The Road to Certification: GFC 500 for the Retractable 182s

The Road to Certification: GFC 500 for the Retractable 182s

Garmin’s GFC 500 autopilot is still very new, and supported aircraft are being added all the time. TROY WHISTMAN, a Cessna Flyer Association member, was selected and agreed to loan his 1980 Cessna TR182 Turbo Skylane RG as a test aircraft for Garmin’s certification of the autopilot in retractable Skylanes. Here is his story, including tips for how you might improve the chances of your aircraft being selected, too.

The morning of Monday, July 15, 2019, dawned over Olathe, Kansas, with a beautiful sunrise, as I awoke with a burst of excitement. Today, with any luck, I’d be picking up and flying home our 1980 Cessna TR182 Turbo Skylane RG with a newly installed 3-axis GFC 500 digital autopilot. 

Exactly 116 days (almost four months) earlier, on March 21, I had flown our airplane from the Dallas area to New Century AirCenter Airport (KIXD) in Olathe, Kansas, home of Garmin’s Flight Test group. I left the TR182 in their care while they used the airframe as a certification test vehicle to make the autopilot available for all retractable Cessna 182s. This story covers that journey.

A game-changing autopilot 

Like many who fly older Cessna aircraft, my 39-year-old airframe was equipped with a Cessna Nav-o-Matic single-axis autopilot—the 300A, to be exact. While it held course/heading just fine, it couldn’t fly a glideslope, handle vertical descents, or capture (much less hold) an altitude during cruise flight. 

One might argue that Cessna 182s are stable aircraft, and you really don’t need an autopilot to hold altitude when properly trimmed. In fact, I made that same argument to my friends for several years as I flew single-pilot IFR in this excellent airframe.

Then, Garmin announced the GFC 500. 

I looked at the feature list: IAS mode climbs (often called FLC, for “flight level change”); VNAV capabilities to automate step-downs on approaches and arrival procedures; full GPSS capability for holding patterns, entries, and turn anticipation; ILS/LOC/BC/VOR/GPS/RNAV approach capabilities; envelope protection; and the LVL button. This thing had it all. 

While I wanted one installed yesterday, Garmin certifies these units by make and model. When the Cessna 182 was finally announced as ready and available, I tried to make the case with them that the R182 and TR182 were covered by the same 3A13 Type Certificate Data Sheet, and thus the R182/TR182 should be covered by their standard Cessna 182 certification work, to no avail. 

Due to the CG shift with the gear in transit, the Lycoming versus Continental powerplant, and the higher service ceiling, the TR182 would need to be certified under its own program of test flights.

Like many of you who are interested in the GFC 500 program, I religiously followed Garmin’s Supported Aircraft matrix showing which aircraft are currently covered by STC, which aircraft they are currently working on certifying, and which programs they plan to begin in the next 12 months. I also filled out Garmin’s online form expressing my interest in seeing the TR182 certified. (The links to a list of supported aircraft and Garmin’s request form for additional models can be found in Resources. —Ed.) 

Not to be deterred, I emailed way back in July 2017 to log my interest and received the same default message that many of you have received:

 “Thank you for reaching out. Your request has been received and we will use this information to evaluate the marketplace for future certification efforts.”

 

Improving my odds

I had no idea what criteria Garmin uses to select certification program candidates, but I knew my name was in the hat because I filled out the form. (NOTE: There is a separate form to complete if you’re interested in allowing Garmin to use your aircraft to certify their GFC 500 or 600 autopilot, versus just interested in buying one when it’s ready. See Resources. —Ed.)

However, I did know that the GFC 500 requires a Garmin G5 to be installed, as the G5 has the “brains” of the autopilot. So, in the winter of 2018, I undertook a panel renovation with the help of a good friend, supervision by an A&P/IA, and advice from a booked-through-2020 avionics shop owner. 

We did the work ourselves, gutting the old 1980s plastic panel and associated wiring, and over the course of two months transformed the airplane with a laser-cut flat metal panel with laser-etched labels (see sidebar at right), new glareshield and instrument lighting, dual recessed G5s, flush-mount JPI 830, custom warning LEDs for alert conditions and a new avionics electrical panel with extended main bus. 

Through our avionics contact, we obtained the wiring diagram for the GFC 500 install and pre-wired the airplane for the GMC 507 (that’s the GFC 500’s control head in the radio stack; the box with the blue LVL button), breakers for the autopilot servos, dual inputs to the audio panel for autopilot alert tones, yoke wiring for the trim switches and disconnect switch and more. 

The plan: get the airplane as close to “ready” as it could be, with the goal of improving our odds of being selected by minimizing the work Garmin would have to do if we were selected. 

 

Getting lucky

From the moment the program had been launched, I used web monitoring tools to let me know the instant any change was made to the “available/working on it/coming soon” list on Garmin’s website. 

When I’d see that a new plane was available, even though it wasn’t the R182/TR182, I’d often post a positive message to the North Texas Aviators Facebook group, alerting others that flew whatever newly certified type was just announced. One member who flew the Grumman Tiger got his Garmin autopilot installed just after it was certified. I drooled over his installation for some time. 

Then, one day in February 2019, after posting yet another “not for my R182/TR182 but YOUR aircraft type is now available” message on Facebook, I received a private message from someone who happened to be a North Texas representative of Garmin that had seen my posts. 

He and I spoke over the phone, and then he made an email introduction to the certification team at Garmin about me and my plane. I never got a reply from that team… it was as if the email went into a black hole.

Later, I discovered they weren’t being rude but rather, were and are laser-focused on the projects they’re currently certifying. They simply file away incoming emails/requests for future reference.

Once I completed the panel upgrade project. I sent the Garmin team another email, with pictures of the work we’d done and all the pre-wiring that was in place. Still, crickets.

In mid-March, out of the blue, while working from my home office, my cellphone rang. The caller ID showed the number was from Olathe, Kansas, and my heart skipped a beat. Could it be?

I answered the phone and on the other end of the line was the lead Garmin Autopilot Certification Program manager. He told me that they’d reviewed the list of eligible aircraft for the R182/TR182 certification program and were ready to begin that project. Would I still be interested in letting them use my airplane?

“ARE YOU KIDDING ME? YES!” 

I answered without hesitation.

I learned it would take about 10 weeks and that the autopilot and installation would be at no cost to me in exchange for allowing them to use the airframe. That sounded like a swell deal to me!

In the two weeks between that call and delivering the airplane to Garmin, there was a flurry of activity: legal forms needed to be reviewed and completed, allowing Garmin to use the airplane and defining what each of us was responsible for, discussion of liability, insurance coverage and so on. 

I utilized my AOPA Legal Services Plan to have the contract reviewed before I signed it. Garmin then sent one of their A&P/IAs to Texas to do a thorough pre-acceptance inspection. He checked logbooks, annuals and conducted a thorough review of the airframe. 

And when I say thorough, I mean thorough. He didn’t find much wrong with this well-maintained airplane but did note, for example, that “the washers on the bolts securing the rear bench seat to the floor might not be the correct ones.” Did I mention he was thorough?  

Garmin expected the certification effort to take about 10 weeks, until about June 6, 2019, so they verify before accepting your airframe that its annual won’t expire in the middle of their work. My annual was set to expire June 30, so we were good to go.

That’s how it came to be that on March 21, 2019, I flew our airplane to Olathe, Kansas, and flew home commercially.

For the next four months, I followed flight test progress on FlightRadar24 and FlightAware; and eagerly consumed email updates with pictures sent by the team at Garmin. 

At one point, test flights were suspended for a couple of weeks due to a servo failure during heavy ground tests. The GFC 500 is so popular in the market, however, that it took Garmin themselves a couple of weeks to get a replacement. 

As it turned out, they were right and I was wrong—the 3A13 TCDS, which covers all the 182 series, wouldn’t have been enough to certify the TR182, which flies as high as FL200. The air is so thin that high that control pressures become exceedingly light. 

Garmin had to have the G5 team make software changes to the gain range for the GFC 500, which allowed them to configure it to work as it should at the TR182’s service ceiling. That software change happened quickly, demonstrating the responsiveness of this great team of individuals.

I was pleasantly surprised that they equipped my airplane with the yaw damper feature. It’s optional when you buy the autopilot, but they can’t sell it if they haven’t certified it for your make and model. So, when your airplane is selected for the STC program, you end up with a yaw damper. “Oh, well, if you insist!”

My airplane didn’t come with electric elevator trim when it left the factory, but it has it now, thanks to the automatic electric trim installation Garmin added. All told, I received a modern 3-axis digital autopilot with four servos: yaw, pitch, roll, and automatic electric pitch trim.

“It’s done!”

While it seemed like forever being without my airplane, the day finally came when Garmin called to say, 

“It’s DONE!”

And that’s how I came to be standing in the hangars of Garmin’s Test Flight Center doing final inspections and picking up my airplane. I arrived at 8 a.m. and brought doughnuts as a thank you for the team. 

The install was completed, but the final FAA paperwork and STC were still in progress. I wondered if I’d get out Monday or would need to wait until Tuesday. While all the paperwork was being done, Garmin dedicated a shop crew to washing and detailing the plane, even using leather cleaner on the interior. 

The certification team worked hard and got all paperwork finished by early afternoon. I signed paperwork and they turned the airplane back over to me. The plane was returned better than I left it: clean, with a full tank of 100LL, and I enjoyed a relaxing IFR flight home with the new autopilot guiding the way. 

It locked onto altitudes, headings and nav courses like it was on rails, and handled updrafts and downdrafts without wavering or disconnecting. I’m very pleased with the outcome.

Afterward, as I was looking through the logbook entries, I stumbled on another surprise. While Garmin was in possession of the aircraft, they had discovered that the wet wing’s fuel tank top access plates wept a bit when the tanks were completely full. 

I had never discovered this as I typically run the tanks at the tabs (65 gallons) for more useful load. During the time the plane was waiting for the failed servo replacement, Garmin drained the tanks, removed and then resealed those covers. 

The story: Garmin takes care of you. They are great people at a great company. While I felt they were doing me a favor by “giving me a free autopilot,” their behavior was as if I were doing them a favor by letting them use my airplane.

How do YOU get selected?

I don’t have any magic answers. There’s a bit of luck in this. But I will share something the program manager told me as I picked up the plane. 

When it comes time to make the selection, Garmin staffers sift through many online submissions and paper interest forms filled out at Oshkosh and other events. 

On a recent project startup (not mine), while looking through the paper forms submitted at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, one had “YES! YES! YES!! PLEASE PICK ME!!!” written in big bold capital letters at the bottom where this question was asked: “Would you consider letting us use your airframe to certify the autopilot?” 

Any idea who got picked? 

You guessed it. 

If your airplane is as close to stock (conforming with the original type certificate) as possible, that improves your odds of selection. If you have STCs that alter flying characteristics significantly such as vortex generators, a STOL kit, and/or engine/prop upgrades, that may reduce your chances.

My odds were slightly improved by having the turbo example of the R182/TR182 series, due to filter-down effect. If Garmin certified the autopilot for the TR182, it would also apply to the R182, but the reverse was not true.

So, my advice to those who want to be selected is to show some public enthusiasm for the product, go where you might meet Garmin people, be genuine and shake some hands. As with many things in life, it’s not what you know, it’s who you meet and how you interact with them that influences opportunities that come your way. 

 

That’s my story! I hope you get to experience flying your plane with the awesome GFC 500 soon, whether you get it for free or pay to have it installed.

In closing, I must say “Thank you!” to the entire team at Garmin for a positive experience and a fantastic autopilot.

 

Troy Whistman is the father of three grown daughters and has been married 30 years to his lovely redhead bride, affectionately called “Lady Red.” Together, they base their airplane at the Mid-Way Regional Airport (KJWY) south of Dallas, Texas. Whistman holds a commercial airplane SEL certificate with instrument airplane rating. When not flying for fun to catch a sunrise or sunset, he enjoys using his toys as tools to help others: he flies for and is on the board of directors for Angel Flight South Central, and thinks flying kids for Challenge Air is some of the most rewarding flying he does. Send questions or comments to .

 

Resources

Cessna Flyer Supporter

GFC 500 DIGITAL AUTOPILOT 
Garmin Ltd. 
 
Supported Aircraft List (GFC 500)
 
 
ONLINE FORMS
Autopilot Interest Form (GFC 500/600)
 
Autopilot Certification Aircraft Loan Form (GFC 500/600)
 
 
Resources: Other
 
FlightAware 
 
FlightRadar24

 

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Tips & Tricks for Flying with the Garmin GFC 500 AFCS Autopilot, Part 2

Tips & Tricks for Flying with the Garmin GFC 500 AFCS Autopilot, Part 2

In the last article, we left off with our shiny new Garmin GFC 500 autopilot fully configured for departure. We’d been instructed to “fly heading 180, climb and maintain 3,000 feet.” 

Takeoff: From runway to airborne

With the preflight work done, take off as normal. Saying “Gear up, flaps up, yaw damper on,” will make you feel like one of the big kids, as you press the “YD” key and let the servos handle the rudder. Above 800 feet agl with the airplane cleaned up, reach over and enable the autopilot by pressing the “AP” button whenever you’re ready.

If on a GPS direct track for the first leg, I’ll press Direct To-Enter-Enter on my navigator first, to recenter the course from the present position, then press the “AP” button to engage the autopilot.

George is now flying the airplane…or is he?

Important: Develop this habit! Whenever you select a new mode on the autopilot, always bring your eyes back to the top of your G5 or G3X and verify the modes selected. Every. Single. Time.

I developed this habit shortly after finding myself in the clouds on a departure, thinking George was flying—very poorly, I might add, and my scan was confirming that—and then discovering that nobody had been flying the plane for about 60 seconds. Talk about a wake-up call!

The correct lateral/vertical modes were selected, but the autopilot itself hadn’t enabled. Maybe I didn’t quite push the button while getting bounced around in those Houston afternoon thermals. Verify the modes! Some people call it “checking the scoreboard,” with the “scoreboard” being the autopilot status line at the top of your PFD.

Do you have green AP and YD annunciations on the scoreboard? No? Fix that! Yes? OK, then George is flying. But what is he doing? Verify the annunciated lateral and vertical modes. It’s showing a green IAS 90? Great, George is flying you at an indicated airspeed of 90 knots. Or is he? Cross-check! Is that what your airspeed indicators read? Great.

Where will George level off? Check to see that the cyan altitude bug is set at your expected level off altitude (did tower give you a last-minute change?), and that a white (armed) ALTS mode is annunciated next to the IAS 90. If so, “George” will level off at that ALTitude Selected.

I can’t stress this enough—always “check the scoreboard” after doing anything on the GMC 507. Every. Single. Time.

 

Fair warning. You’re going to be bored.

The GFC 500 is going to do such a fine job flying the airplane that you’ll find you get bored, unless you fill that time with other activities. Of course, I’m not suggesting you read a book or get caught up on Netflix! You now have time to focus on other important pilot duties.

Check the weather ahead and develop options. Refine your Plan B if needed. Scan those engine instruments more often. Check out the approach plates and arrival airport diagram. Which runway are they using? What taxiway do you think you could make, and what taxi route to your FBO makes sense?

It’s amazing the amount of “thinking time” you get back with a well-running autopilot as your co-pilot. But don’t get so busy you forget to monitor George frequently!

Tip/trick: While in NAV mode, tracking that GPS course, reach over every few minutes and push the “HDG/TRK” knob on the GMC 507 to sync the heading bug to your current heading. The difference between the heading bug and your actual track, as shown on the HSI, will give you a good idea of the winds aloft, and how they are changing over time.

If you have a GAD 13 installed and the recent G5/G3X firmware, you’ll see winds aloft and OAT displayed on the instruments. Having that heading bug already synced up is especially helpful when ATC says, “Turn 10 degrees right for traffic.” Note the current bugged heading, spin it right 10, then reach over and press “HDG” on the GMC 507. What’s next? You know: Check the scoreboard. Every. Single. Time.

 

What’s this VNAV thing?

Vertical navigation can be thought of as a magenta path, not over the ground, but rather through the vertical profile. It is a GPS-computed path to help you meet the step-downs in a “descend via” clearance on an arrival procedure, to help you with that crossing restriction ATC just gave you, or to ensure you get from your cruising altitude to pattern altitude 3 miles before you arrive at your destination airport.

The “VNAV” button on your GMC 507 enables the autopilot to fly that vertical path precisely—all you must do once it’s engaged is manage the throttle to keep your airspeed where you want it. But there’s the catch: “once it’s engaged.” There are some gotchas that trip people up and keep VNAV from working when expected.

First, you need your GFC 500 system to be coupled to an IFR navigator capable of VNAV. The GTN 650 and 750 are two such navigators. If you’re flying a GNS 430/530 series, even if it’s WAAS enabled, you’re out of luck. The 430/530 units do have a vertical descent planner that can tell you the VSR (vertical speed required) to meet a defined crossing restriction, and I use that feature—but it won’t couple to that fancy “VNAV” button on the GFC 500 autopilot.

If you’re flying a GTN series navigator, though, and load a procedure that has crossing restrictions or add your altitude constraints to your flight plan, then VNAV should be available on the GFC 500.

Second, to activate VNAV, you must perform certain steps in order. The most often missed step is that you must set your selected altitude (ALT SEL) to a lower altitude than you’re currently flying.

Here’s a scenario. You’re at 9,000 feet msl, and your flight plan says you want to be at 3,000 feet msl at GOTHI intersection, and your MFD properly shows a TOD (top of descent) and BOD (bottom of descent), and the “VNAV” button is lit up on the GMC 507, and you hear that voice that announces, “VERTICAL TRACK,” one minute before the descent begins. All of this looks good!

But the airplane will remain at 9,000 feet and never actually descend, flying right past your TOD marker and remaining at your current altitude, if you leave that selected altitude bug on the G5/G3X set to your current 9,000 feet.

Why? Think of it this way: the autopilot will always err on the high side to avoid flying you lower than you want. If you want to descend lower, you must set the selected altitude lower than the altitude you’re currently flying.

Tip/trick: If you want to use VNAV, set up the altitude profile in your navigator’s flight plan. Verify you see the TOD/BOD markers on your moving map. One minute before descent, you’ll hear that nice lady’s voice in your headset announcing “VERTICAL TRACK.” That’s your cue!

You’re going to do three things after that audible prompt:

Set the ALT SEL bug to the lowest altitude you’ve been cleared to by ATC, or the lowest altitude in the published arrival procedure.

Press the “VNAV” button on the autopilot.

Check the scoreboard! Every. Single. Time.

Several other factors determine if VNAV will engage or not, such as the requirement to be navigating on a course (i.e., direct to a fix, or between two waypoints). If you’re just wandering around on your own, VNAV isn’t an option.

Garmin recently published a 20-minute training video that thoroughly covers all aspects of VNAV training. If you fly with a navigator capable of doing VNAV, I strongly recommend you take the time to view it.

 

Some final tips

  • Pressing the “AP” button before selecting lateral or vertical modes will activate the Flight Director (FD) and engage the autopilot in the default PIT (pitch) and ROL (roll wings level) modes. That’s probably not a mode set that you will ever really want, so always select your desired lateral/vertical modes before pressing the “AP” button.
  • If lateral/vertical modes are selected, but the autopilot and flight director are not engaged, you can engage the FD separately from the autopilot by pressing the “FD” button, and then hand-fly to match the flight director’s cues. Pressing the “AP” button enables both the autopilot and FD since the autopilot works by following the flight director’s commands.
  • If, while climbing or descending, ATC tells you to level off immediately, simply reach over and press the “ALT” button twice. It will grab your current altitude and lock onto it.
  • If you find your ALT hold is off by 20-40 feet, using the pitch trim wheel on the GMC 507 while ALT mode is engaged, will change the selected altitude reference UP or DN in 10-foot increments. Utilizing this method, you can tweak your altitude by up to 200 feet. If you need to “tweak” your altitude by more than 200 feet, you’re really “changing” your altitude, so just dial in a new selected altitude and use another vertical mode (VS, IAS, or PIT) to make that change. If ATC gives you a new barometer setting, setting the new value on the G5/G3X is all you need to do. The autopilot will seek up or down a few feet to capture your selected altitude at the new pressure level.
  • GA (Go Around) mode is great! You’re allowed to use the autopilot down to 200 feet on an approach (which is the only exception to the STC’s “don’t use the autopilot below 800 feet AGL” limitation). When you get to your missed approach point or decision height and don’t have the runway environment in sight, push the throttle forward and let that index finger reach forward to touch the “GO AROUND” button as you do the rest of your gear/flaps cleanup. Your PFD will command a pitch up and straight-ahead climb, and the autopilot will immediately follow that guidance. Once the initial part of the go-around procedure is completed (which may be a straight-ahead climb to a specific altitude before making any turns), unsuspend your IFR navigator to resume waypoint sequencing, and select the appropriate lateral/vertical modes on the GFC 500. The autopilot will fly the entire missed procedure, including holds. Practice this in VMC first!
  • If you change navigation sources (i.e., toggle your navigator from GPS to VLOC), the autopilot will sense this, and the lateral mode will revert to ROL (wings level, it doesn’t even hold a heading). Thus, anytime you do any work on the navigator, do your scoreboard check afterward. Switching from GPS to a LOC or ILS course will require you to reselect the appropriate lateral mode. Speaking of which…
  • On an approach, should you use APR or NAV mode? The answer is easy: If the approach you’re flying has vertical guidance (think ILS, LPV, LNAV+V, or LNAV/VNAV), then use APR mode. If the approach you are flying doesn’t have vertical guidance (think LOC, VOR, or a BC approach), then use NAV mode. You can select either mode (NAV or APR) as soon as ATC has cleared you for the approach. You’ll see a green HDG for active mode, and a white annunciation for the armed mode.
  • Related to the last tip: one time, ATC had me on a vector (HDG mode) to intercept the GPS LPV approach, and I had APR mode armed. Shortly before intercept, ATC told me they were going to fly me through the course and then bring me back for sequencing purposes. If this happens to you, you’ll need to reach over and disable the armed approach by pressing the “APR” button to deselect the mode. This will leave HDG mode as the only active lateral mode and allow you to follow the controller’s vectors. Once inbound to the approach course again, reactive the approach by pressing “APR.” If you fail to deselect/deactivate the approach mode once it’s armed, the autopilot will turn you inbound, which is not what the controller told you to expect or do.
  • GPS approaches (especially LPV) are the simplest approach to fly with the GFC 500. If you have the option, choose it. There’s no mode to change when inbound, simply press “APR” when you get close, outside the FAF, and have been cleared for the approach. That’s it. Other approach types involve more button-pushing. Get out the flight manual supplement, grab a buddy in VMC, and go practice the detailed step-by-step in the manual until it is ingrained in your subconscious. IMC is not the place to figure things out.

 

I hope you found these tips helpful. The GFC 500 is an amazing piece of equipment, but as with all things in aviation, it demands respect for its capabilities and its limitations. Learn both well, practice before doing it for real, and leverage its ability to make your flying safer.

 

Taking Off and Going Around

The first phase of flight is just getting airborne and away from the ground on runway heading to 400 feet agl before making any turns, especially when IFR. The GFC 500 can help you there, too. Simply press the GO AROUND button, probably installed near your throttle, and the GFC 500’s flight director command bars will command a straight out wings-level climb at an appropriate pitch attitude, as specified by your aircraft make and model’s STC, and the lateral/vertical modes annunciated on your G5 or G3X Touch will both indicate “TO” for “takeoff.” 

Tip/trick: The same GO AROUND button also commands the pitch bars for a go-around at the start of a missed approach, and you’ll see the lateral and vertical modes annunciated as “GA.” How does the same button handle both “TO” and “GA”? If you’re not flying (i.e., your groundspeed is slower than 30 knots), the system knows you’re setting up for TO (takeoff); if you are flying, then you must want to GA (go around). Boy, this system is smart!

Tip/trick: Use of the “TO” mode is optional. I might use it for positive flight director guidance when departing into a very low overcast, but if the ceiling is at least 800 feet agl (the minimum autopilot engagement altitude), I actually find it easier to preselect my NAV/HDG and IAS values and modes, and just fly straight ahead on runway heading, ignoring any turn the flight director command bars are providing cues for, during that first phase of flight. It reduces workload a little, as my only task then becomes pressing the AP button at 800 feet agl—lateral and vertical modes/values were already set on the ground.

 

Troy Whistman is the father of three grown daughters and has been married 30 years to his lovely redhead bride, affectionately called “Lady Red.” Together, they base their airplane at the Mid-Way Regional Airport (KJWY) south of Dallas, Texas. Whistman holds a commercial airplane SEL certificate with instrument airplane rating. When not flying for fun to catch a sunrise or sunset, he enjoys using his toys as tools to help others: he flies for and is on the board of directors for Angel Flight South Central, and thinks flying kids for Challenge Air is some of the most rewarding flying he does. Send questions or comments to .

Part 1 of this series can be found here: Tips & Tricks for Flying with the Garmin GFC 500 AFCS Autopilot, Part 1

 

RESOURCES

CFA Supporter

Garmin
 
Garmin GFC 500 Manuals
 
Garmin VNAV Tutorial

 

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Garmin Announces Additional Aviation Webinars

Garmin Announces Additional Aviation Webinars

Garmin is pleased to announce aviation webinars through June of 2019. Ranging from Garmin Pilot tips and tricks, cost-effective autopilot upgrades to low-cost avionics solutions, these free webinars offer pilots and customers with a broad overview of the latest Garmin has to offer, while also providing a general operational overview of its vast product line.

Autopilot Retrofits

The GFC 500 and GFC 600 retrofit autopilots offer reduced maintenance, as well as safety-enhancing capabilities such as Garmin Electronic Stability Protection (ESP), underspeed/overspeed protection and coupled approaches. This webinar focuses on the features and benefits of both autopilots.

Advanced Avionics Upgrades

A wide variety of avionics upgrades including the TXi series touchscreen flight displays, GTN series navigators, GMA audio panels, GTX ADS-B transponders, autopilots and more provide aircraft owners with endless panel upgrade options.

ADS-B Solutions for Business Aviation

This webinar focuses on a variety of Garmin ADS-B solutions available for a wide range of business jets on the market. Cost-effective solutions are currently available for some of the most popular business aircraft in the industry, including the Citation II/SII, Citation V, Learjet 20/30/60 and more. 

Garmin Pilot

Get insider tips and tricks for using the Garmin Pilot mobile app to make flight planning, navigation and flying easier – and more fun.

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Garmin Announces New Free Aviation Webinars

Garmin Announces New Free Aviation Webinars

August 1, 2018 - Garmin is pleased to announce it is expanding its robust line-up of popular aviation webinars. Ranging from Garmin Pilot tips and tricks, cost-effective autopilot upgrades to low-cost ADS-B solutions, these free webinars offer pilots and customers with a broad overview of the latest Garmin has to offer, while also providing a general operational overview of its vast product line.

New webinars that have been recently added to the 2018 Garmin aviation webinar schedule discuss a variety of topics and products, including:

Autopilot retrofits

The GFC 500 and GFC 600 retrofit autopilots offer reduced maintenance, as well as safety- enhancing capabilities such as Garmin Electronic Stability Protection (ESP), underspeed/overspeed protection and coupled approaches.

Cost-effective Retrofit Autopilot Solutions, September 18th @ 4PM CT

Cost-effective Retrofit Autopilot Solutions, November 13th @ 7PM CT

Experimental Avionics

Learn more about experimental avionics for homebuilt aircraft, including G3X Touch, the G5 electronic flight display, G3X autopilot, GMA 245 audio panel, GTN navigators and more.

Garmin Avionics for Experimental Aircraft, September 11th @ 10AM CT

Garmin Avionics for Experimental Aircraft, October 10th @ 7PM CT

Low-cost Avionics Solutions

Learn about upgrading an aircraft panel with cost-effective avionics such as the GDL 82 ADS- B Out datalink, the GTX 345 series all-in-one ADS-B transponders and the G5 electronic flight instrument.

Low-cost ADS-B, Instruments & Avionics, August 23rd @ 4PM CT

Low-cost ADS-B, Instruments & Avionics, November 8th @ 10AM CT

Advanced Avionics Upgrades

A wide variety of avionics upgrades including the TXi series touchscreen flight displays, GTN series navigators, GMA audio panels, GTX ADS-B transponders, autopilots and more provide aircraft owners with endless panel upgrade options.

Avionics Upgrades – including latest TXi series, August 8th @ 7PM CT

Avionics Upgrades – including latest TXi series, October 3rd @ 4PM CT

Avionics Upgrades – including latest TXi series, December 5th @ 4PM CT

Garmin Pilot

Get insider tips and tricks for using the Garmin Pilot mobile app to make flight planning, navigation and flying easier – and more fun.

Garmin Pilot Tips & Tricks, August 16th @ 10AM CT

Getting Started with Garmin Pilot, October 23rd @ 4PM CT

Garmin Pilot Tips & Tricks, December 13th @ 4PM CT

Aviation Portables

Explore Garmin’s wide range of portable solutions, including the aera 660 and aera 796 handheld navigators, ADS-B and SiriusXM datalinks, D2 aviator watch wearables, as well as VIRB action cameras.

Garmin Portable Solutions, September 25th @ 7PM CT

Garmin’s aviation business segment is a leading provider of solutions to OEM, aftermarket, military and government customers. Garmin’s portfolio includes navigation, communication, flight control, hazard avoidance, an expansive suite of ADS-B solutions and other products and services that are known for innovation, reliability, and value. For more information about Garmin’s full line of avionics, go to www.garmin.com/aviation.

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