Even when you do this, you still retain the old frequency in memory, should the need arise to go back to the last controller. There are all kinds of time-saving functions built in. To input the frequency 124.4, the ATIS for KAUS, for example, just input 244, no leading ones or decimal points required, and you’re done.
You can also manage the intercom functions with the GTC 570. This is accomplished, once again, graphically. Touch the intercom control button and a graphic of the intercom landscape appears, with icons for pilot, copilot and passengers shown connected by a bold, graphic arrowed line. Simply touch the line to enable or disable the connection between seats or the user icon to adjust squelch or volume.
With G2000, anything with a digital input can be controlled with the touch-screen controller. In many airplanes, that means the environmental controls will be part of the system, as they were in the high-performance single in which I was flying. Too cold? Drag the temperature line to where you want and, voilà, you’ve made your desired change — no reaching across the cockpit required to do what you want. The pilot’s focus remains on flying the airplane because it all takes place right where he’s seated.
When we’re flying in the system, managing flight plans takes up a lot of our time and attention. With G2000, that chore will take up less of both commodities. The system, for example, will nominate nearby VORs or intersections for your flight plan — after all, it does know where you are. Want to change a flight plan? Tap the section you want to change and G2000 will query you about what you want to add or delete and where you want to put it. No menu diving is required. You can modify flight plans, add procedures, activate legs and do vertical nav all without having to be a Zen master of the menu system. It is revolutionary stuff.
How hard will the G2000 be to use in turbulence? The answer is, no harder than what you’re doing now. Thanks to the design of the physical box in which the touch-screen controller resides, with its recessed beveled edges, it’s easy to brace your hand on the side and make sure and solid touches. And because the controller is so close, control is further enhanced. The bottom line on turbulence: It’s a nonissue.
For pilots coming from G1000 or even from an airplane that relies on Garmin 430 or 530 navigators, the G2000 system will be an easy transition.
In rolling out G2000, Garmin was essentially requiring pilots to learn a new way to interact with their avionics system. At face value, that kind of sea change for the leading maker of avionics for light airplanes might seem like a big risk. Once you fly with G2000, however, you realize it is so easy to use, so intuitive and so capable that there was little risk involved, just opportunity.