Well, that is embarassing.
"March 2, 2014: The U.S. Air Force was embarrassed recently when it was revealed that the PLBs (personal locator beacons) in ejection seats and parachutes (not part of ejection seats) failed 45 percent of the time when actually used and 24 percent of the time when the air force went and spot checked the ones that were waiting to be installed. The beacon (the AN/URT-44) weighs 540 gr (19 ounces) is water and shock proof and the size of a smart phone. The air force paid $1,765 each for 17,000 of these back in 2009. Delivery was complete by 2010. As the extent of the failure rate became known the air force decided to replace all the AN/URT-44s with a new locator design from another manufacturer.
What really bothered a lot of aircrew, who depend on these beacons to be quickly found by rescuers after bailing out, is that many air force personnel who ski spend $300 on avalanche locators, which make it easier to find skiers buried in snow by an avalanche. These locators have proved very rugged and reliable and cost less than a fifth of what was paid for AN/URT-44s. "