Mikayla, 11, proves a walkie-talkie wonder

A GIRL whose walkie-talkie was supposed to have a radius of just two miles picked up a distress call from an injured climber 100 miles away.

Mikayla Whitley, 11, was sitting on her back porch in Marysville, Washington, in the US, when she heard the cry for help from Michael Wyant who was stranded on Mount Stuart after falling and injuring an ankle. The youngster told her mother who in turn contacted police.

Mikayla then spent the next few hours acting as a link between the injured man and his rescuers. Her father, Bill Whitley, said: 'I'm so proud you can't believe. I'm beaming at the seams.'

METRO, London edition, 26 September 2000.

Now, I should congratulate the mountain climber for taking a radio with him when climbing. Of course the young girl should also be praised, and rightly so, for her actions. What I did find so laughable (it was a better option than being infuriated) was the fact that people found it "remarkable" that a 500mW walkie-talkie could communicate as far as 160km!

Anyone who has any sense will realise that once a bit of height is attained the propagation purely becomes line of site, and 500mW can do 245km at 460MHz, but then again, I wonder who this article was aimed at - the engineering talent in the UK?

© 28.09.00