In Case of Emergency

Having just examined the various quartz Breitling models that are available, I think now is a fitting time for me to share a friend’s story from the end of last year.  Out of respect for him, I am not going to mention his name or too many specifics, as he was kind enough to allow me to tell you about it.

For those of you who do not know, the Breitling Emergency is a battery-operated watch with a built-in microtransmitter with broadcasting capability of 121.5 MHz aircraft emergency frequency.  In the event of a crash or emergency, the watch’s transmitter can be activated by unscrewing a protective cap and pulling out the antenna.  A signal is then broadcasted for up to 48 hours for rescuers to home in on.  The signal has a range of approximately 160 kilometers for an aircraft flying at 6,000 meters.

Breitling Emergency Dial Diagram

In the winter of 2009, my friend was flying across Europe while wearing his Emergency Mission, the second variation of the Emergency with a slightly different aesthetic design.  While in the air, the plane he was in started to experience significant mechanical malfunctions.  After unsuccessfully trying to divert to an alternate landing location for roughly 15 minutes, the aircraft had a crash landing.

Once the plane slid to a stop, my friend and the other eight people aboard the aircraft blew the emergency hatches and exited the cabin.  Two people had broken backs and one other had a cracked pelvis.  After my friend gathered his situational awareness, he deployed his Emergency Mission.  He later learned that the aircraft was transmitting on 243MHz but the additional 121.5MHz from his watch served to complement that frequency and get the SAR overhead in less than an hour and a half.

Breitling Emergency Contributed to Rescue Efforts

My buddy told me this story so that I would have a firm answer to the question, “Does the Emergency really work?”  The answer is clearly yes.  In fact, it helped him get rescued from a devastating crash in the middle of Europe…

Has anyone else ever had to deploy their Emergency or Emergency Mission?

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7 thoughts on “In Case of Emergency

  1. I own the Emergency in addition to the Montbrilliant Datora. I work as a SAR Flight Paramedic and have been stationed in areas as remote as the Saudi Arabian desert, so having an additional 121.5 transmitter is always nice.

    Many people out there will talk about the new SARSAT frequency and how 121.5 is being monitored less these days, but that is not correct. While the SARSAT is the primary frequency monitored full time by the military currently, almost all civilian and private aircraft will monitor 121.5 constantly as they fly. Also, 121.5 will be used during the actual rescue process to triangulate position and effect rescue…bottom line, the Emergency is a great watch to have and an excellent compliment to any flight professional’s personal collection.

    Last but not least, and your friend may have told you this, if you deploy your transmitter antenna in an emergency situation and it leads to your rescue, Breitling will preform the watch and antenna service for free (normally around 500.00 USD i believe.)

  2. Pingback: Family Series: The Professional « The Breitling Report

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