Satellite phones are becoming the most common form of communication equipment carried by my customers. These global-coverage phones provide all the utility of an ordinary phone but are expensive to rent and even more expensive to own because of high equipment costs and unusual subscription and airtime charges. If you choose to bring a satellite phone, you will not be able to speak to me while I’m away from my base in Fort Yukon and you won’t be able to speak to me while flying overhead. If you prefer to have this capability, you will need a VHF aviation band transceiver. These radios are relatively inexpensive to purchase or rent and are effective for passing messages to me directly or through other pilots (they are limited to line-of-sight transmissions). Although Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELT’s or PLB’s) are effective in getting help in an emergency, they offer no communication capability and are relatively expensive when compared to the versatility of a satellite phone.

Yukon Air can provide VHF transceivers for rent (see Yukon Air Service/Equipment Rental) and the following companies can provide these and the other equipment mentioned above either for rent or for sale. For satellite phones, only the Iridium system guarantees global coverage, including the high Arctic, however, some parties have been successfully using GlobalStar phones in the Arctic Refuge. Always have a spare battery for satellite phones and don’t plan to use it much while out since they typically deplete batteries quickly.

Satellite Phones
Surveyor’s Exchange Anchorage, Alaska 800-770-5500
Sat Phone Store Miami, Florida 305-633-9636
World Communication Center Denver, Co. 303-751-1045
VHF Radios & Emergency Locator Transmitters
Surveyor’s Exchange Anchorage, Alaska 800-770-5500
Marv Golden Sales San Diego, California 800-348-0014