Garmin Achieves STC for GFC 600 for Cessna 310R, Pilatus PC-12/47

This lets Garmin introduce a new level of autopilot and safety support for the popular light twin and single-engine turboprop.

The GFC 600 digital autopilot is intended for piston single and twin-engine airplanes as well as turbine aircraft. [Courtesy: Garmin]

Garmin International added another supplemental type certificate (STC) to its list of offerings for flight automation Thursday as the company announced it has received the STC for the GFC 600 digital autopilot designed for use in the Cessna 310R. 

"We heard from the 310R crowd loud and clear – the feedback was overwhelming and we’re excited to have this certification program completed," says Jim Alpiser, Garmin’s director of aviation aftermarket sales.

The GFC 600 digital autopilot is intended for piston single and twin-engine airplanes as well as turbine aircraft. It offers traditional autopilot features such heading, vertical speed and altitude hold, along with advanced functions such as altitude preselect and indicated airspeed hold, VNAV capability—when paired with a GTN or GTN Xi series navigator—and a dedicated LVL button that, when engaged, automatically restores the aircraft to level flight with one press. 

The GFC 600 supports the Smart Glide function,  that when paired with the GTN Xi series navigator and Garmin attitude indicator can automate tasks to reduce pilot workload during uncommanded-loss-of-engine-power emergencies, underspeed and overspeed protection, and the ability to select, couple, and fly various instrument approaches, including GPS, ILS, VOR, LOC and back-course approaches when paired with a compatible Garmin GPS navigator. There’s also a yaw dampening (YD) mode to minimize yawing oscillations and help maintain coordinated flight. 

The Electronic Stability and Protection mode functions independently of the autopilot, working in the background when the pilot is hand-flying the aircraft to help avoid inadvertent flight attitudes or bank angles by nudging the pilot to return the aircraft back to a safe flight attitude 

Garmin notes Smart Rudder Bias is also now certified for Cessna 310R aircraft equipped with the GFC 600. This technology helps the pilot maintain aircraft control in the event of an uncommanded loss of engine power on one side by continuously monitoring engine parameters using engine indication system (EIS) data displayed on a G500 TXi or G600 TXi flight display. 

Smart Rudder Bias activates when the system detects a predetermined power differential between each engine and rudder force is dynamically adjusted to help the pilot maintain control. In addition, a yellow annunciator for the associated inoperative engine is conveniently displayed along with autopilot annunciations helping the pilot more quickly identify the issue. 

Garmin also recently announced that expanded engine monitoring capability is now available for certain Pilatus PC-12/45 and PC-12/47 aircraft with the addition of the TXi engine indication system (EIS) display. This upgrade offers PC-12 owners and operators a fully modernized, complete Garmin cockpit retrofit solution that includes the GFC 600 autopilot, G600 TXi primary flight display, GTN Xi navigators, GTX ADS-B transponders and GWX weather radar and more. Additionally, Garmin has also received an STC for the GFC 600 autopilot in Pilatus PC-12/47 aircraft.

Meg Godlewski has been an aviation journalist for more than 24 years and a CFI for more than 20 years. If she is not flying or teaching aviation, she is writing about it. Meg is a founding member of the Pilot Proficiency Center at EAA AirVenture and excels at the application of simulation technology to flatten the learning curve. Follow Meg on Twitter @2Lewski.

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