Configuring SPOT Service (find out how SPOT works at www.findmespot.com )
Purchase SPOT (retail price about $170) either online at http://findmespot.ca/shop or from one of their dealers at http://www.findmespot.ca/en/locateadealer. You must create a user account and sign up for at least basic service ($99 US per year) in order to use SPOT. Basic service includes unlimited check-in, help and 911 reports. In addition, we highly recommend that you subscribe to the Track Progress service because it provides a bread-crumb trail of your flights. COPA has negotiated a discount (free Track Progress service for the first year – value $49). Call the COPA office (613-236-4901 – extension 100 - Cathy) or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to verify your membership and receive a code.
Go to https://login.findmespot.com/faces/customerinfo.jsp to activate your unit. Sign up for the Basic service plus Track Progress then click on “Have a promo code?” on that page before you enter your credit card information in order to get the Track Progress service for free.
When the user account has been established, log in at https://login.findmespot.com/faces/welcome.jsp
Select “DEFAULT” under “Edit Current Profile”
Complete the check-in, HELP and SOS sections, including email addresses and/or mobile device contacts and the messages you’d like to send.
An example of the check-in message is “Just checking in. Click on the link below to see my location.”
An example of a help message is “This is a request for help. I am OK but please send someone to the location indicated in the link below when conditions permit.”
In the SOS “Additional Information” box, type in a message to highlight that your SPOT is being used in an aircraft and that one of the Joint Rescue Coordination Centres should be the primary contact. It is important to note that SPOT is being used in an aircraft; otherwise your distress alert may be forwarded to local police for action instead of a Rescue Coordination Centre and this may delay the response. Whenever you use your SPOT for non-aviation purposes, such as hiking, you should change this message so that the appropriate search resources will be contacted without delay. An example of a SOS message is:
“This SPOT is used in an aircraft. When a SOS distress signal is received from this unit, call the Trenton Joint Rescue Coordination Centre 613-965-3870 and tell them this is an aircraft distress call”.
Insert the closest JRCC to your normal operating area (Victoria, Trenton or Halifax) as your primary contact (periodically check these numbers to ensure that they have not changed). Please note that the toll free numbers are not accessible from outside of Canada (SOS distress signals are received at GEOS in Texas) but they are provided here for your information in case you or your friends need them.
Victoria 250-413-8933 or 800-567-5111
Trenton 613-965-3870 or 800-267-7270
Halifax 902-427-2100 or 800-565-1582
Configuring Your Aircraft Checklist
Insert the following bolded items at the beginning of your pre-start checklist (bracketed words are for explanation):
Press and release SPOT power button. (The power button will begin to flash, indicating that SPOT is turned on and is seeking its location. There is no indication when it has determined its location, which takes normally up to 1 minute but can be longer depending on where it was last activated.)
After 2 seconds, press and release the “Check-in” button. (The check-in button will begin to flash in sequence with the power button unless SPOT has not yet determined its location. This action sends a check-in message to the central web site and to whoever you have set up in your profile. It can take up to 20 minutes for SPOT to establish its location and send a check-in message, depending on how far away it was last activated but it can take as little as one minute for a check-in message to be relayed to a mobile phone . Leave SPOT in this mode as long as possible (20 minutes would be ideal) to ensure that a message is sent).
Insert the following bolded items at the beginning of your pre-takeoff checklist and do the following just before you enter the runway:
Press and hold SPOT Track button until it begins to flash. (SPOT will send a message to the central web site every 10 minutes for the next 24 hours unless you deactivate SPOT.)
Insert the following bolded items at the beginning of your post-flight checklist:
Press and hold SPOT Check-in button until it begins to flash. (This action sends a check-in message to the central web site and to whoever you have set up in your profile. Leave SPOT in this mode as long as possible (20 minutes would be ideal) to ensure that a message is sent).
Insert the following bolded item at the end of your checklist:
Press and hold SPOT Power button until lights extinguish. (This will deactivate SPOT)
Tips for Using SPOT:
Place SPOT with the logo facing the sky (GPS antenna is located under the logo). Velcro to the top of the instrument panel or clip it to a sun visor.
If you need help, press and hold the “HELP” button for at least 2 seconds anytime while the unit is on. Messages will be sent to your contacts every 5 minutes for one hour. To deactivate HELP, press and hold the “HELP” button for 3 seconds.
To alert the central monitoring agency to contact a JRCC, press and hold the SOS button anytime while the unit is on. Messages will be sent to the central monitoring agency every 5 minutes until deactivated. To deactivate SOS, press and hold the SOS button for 3 seconds.
There is a “Share” feature on the web site in order to let people view your location reports but not have access to your account information. Insert the url for your share page into the space for this purpose on a Nav Canada flight plan to let them know that you have a tracking device on board so that they can relay this url to the JRCC in the event of an overdue aircraft.