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.

Read more...
The 182 That Got Away

The 182 That Got Away

Geoff Smathers always regretted the selling of the family 182. More than two decades later he bought it back.

“My dad loved to fly,” Geoff Smathers of Mars, Penn. told me. “The Skylane was his fifth or sixth airplane. He and my mom, Meg Smathers (now Meg S. Bauschard) used them for pleasure and business.”

His father purchased the 182L, N42364, new in 1968. “My brother, Win S. Smathers IV, was born the same year. I was born in 1970,” Smathers explained.

“My mom, my brother and I flew a lot with my dad in the 1970s,” he recalled. “My brother and I grew up flying with my dad—and fighting over the coveted copilot seat.”

His father based the plane at Butler County Airport (KBTP) in Butler, Penn. from 1968 to 1981. “My dad lost his medical in the early 1980s, and he let his business partner, Wilson Amsler, take the plane,” Smathers said.

Amsler was a U.S. Navy flight instructor in World War II. His daughter, Wendy Amsler, learned to fly, and so the Amslers kept the plane in Clarion, Penn. so Wendy could fly it. “But when Wilson Amsler died in 1989, my dad agreed to sell the Skylane to Wendy for $25,000,” said Smathers.

“I was beside myself. I asked my dad not to sell the airplane and he said to me, ‘Don’t worry, Geoff, we will buy a better one soon.’ That was in 1989.

“Dad died in 1992. Needless to say, we never bought the ‘better airplane’ as he had planned,” said Smathers.

Geoff Smathers’ father (left) flew with his son as PIC twice before he died. In this photo, Smathers is the little guy in the Michigan T-shirt; his brother is in the center.
Far left: Geoff Smathers in the copilot seat of N42364 as a child. Left: Smathers’ son Rome in the same seat of the very same plane. 
Smathers intends to get his son Rome hooked on flying to pay aviation forward. 
Flying history

In the spring of 1991 Geoff Smathers formally began flying lessons and attained his private pilot certificate that fall.

“After graduating from Washington and Jefferson College in the spring of 1992, I was planning on going to commercial flight school, but life got in the way,” Smathers explained.

“My dad died and I decided to go into the family business,” he said. The family business is real estate. As the years passed and Smathers started a family of his own, N42364 was never too far from his mind.

 

The search was on

“I loved every moment flying with my dad in this Skylane—even when I got airsick as a little kid and threw up into the instrument panel,” Smathers said. “I still remember that day. I warned my dad that we had better land because I was getting sick.

“He didn’t get the plane on the ground quick enough. We spent the rest of the day cleaning the airplane using Q-tips,” he recalled.

In early 2014, Smathers decided to track down his special Skylane. He researched the tail number and found that it had been sold by Wendy Amsler in 1999. Fortunately, the aircraft had stayed in Clarion.

“I wrote to the owner, John Schmader,” Smathers said. “Two months later, in June, I got a call. Just three days after that, my son and I drove up to look at it.

“It was just beautiful, with great paint—and it was like a time capsule inside. It was just exactly how I remembered it,” he explained. The aircraft was low-time for a 1968, with only 2,000 hours on the airframe.

Smathers wrote the check to hold it and scheduled the pre-purchase inspection. The inspection went well, and by mid-July 2014, Smathers was the new owner. “This was 95 percent a sentimental purchase,” Smathers admitted. “This plane helps me reconnect to my dad.”

And it has worked out very well so far.

 

First things first

The paint was in great shape, but everything else was either original or almost original. There were, of course, a few squawks. “I knew there was an alternator issue due to the headset noise and the bouncing amp meter needle,” Smathers explained.

The first upgrade was to install LED lighting on the exterior: the beacon, landing and taxi lights are all made by Whelen. “That solved the electric draw problems,” he said. He installed a new alternator, too.

In addition, Smathers decided to upgrade old radios and navigation to make it safer for flying with his family and to adhere to ADS-B requirements. For a cosmetic upgrade, he installed new carpet.

Avionics upgrades

“I have always loved Garmin products,” Smathers said. “My first portable GPSMAP 195 was mind-bending. I loved it!”

Smathers’ Skylane now has a Garmin GTN 750 GPS/Navcom MFD front and center. “The touchscreen Garmin is the most incredible device ever,” he explained. “I’m able to make trips I never would have made without it.”

The aircraft has Garmin GNC 255A VHF Navcom radios and a Garmin GDL 88 datalink to comply with ADS-B In and Out.

In addition, he uses Garmin Flight Stream 210 as a wireless gateway for
syncing flight plans with the GTN 750. Flight Stream also works with the Garmin Pilot App and the Garmin Aera 796 GPS on the yoke.

“The 796 on the yoke is hardwired to the GTN 750,” Smathers explained. “I use it as my ‘poor man’s HSI,’ and it does a great job,” he commented.

“The secondary navcom is a nice one, a GNC 255A. It also has a database. It tells you the airport or VOR that the frequency is for,” he explained.

Smathers’ Skylane has a Garmin GTN 750 GPS/Navcom MFD front and center. He calls the touchscreen MFD “the most incredible device ever” and is now able to make trips in N42364 he never would have made without it. 
Audio panel

In addition, Smathers installed new audio equipment. N42364 now has a PMA450 audio panel from PS Engineering, and the device includes Bluetooth as well as a USB charger.

One big improvement is that the aircraft now has 3-D audio. “I like that feature very much,” Smathers said. PS Engineering’s Intelliaudio feature means Com 1 transmits in the left ear while Com 2 is in the right ear.

“Both coms have monitor modes, four different frequencies for Unicom, ATIS, and whatever else,” he added. “The PMA450’s Bluetooth is useful, too. I use it to make phone calls, stream music and to pick up IFR flight plans via cell phone,” he said.

Flight planning software

Smathers has flight planning software well covered. His iPad is running Seattle Avionics’ FlyQ, Garmin Pilot and ForeFlight. “I bought them all and I like features on each of them,” he explained.

Smathers uses the Flight Stream 210 to communicate ADS-B traffic and weather to his iPad either via Garmin Pilot or ForeFlight. “Seattle Avionics’ FlyQ doesn’t talk to the Garmin—yet,” he said. Smathers finds himself switching between all three apps when on a cross-country.

His flight planning protocol goes like this: first, he files the flight plan on his iPad using DUATS. “Once it’s filed,” he continued, “Garmin Pilot sees the flight plan; I look at my iPad, select ‘Forward to GTN.’

“The message button blinks on the GTN and asks, ‘Would you like to accept?’ I can [then] modify the plan from the GTN 750 if needed.”

Planned upgrades

Some additional upgrades are on the horizon for N42364. The largest of these is a replacement for the 230 hp Continental O-470-R. “I am planning on upgrading to a 300 hp engine when the current engine gets to TBO,” Smathers reported.

The Cessna 300 Navomatic autopilot is inop. “It wanders all over the sky,” Smathers said. Currently, he hand-flies the aircraft everywhere. Recently Smathers decided Genesys Aerosystems’ System 30 fit his budget better than the System 55X, and the installation will be his winter upgrade.

Another project on the list for someday includes a Garmin G500 flight display or an Aspen Evolution 2000. “If the budget is tight, then the Evolution 1000,” Smathers explained. “I’d like to have some glass in the panel because I worry about the vacuum pump failing while in IMC.”

No doubt, all of these upgrades are costly. To help keep his (and perhaps, his wife’s) dismay about the financial outlay in check, Smathers prefers to think of the items in terms of Aviation Monetary Units, or AMUs—a term he borrowed from a pilot friend in his flying club at KPJC in Zelienople, Penn.

“Doesn’t $15,000 sound like a lot for an autopilot?” he asked. “But 15 AMUs, now, that sounds a lot better.”
Flying N42364

Right now, Smathers is just enjoying the wonderful experience of flying his father’s plane. He is an SE-L and instrument rated pilot with 1,000 hours and is currently preparing to take his helicopter private checkride.

“Hopefully by the publishing of this article I will have passed [my checkride] and have my helicopter rating,” he said. “I plan on getting a commercial and instructor helicopter rating and a commercial instructor airplane rating in the next 12 months. My philosophy is, ‘If you love it, do it and share it.’

“Mostly my plane is used for pleasure,” he continued. “Golf trips, beach trips, and just taking my son Rome and daughters Olivia and Lindsey for a very expensive breakfast. My son and I also flew to Frederick, Md. for the AOPA Fly-in last year.

“My wife, Jacqueline Rudolph Smathers, is a white-knuckled flyer,” he said. “She will go flying with me if we have a fun destination, like The Homestead [The Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Va.].”

He also uses the aircraft for business. “I’m a real estate agent and I use it for providing aerial photography,” he said. “However, with the new drone technology, it isn’t as economical or as high quality.”

The aircraft currently has two hangar homes; one at Zelienople Municipal (KPJC) in Zelienople, Penn. and at Butler Co. Airport (KBTP) in Butler, Penn. Soon, he will choose his Skylane’s permanent home. “I’m leaning toward KPJC because my A&P is based there; however, KBTP is closer to my home,” he explained.

With the exception of installing new carpet, the interior of this Skylane is like a time capsule from 1968.

 

Extremely fortunate

Regardless of where his plane is kept or the reason he is in the air, Smathers counts himself as extremely fortunate to have N42364. “After buying this plane, I’m not walking in my dad’s footsteps; I’m flying in his seat,” Smathers explained.

Private pilot Geoff Smathers grew up flying with his father, and loved every moment. 

“Each and every time I see this plane in my hangar and each time I fly it, I think of my dad.

“And Dad, apparently, was a great pilot. I say this because I remember him landing on Runway 26 at KBTP and stopping in such a short distance that he could easily turn off on Taxiway Echo to his T-hangar. That’s less than 1,000 feet every time.

“I have so far not been able stop the very same C-182 for that turnoff. Not even close! Perhaps my dad had stock in the brake manufacturer,” he joked.

Heather Skumatz is managing editor for Cessna Flyer. Send questions or comments to .

Resources

N42364 on YouTube

CessnaFlyer.org/forum

Avionics and Accessories

–CFA supporters

Garmin Ltd.
 
Whelen Engineering Co., Inc.
 
Aviation audio
 
PS Engineering, Inc.

Aviation apps

ForeFlight
 
Garmin Pilot
 
Seattle Avionics’ FlyQ
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Garmin Begins Seamless Integration Between FltPlan.com & Garmin Pilot

Garmin Begins Seamless Integration Between FltPlan.com & Garmin Pilot

OLATHE, Kan./October 10, 2018/Business Wire — Garmin International, Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), today announced the initial phase of integration between the Garmin Pilot™ app and the popular FltPlan.com web portal. As a result of Garmin’s acquisition of FltPlan.com in August, both companies have made rapid progress in merging portfolios. Beginning next week, pilots will be able to use FltPlan.com for pre-flight planning and filing, and automatically view the same flight plan within the Garmin Pilot app on Apple mobile devices. This announcement represents the first of a series of cohesive enhancements between the FltPlan.com website and the Garmin product line.

“We are proud to show early progress and eager to launch this integration between FltPlan.com and Garmin Pilot,” said Carl Wolf, vice president of aviation marketing and sales. “This announcement symbolizes the beginning of a much anticipated collaboration that merges the most widely-used flight planning and filing tool, with an industry-leading app. With this, we are thrilled to welcome FltPlan.com to the Garmin family and we look forward to growing our collective portfolios to provide our customers with an unrivaled suite of flight planning tools and services.”     

 

FltPlan.com and Garmin Pilot customers can now experience a seamless transition between the FltPlan.com website and the Garmin Pilot application within the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, Venezuela and Columbia. The initial phase of this integration allows customers to create a flight plan on the FltPlan.com website and automatically view the same flight plan information within the Trip Planning section of the Garmin Pilot app.

Within the app, customers can also view recent and future trips that have been created on the website. Once the flight plan populates in the app, pilots can transfer it wirelessly to compatible Garmin avionics or a Garmin integrated flight deck. Additionally, the popular navigation log found on the FltPlan.com website can also be viewed within Garmin Pilot under the NavLog tab in Trip Planning.  

Pilots can create a free FltPlan.com account to take advantage of web-based flight planning and flight management services, which includes access to weather, airport information, fuel prices, printable navigation logs, aircraft performance data and more. By using FltPlan.com and Garmin Pilot, pilots can easily transition from web-based planning, to the Garmin Pilot app and wirelessly transfer the data to compatible Garmin products, saving valuable time prior to any flight. To learn more and to create a free FltPlan.com account, visit www.fltplan.com.

The latest release of the Garmin Pilot app that incorporates FltPlan.com integration on Apple mobile devices will be available next week during the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, October 16-18, 2018 in Orlando, Florida. For new customers, Garmin Pilot is available from the Apple App Store as a free download for the first 30 days. After the 30-day trial period, customers may purchase an annual subscription of Garmin Pilot starting at $74.99. Visit www.garmin.com/aviation for additional information.

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.

Follow us at facebook.com/garmintwitter.com/garmin, or youtube.com/garmin.

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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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