A little known fact is that the SPOT/GARMIN SOS requests go through a private dispatch centre located in the USA and it can take as long as 45min - 1 hour before your message is received and processed. If you were a hiker or other out door adventurer the local search and rescue would use ground assets to try and locate you.
If you can verify that you are an Aircraft in distress with a custom SOS message then the JRCC in Victoria will launch air search and rescue immediately.
After the seminar, BCGA member Jonathan R. Pagtakhan emailed us a sample of the custom message that he uses on his GPS tracker and we thought that it was too good not to share.
“Aircraft distress call. Contact Victoria Joint Rescue Coordination Centre: 250-413-8933 or 800-567-1111 Canadian Private Pilot License: XXXXX Aircraft Registration: Cessna 172M C-XXXX (ELT Equipped VHF 121.5) / First & last name TELUS Mobile: +1-604-XXX-XXXX DOB: 01-XX-19XX Blood type: X Allergies: X Medication: X Conditions: X Recent hospitalization: X Doctor's name: Dr. X Doctor's phone: +1-604-XXX-XXXX BC Personal Health Number: 90XX-XXX-XXX”