your answer
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