For the 18th year in a row, Aviation International News (AIN) has dubbed Garmin the Overall Average leader in the Flight Deck Avionics segment in the AIN 2021 Product Support Survey. Garmin also received top rankings in every category of the survey, which are: Cost Per Hour Programs, Parts Availability, Cost of Parts, AOG Response, Warranty Fulfillment, Technical Manuals, Technical Reps and Overall Avionics Reliability.
AIN’s annual Product Support Survey is based exclusively on feedback from users of business jets, pressurized turboprop airplanes and turbine-powered helicopters. The survey is password-protected to ensure that only qualified readers are able to give input — meaning the results are based on unbiased, professional opinions of 1,450 avionics systems evaluations.
In the past year, the Garmin avionics product support team has worked hard for the top ranking. Lee Moore, the Garmin director of avionics product support, reports that new projects include (but are certainly not limited to):
The post Garmin Avionics Team Wins 18th Consecutive Aviation International News Award appeared first on Garmin Blog.
Max Unruh’s official title at Garmin is aviation product manager of autopilot systems. In layman’s terms? He’s a part of the team that decides which aircraft to certify for Garmin autopilot solutions. That means he helps to determine which aircraft is up next for certification, as well as which model will be the ideal test aircraft. By his count, he’s completed about 54 aircraft contracts in his two years at Garmin, 40 of which were for the GFC 500 or GFC 600 digital autopilot.
It’s a long process, says Unruh, and aircraft owners wait with baited breath as they refresh the list of currently supported aircraft, as well as those certification programs that are in progress and those that will begin in the next 12 months. But if you don’t see your aircraft included, don’t despair — there’s a way to toss your hat in the ring for your own plane, and Unruh is sharing some insight into the process for an extra edge.
Unruh looks for a unique combination of aircraft characteristics that tick all the boxes necessary for certification. “I have a high bar for incoming aircraft, and the selection process is not easy,” he says, noting that the owners who are selected typically report feeling like they’ve won the lottery. When he considers an individual aircraft, Unruh looks at:
The answer to this one is simple: If you are interested in GFC 500 or GFC 600 for your aircraft, just fill out this form. And even if your plane isn’t chosen immediately, says Unruh, that doesn’t mean it’s not being considered.
“I go in and review that information,” says Max. “It’s personally reviewed by a Garmin employee. And when I am looking for an aircraft, I use that list heavily. That’s probably my best fishing hole.”
The form requests that you provide your name, email address, which autopilot model you’re interested in and your aircraft make, model and registration number. There’s also a section to include additional details, and this is where Unruh has some pro tips.
“The pertinent details are whether or not the aircraft has any mods that make it different from the type design or any type of damage history and modifications,” he says. “I really want to know what kind of Garmin avionics they have installed. And one really nice thing is when an owner puts down their phone number.”
Another pro tip? If you’re connected with owners of similar aircraft, have them submit theirs for consideration as well.
“I like when owner groups post their aircraft on our website en masse,” says Unruh. “It generally helps to have a passionate and engaged aircraft owners group!”
Once an aircraft is selected for autopilot testing and a contract is executed, the aircraft is flown to a Garmin facility and thoroughly inspected. The Garmin mechanical design team then starts exhaustive research by analyzing the aircraft as well as various manuals and documents to select servo mounting locations. Experimental parts are trial-fitted, and the autopilot is installed. Approximately halfway through the program, the aircraft transitions into flight testing. The Garmin flight test team checks every configuration, including forward and aft center of gravity, lightweight and heavyweight, and all corners of the speed and altitude envelope. The last aircraft milestone is when the autopilot goes through final certification testing to confirm the autopilot performance is as expected. Once the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) is issued, the installation kits and all associated parts are built and made ready for shipment.
Next on deck for consideration for the GFC 500, says Unruh, are lighter twin-engine piston aircraft. He’s got his eye specifically on the Twin Comanche. If you’re a Twin Comanche owner, you should be outfitted with at least a GI 275 electronic flight instrument to be ready to equip with the GFC 500 digital autopilot.
Crossing your fingers that Garmin certifies your aircraft next? Help us to help you by filling out the autopilot interest form here.
The post A Behind-the-scenes Look at Garmin Autopilot Certifications appeared first on Garmin Blog.
Appareo’s AIRS-400 can do all of the data acquisition and recording to show compliance to a variety of ED-155 requirements by itself; however, to show full compliance to the standard, the camera needs to be hooked up to another module. We will further discuss why a second module may be required for some installations. But, for the overwhelming majority of AIRS installations a second module is not required, because the AIRS camera is:
Below we discuss the ways in which AIRS-400 alone is not compliant with the ED-155 standard, and we provide a list of combinations of AIRS-400 and other products that can be used for full compliance to the ED-155 standard.
AIRS-400 is not compliant with ED-155 section 2-1.14.4. This portion of the standard requires that the recorder be bright orange in color with black letters that say “FLIGHT RECORDER.” In general, Appareo finds our customers prefer a less obvious, intrusive color for a product mounted within the cockpit in plain sight. It would be possible to create a variant of our AIRS that would be bright orange and marked in this manner, but Appareo finds that our customers believe it looks bad in the cockpit.
AIRS-400 is significantly more survivable than our previous cockpit camera, Vision 1000. The product is not, however, compliant with ED-155 section 2-4.2.4. Compliance with the flame survivability standard requires the presence of a phase change material, a material that is used to absorb the heat energy in the event of a fire. The mass of phase change material that is necessary to absorb the amount of heat energy products are subjected to in this test is roughly four times the volume and four times the weight of AIRS-400. This creates a large, unattractive product package for mounting into the ceiling of a cockpit or flight deck. For a customer that requires ED-155 or ED-112 flame survivability, a recoverable memory module mounted in a more convenient location for a large, heavy product is the right architecture for deployment of a flight data recording system. This provides the optimal flight data acquisition capability, with a visually attractive and high-performing camera solution providing digital data to a large, less attractive, recoverable module buried out of sight in the aircraft.
Achieving full compliance with ED-155 is possible with AIRS-400 in a number of ways. The first, and perhaps easiest, is to connect the camera to a recoverable memory module. For example:
There are many different ways that AIRS-400, with its high survivability and alignment with ED-155 data acquisition/generation requirements, can help our global customers show compliance to regulations and standards that may invoke full or partial compliance to the ED-155 standard. The table below summarizes some of the ways in which this compliance can be achieved.
After reviewing this write-up and the above table, if you’re still trying to understand the standard, your requirements, and how to show compliance, please contact Appareo at [email protected].
President & CBO
In the event the pilot of an airplane is unable to fly, Garmin Autoland can help protect the passengers on board by taking control of the airplane and landing it at a suitable airport. It’s revolutionary automation. And it’s the recipient of the 2020 Robert J. Collier Trophy — the annual award that represents the pinnacle of achievement in aeronautics and astronautics. In this special edition, we talk to Garmin engineers Bailey Scheel and Ben Patel and Executive Vice President, Managing Director of Aviation Phil Straub about the development of this technology — and what it means for the future of aviation.
Cuban eight. Flick roll. Outside loop. When Matthias talks about aerobatics you can clearly hear his fascination for the sport. It’s his profession and his passion. For him, it has all the things he loves the most about flying as a pilot: speed, precision and skill.
“It’s the passion that gives you wings,” Matthias explains. “Plus, all the hard work I put in day after day, that is what helped me to launch my career. It all began at the local airfield when I was 5 years old. At the age of 10 I built my first model airplanes and four years later I took off for my first solo flight in a glider.” He remembers the emotions to this day and a hobby turned into a vocation. “I took part in an ultralight competition when I was 17 and won straight away. In addition to winning pride and passion, I felt that this is my future, my life.” He was a member of the national team at an early age, took part in European and World Championships and became Germany’s youngest flight instructor.
The combination of his passion for flying, obsession for perfection and being competitive from a young age made him fit perfectly into the world of air racing. A dream came true in 2009 when he took part in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship – the Formula 1 of the skies. “Only the best pilots qualify. I was ‘Best Rookie of the Year’. But even when you get there, you have to work hard every day, stay focused, learn from your setbacks and keep on improving.” The path to the winner’s rostrum was indeed long and hard, and it took a lot of resilience, determination and focus to get there. It all paid off in 2016, when he became the first and only German pilot ever to win this ultimate aviation sporting and speed spectacle. “It was amazing being one of the elite Air Race pilots, those madcap aviation enthusiasts, traveling the world, meeting new people and experiencing new cultures. Of course, the race itself is extreme. You have to fly your plane at speeds of up to 230 MPH just a few feet above the ground at the same time as navigating an obstacle course. It’s like trying to park a car in a garage at 250 MPH,” he laughs. “It isn’t just the adrenaline rush from flying at that speed that makes it so fascinating, but also the precision piloting of the plane. And you have to be in top mental and physical form.”
Technology obviously plays a crucial role in aviation. “When you’re in the air, you can still hear, see and feel. But sometimes the senses get confused. Especially when you’re upside down. That’s when I use the instruments for orientation. The plane’s look is also important to me. Both as a whole, and the details in the cockpit. That’s why my MARQ® Aviator is perfect for me. And it’s perfect in itself. Precision, perfection, design and style. It looks like an aircraft instrument. It’s kind of crazy how many things you can do with a tool watch these days: it gives me access to global aviator’s maps, it has a pre-flight check, routine check during the flight and even a direct-to navigation key and an off-course indicator. Pilots have an affinity with watches and to me the MARQ is the best fusion of aviation and everyday tools. In this way I can stay safe and efficient, and I have features like mails, alerts, Garmin Pay, etc. on my wrist.”
Like everyone else, Matthias has been longing to travel again. “With a bag over my shoulder and my MARQ Aviator on my wrist. An alarm at 4 a.m. in the morning. Still pitch black. Clear, cold and tangy air. Silence. Isolation. Start. Take-off. At one with nature and the skies. Then, the miracle of dawn. A pink hue over the horizon. The fascination of flying at its finest,” he concluded with a content smile.
To explore the full MARQ collection, click here.
At a really high level, ED-155 is the minimum operational performance specification for a lightweight flight data recording system. The specification was created in response to industry pressure to provide lighter flight recorders as smaller aircraft were increasingly receiving pressure to carry flight recorders, but the predominant international flight recorder standard at the time (ED-112) was constructed primarily to address requirements for air carriers to have onboard cockpit flight and data recorders. The accident dynamics (where the crash occurs, how much energy is in the crash, what the potential for fire size/duration may be) are much different on large jetliners when compared to helicopters or smaller fixed-wing business aircraft. Especially with consideration for rotorcraft, weight and size are at a premium and lighter solutions that more appropriately address the survivability requirements of a recorder in a smaller aircraft accident were necessary to be created.
The specification was also created to encourage the modernization of flight data recording technologies, moving away from standards that support old recording media like magnetic tape.
The specification is constructed to cater to a variety of different data recording needs. It includes:
The specification as a result provides a very comprehensive set of requirements that address almost any conceivable type of recording system.
This is confusing because there are no specific international mandates that decompose some of the five different categories of ED-155 and call on a specific subset of requirements to be compliant with a standard. Rather, the standard provides guidelines for a variety of different systems.
The general standards that address all recorder types include requirements for basic operation, safety, retention of recorded information, and survivability. The survivability standard covers requirements for impact/shock, crush, and flame survivability that are in excess of tests encountered in standards like RTCA DO-160. There is also a requirement that the survivable memory component of the flight recorder be bright orange and labeled with the words FLIGHT RECORDER in black letters.
A deployable recorder is a recorder that is designed to come free from an aircraft in an accident sequence. In general, the objective of these recorders is often to pair them with a locating beacon and a means of flotation to allow the recorder to float and be recovered independently of the wreckage for incidents that occur over deep water. These recorders are typically mounted on the exterior of the aircraft. In Appareo’s experience, the smaller nature of the aircraft that are often under consideration for ED-155 recorders has made it unusual for us to encounter interest in deployable recorders of this size. Regardless, the standard provides for additional environmental and survivability testing criteria for ED-155 compliant recorders designed with this feature in mind.
A CARS is a system that records both ambient area audio data (i.e. the noise inside the cockpit) as well as the pilot audio channel(s). The ambient area audio data allows accident investigators to listen to particulars of an incident, which can sometimes provide insights regarding aircraft mechanical failures (e.g. forensic analysis of turbine engine noise). The recording of pilot communications provides insights into pilot decision-making, communication between pilots, and interactions with air traffic control. In some recorder systems, the pilot audio channels and the cockpit area microphone data can be delivered by different system components.
The specification declares the performance and recording requirements (e.g. total recording capacity, recording delay tolerances, etc) for both the ambient and pilot sources while adding requirements or provisions for other capabilities (e.g. requiring a build erase function to be present). The standard also provides for the test requirements and procedures necessary to demonstrate a CARS’ performance against the standard’s requirements.
An ADRS is a system that records digital flight data in an uncompressed format. The ED-155 standard allows for a variety of aircraft data sources, which is an effort to accommodate the wide variety of aircraft on which such recorders were intended to be installed. For example, acquiring flight data on helicopters that are not equipped with digital data buses as a portion of the avionic equipage may not be impractical – as a result, the standard allows for sensors interior to the ADRS to record such data (e.g. pitch/roll data from an IMU, GPS data, etc). Alternatively, a smaller aircraft used for business transport purposes may provide practical access to a digital data bus (e.g. ARINC 429) and the standard provides performance requirements for recording from such sources.
Much like the CARS, the ADRS specification declares performance and recording requirements for the ADRS while also specifying which parameters must be recorded, and at what frequency, for a unit to qualify as an ADRS.
Aircraft image recording systems are equipment that is deployed for the intent of capturing image data regarding aircraft operation, which is typically then synchronized in time with the recording of other recorder types. For example, synchronizing AIRS with a CARS will provide synchronized playback of image and audio data from a flight. Likewise, synchronizing AIRS and ADRS can provide data to create synchronized cockpit videos with flight animations.
The AIRS systems are separated into six different classes. The classes are described by alpha characters (A through F) and are organized as follows:
The standard provides guidance for operational considerations, like what portions of the cockpit to capture in the image frame and provisions for data security/privacy (e.g. preventing AIRS data from being easily played back by non-investigative personnel, as well as performance requirements in the areas of recording capacity, recording delay, and image compression.
Often when people refer to flight data recorders the physical interface between the flight data recorder and the aircraft is often done through ARINC 717. The objective of a DLRS is to record the messages passing to and from the aircraft via a digital means, which is typically accomplished using a standard avionic digital interface like ARINC429. In this manner, the DLRS is attempting to acquire information like data exchanged through CPDLC, digital ATIS, NOTAM delivery, etc.
Although Appareo’s recording solutions (both AIRS and RDM) can support acquiring DLRS data we typically don’t list such recorders in our compliance tables because the FANS, CPDLC, and related on-aircraft features that necessitate and enable such recorders don’t typically appear in aircraft under consideration for ED-155 style, lighter, flight data recorders.
AIRS can do all of the data acquisition and recording to show compliance to a variety of ED-155 requirements by itself, however, to show full compliance to the standard the camera needs to be hooked up to another module. This section of the document will further discuss why a second module MAY be required for some installations. For the overwhelming majority of AIRS installations a second module is not required because the AIRS cameras are:
The sections below discuss the ways in which the AIRS-400 is not compliant with the ED-155 standard and discuss why those noncompliances exist. Then, finally, a table will provide the combinations of AIRS-400 and other products that can be used to show full compliance to the ED-155 standard.
AIRS-400, in an off-the-shelf configuration, is not compliant with ED-155 section 2-1.14.4. This portion of the standard requires that the recorder be bright orange in color with black letters that say, “FLIGHT RECORDER.” In general, Appareo finds our customers to prefer a less obvious, intrusive, color for a product mounted within the cockpit in plain sight. It would be possible to create a variant of our AIRS that would be bright and orange and marked in this manner, but in general, Appareo finds that our customers do not want the camera marked in such a manner because they believe it looks bad in the cockpit.
In general, the AIRS-400 is significantly more survivable than our previous cockpit camera product, the Vision 1000. The product is not, however, compliant with ED-155 section 2-4.2.4.
It is not compliant with this portion of the standard because compliance with the flame survivability requirement requires the presence of a phase change material, a material that is used to absorb the heat energy in the event of a fire. The mass of phase change material that is necessary to absorb the amount of heat energy products are subjected to in this test is roughly 4 times the volume, and 4 times the weight, of Appareo’s AIRS-400 product. This creates a large, unattractive, product package for mounting into the ceiling of a cockpit or flight deck. For a customer that requires ED-155 or ED-112 flame survivability, a recoverable memory module mounted in a more convenient location for a large, heavy product is the right architecture for the deployment of a flight data recording system. This provides the optimal flight data acquisition capability, with a visually attractive and high-performing camera solution providing digital data to a large, less attractive, recoverable module buried out of sight in the aircraft.
Achieving full compliance with ED-155 is possible with AIRS-400 in a number of ways. The first, and perhaps easiest, is to connect the camera to a recoverable memory module of either Appareo or third-party manufacture. For example:
There are many different ways in which this new camera, with its high survivability and alignment with ED-155 data acquisition/generation requirements, can help our global customers show compliance to regulations and standards that may invoke full or partial compliance to the ED-155 standard. The table below helps summarize some of the ways in which this compliance can be achieved.
If, after reviewing this write-up and the above table, you’re still trying to understand the standard, your requirements, and how to show compliance, please contact Appareo.
Part of our role in helping our customers to be successful is providing transparent, direct, assistance in navigating these standards to achieve an affordable and conveniently implemented system that truly fits the aircraft while showing compliance to required regulations.
President & CBO https://appareo.com/2021/08/09/what-is-ed-155/
Certified in May 2020 on select general aviation aircraft, Garmin Autoland is the world’s first autonomous system designed to activate in an emergency to fly and land an aircraft with no human intervention. It can take over automatically after determining a pilot is unable to fly, or it can be engaged when the pilot or passengers press an activation button. It will then select an optimal destination to land, avoid known hazards, announce its intentions to air traffic control and passengers, and then proceed to land the airplane1.
“We honor the foresight and decade of effort invested by the team at Garmin Aviation, as well as those significant contributions of their OEM partners — Piper Aircraft, Daher and Cirrus Aircraft — to bring an automated landing within reach of general aviation pilots and passengers,” FLYING Magazine said in its announcement. “It’s a privilege to give the 2021 Flying Innovation Award for this incredible leap forward in GA safety to Garmin Aviation.”
Autoland is part of the Autonomí family, a suite of autonomous safety-enhancing technologies that are designed to make flying easier and safer for both pilot and passengers. Other Autonomí technologies include Electronic Stability and Protection (ESP), emergency descent mode, Smart Rudder Bias and Smart Glide.
“It is a tremendous honor to be recognized with the prestigious Flying Innovation Award for Garmin Autoland,” said Carl Wolf, Garmin vice president of aviation sales and marketing. “We are so proud of the forward-thinking mindset and dedication to safety of the Garmin team, our aircraft manufacturing collaborators and so many others that played a part in the more than a decade’s long mission of making this life-saving technology a reality.”
To learn more about the award, see FLYING Magazine’s article here.
¹See Garmin.com/ALuse for Autoland system requirements and limitations
The post Garmin Wins FLYING Magazine’s 2021 Flying Innovation Award appeared first on Garmin Blog.
FltPlan.com is the largest flight planning company in North America and offers free, web-based flight planning and filing, plus a full range of premium services. In fact, it’s got so many features that it’s easy to overlook some of your options. Below, we’ve highlighted five of our favorite FltPlan® components, complete with some tips to help you take full advantage.
Obtaining your EDCT up to 90 minutes before departure can help alleviate headaches for flight crews and passengers alike. FltPlan can help.
EDCTs can be obtained up to 90 minutes before your scheduled departure time. EDCT notices and Planned ATC Routes are a package. If you select that you’d like to receive your Planned ATC Route, we will also send you any EDCT that may be in effect along with your wheels-up time, i.e., your EDCT. If your flight is not flying in an area of EDCTs, then you will not receive any EDCT emails.
To opt in, EDCTs can be found on the Main Menu page under Flight Tracking > ATC Route/EDCT.
We also offer a link on your Active Flight Plan List that will direct you to the FAA’s EDCT website. The FAA website will let you know whether or not your flight will be affected by delays.
FltPlan flight planning service’s customizable Aircraft Performance Page now allows you to switch your fuel units between lbs, gallons and kg with just a click.
Go to Main Menu > Settings > A/C Performance, and select your aircraft. Under the Method 2 heading, look for the “Fuel Units” drop-down menu, and select your desired unit of measurement. The conversion calculations are completed for you automatically.
You can also complete the blanks in the Advanced Fuel Burn section. This is ideal for taking information from your flight manual, POH or QRH, where some of the altitudes are not listed. By clicking the “Fill in Blanks Below” button, any empty fields — such as climb speed, cruise speed, fuel burn, etc. — are filled in. When you save your changes, a warning message will let you know if you have any gaps.
Looking for places to stop for fuel? Our Find Fuel Stop feature (under Flight Planning > Find Fuel Stop) can do just that. Select your aircraft, departure and arrival, and the date of flight, and you’ll be able to customize the distance, runway length and fuel type you’re looking for on the search. Once completed, all nearby fuel stops will display along with the runway length, FBO and fuel pricing.
The FAA requires that Part 135 operators indicate their operator name in Item 18. With FltPlan, it’s a simple one-time process to set up your account to include this information in all your ICAO format flight plans.
To add OPR information to your ICAO data, go to Main Menu > Settings > A/C ICAO Data, and select the A/C. Under Emergency Contact & Aircraft Operator / Owner Info, complete the Operator Name field.
While you’re there, please make sure your emergency contact name and phone number are current. This is the number that FltPlan will call if there is an incident or accident, so please don’t enter your own contact information.
Do you fly multiple legs in a single duty and want a quick way to look at needed fuel loads? Minimum fuel required can be quickly viewed from our Flight Listing page. The listing, which also includes fuel burn, displays requirements for both IFR and VFR flights. With Flight Listing, all your routing and flight information can be seen on one page, which can be printed out to bring with you.
The Flight Listing page can be accessed from Main Menu > Flight Planning > Flight Listing.
We’re excited to get back to AirVenture Oshkosh and be reunited with our aviation family! Visit Garmin and FltPlan at our exhibit on Celebration Way to demo our latest, greatest products and services. Flying a Garmin equipped airplane? We will be offering up to $100 off select database packages for all your flying needs at Oshkosh this year, and we will have pros on-site at our Database Desk to help you find the best solution for you. The discount applies only to purchases at the show and includes select database regions. See here for more information.
The post Five Tips for Planning Your Flight with FltPlan.com appeared first on Garmin Blog.
It’s been more than 1 year, 11 months and 2 weeks since the last EAA AirVenture Oshkosh — not that we’re counting or anything — and we’re ready to get back. The Garmin exhibit will be even better this year, and we’re located at the same location: just west of Boeing Plaza along Celebration Way. We hope you’re looking forward to it as much as we are. Below are just a few of the reasons to get excited.
See our latest products, features and upgrades and how they work in person with one of our avionics experts at the show. Updates this year include TXi EIS capabilities for turboprop twins, GI 275 with transponder control and display options, plus much more. We’ll even be demonstrating our Collier Trophy-winning Autoland technology, which will definitely be worth planning your day around.
For the first time, database subscriptions will be available for purchase right from our EAA AirVenture exhibit. Select subscriptions will also be eligible for special AirVenture savings. Simply bring your flyGarmin login information and avionics system IDs, and our team will apply new databases and subscriptions to your flyGarmin account. Your databases will be ready and waiting for upload at the next data cycle.
Have a question about a Garmin product, or just want to know more about our solutions? Attend daily seminars presented by our team of experts, ranging from getting started with the Garmin Pilot app through our latest certified flight deck and display upgrades. Plus, if you attend a Garmin seminar at EAA AirVenture, you can be eligible for additional savings on select Garmin avionics. See the full seminar schedule here.
Be one of the first to see Mike Patey’s latest creation, “Scrappy.” Based on the popular Cub Crafters Carbon Cub airframe, Patey and his team enlarged the fuselage, beefed up the frame, installed a massive 780 cubic-inch piston engine and added plenty of custom features. And naturally, we’re partial to the panel. Our Team X group of pilots and experimental engineers worked with Mike to develop a unique Garmin panel for “Scrappy.” Mike will be spending time at our exhibit with “Scrappy” answering your questions, taking pictures and signing autographs. You won’t want to miss it.
Steve Thorne — better known as FlightChops — will also be showcasing his recently completed Van’s Aircraft RV-14 at our exhibit. Attendees will not only be able to see the Garmin-equipped panel but will be able to visit with FlightChops as well. Learn more about his aircraft in his YouTube series of build vlogs here.
Our pilot training team is hosting in-person GTN series training courses at the Hilton Garden Inn on the Oshkosh, Wisconsin, airfield, July 26-30. These hands-on, scenario-based classes teach effective and efficient flight operation with an emphasis on flight planning and instrument procedures. Space is limited, so sign up now.
For our full schedule of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh events, click here.
Learn how a Beechcraft Baron 58 operator relies on the latest Garmin avionics — including our GFC 600 autopilot with Smart Rudder Bias — to help reduce workload and increase confidence during single-pilot IFR operations.
When Marshall Chipley’s family business was looking for an airplane to help support their fleet of construction equipment, reliability and safety-enhancing features were top priorities. Their typical missions would begin from their headquarters in South Carolina, transporting replacement parts and tools throughout the region for paving, grading and earth moving machinery — sometimes twice a day and in instrument conditions. Chipley, the only pilot for the company, knew a light piston twin would offer the performance, reliability and safety features needed to accomplish their mission. Ultimately, they decided a 1996 Beechcraft Baron 58 best fit the profile.
Although a highly capable aircraft, an engine failure in a Baron or any light twin can present a safety risk of its own. With this consideration, and the higher workloads required for single-pilot IFR operations, Chipley and his family decided a Garmin-equipped cockpit would not only make the aircraft more capable but also enhance safety. The upgrade included G600 TXi, EIS TXi, a GFC 600 digital autopilot with Smart Rudder Bias, GTN 750 and more.
“It wasn’t just about wanting this [avionics] system to make my job easier,” Chipley said. “We also wanted this system to make this really great aircraft what it actually could be. If you get behind the airplane in a bad weather situation, you could get yourself in a bad spot. Having the situational awareness the Garmin products offered was a no-brainer.”
One of the key benefits an autopilot can offer is helping reduce pilot workload, especially during flights in instrument conditions. The Garmin GFC 600 builds on that principle with a robust feature set, including underspeed and overspeed protection, a dedicated return-to-level mode button, Garmin Electronic Stability and Protection and much more.
“It doesn’t matter if I’ve got a 15-knot crosswind, [GFC 600] flies a perfect, straight glideslope and localizer all the way in … to be able to trust the system when I’m coming in to just above minimums … it gives the confidence that you can stay ahead of this airplane and make this a safe flight.”
A major advantage of operating a twin is the added peace of mind that comes with engine redundancy. If one engine loses power, the remaining engine could provide enough thrust to get the aircraft to the nearest airport for an emergency landing. However, an engine failure in a twin can present hazardous aerodynamic effects, forcing pilots to act quickly to maintain control of the aircraft. Chipley understood this risk, and because the Baron was equipped with the GFC 600 autopilot and yaw damper, TXi primary flight display and TXi EIS, adding Smart Rudder Bias was an easy decision.
“If I have a single engine issue on takeoff, I’ve got some help here,” Chipley said. “I know Smart Rudder Bias will be like a copilot to help me react quickly.”
Smart Rudder Bias monitors the aircraft throughout the entire flight, determines a one-engine inoperative condition, identifies which engine is affected during a failure and immediately applies control force to the rudder to help overcome yaw tendencies.
But having modern avionics wasn’t enough. Chipley wanted a system that was engineered to work seamlessly together, ensuring optimum performance.
“We wanted avionics that work well together. You can put things from different manufacturers together, but when something is designed in-house to work together, that’s the best it can be,” Chipley said. “It can’t be any better, because it was designed to work together. Having avionics that work effectively and efficiently was really important to us. That ecosystem didn’t exist anywhere else.”
The Garmin Flight Stream 510 wireless gateway provides this integration between the GTN 750 navigators, G600 TXi flight displays and iPads® running Garmin Pilot.
“We use Garmin Pilot to download all of the databases, charts and supplements that we need. I go sit in the airplane 30 minutes before a flight and get everything uploaded,” Chipley said. “Then if I have a routing change from ATC, I can plug it in on my iPad or on the dash, and it’s always feeding the updated flight plan to the iPad, or from the iPad to the avionics,” Chipley said. “It’s nice to have updated information in-flight.”
Although the Baron took a quantum leap forward in capabilities with the Garmin upgrades, for Chipley, it’s the added confidence and sense of safety that strikes a chord.
“This isn’t just about having a nice system that makes flying fun, this is about safety,” Chipley added. “I’ve got a wife and three children — we have to make sure we come home.”
iPad is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
The post Maximizing a Light Twin with Garmin Avionics and Smart Rudder Bias appeared first on Garmin Blog.