Chris Palmer is a career certified flight instructor and the founder of an Alaska-based flight school, Angle of Attack. So when considering instruments for the panel in his Cessna 172, he prioritized efficiency and ease-of-use — and the Garmin GI 275 Engine Indication System (EIS) was a no-brainer.
“It really cleaned up my panel,” Palmer says. “I had those old mechanical instruments that were unreliable and inaccurate, and now I have by-the-number accuracy on the 275. It also gives you at-a-glance information, so instead of looking at the number directly, you may just look at it being in the green or red or yellow. And of course, the user interface for those instruments is so good that if anything is wrong, you’ll see a notification right away, so that’s really nice as well.”
But the biggest advantage of the GI 275, he says, is that the primary engine monitoring solution replaces all analog engine gauges. In one display, you can easily ascertain engine, fuel and electrical information, allowing you to fully manage engine operation with all the readouts you need in convenient location — with multiple pages for easy access.
“It replaced every instrument on the righthand side of my panel. It’s now all down to one round dial instrument, which leaves room for other activities.”
For Palmer, who flies predominately in what he dubs the inhospitable terrain of the Alaskan bush, his favorite component of the EIS is less a specific feature and more a feeling it inspires.
“It’s about the peace of mind,” he says. “I came from very primitive engine information to where now I have everything I could ever want. You do not want engine problems out here. So having that insight into my engine at all times has been extremely comforting — I didn’t realize how much anxiety it was causing me to not have all that information.” Now he can monitor every cylinder. “It just gives me comfort knowing that if I see trends or see something wrong, I can be ahead of it and potentially land somewhere if there’s an issue.”
Another bonus to choosing Garmin to manage your engine operation? “I really like that it’s not a set-in-stone piece of hardware — in other words, Garmin updates over time. They’ve already updated the user interface, and I like that about it because you get new and improved information and layout.”
In his work with his flight school, Palmer encourages pilots (and aspiring pilots) to take the plunge and install a GI 275 EIS.
“There is so much going on in your engine that you don’t realize, and you’re kind of just at the mercy of your mechanic and the maintenance process and whoever is maintaining your airplane, without having the information at your fingertips all the time. And again, going back to it, just the sense of comfort —your engine is the most important thing on the airplane other than the wings. All the time that it’s running well and you’re not having issues, it’s blissful ignorance without an instrument like that. I don’t like blissful ignorance anymore — I’d rather have my information, and if it’s not good news, then I’ll get on the ground, and I’ll be safe. Out of all the instrumentation I upgraded with the airplane, my engine monitor, the GI 275, is my favorite, and it’s the one I appreciate the most.”
To learn more about the GI 275 EIS, click here. Visit Palmer’s YouTube channel, Angle of Attack, for aviation education and entertainment, or angleofattack.com to learn more about online ground school.
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