Garmin Connects PlaneSync with More Airplanes

The avionics OEM also debuted its height advisor for experimental aircraft.

The GHA 15 height advisor weighs about a pound and delivers agl data to the G3X Touch’s altitude tape. [Courtesy: Garmin]

Garmin provided an update on several new products and expanded supplemental type certificates for its most popular aftermarket avionics at a briefing at EAA AirVenture at Oshkosh on Sunday afternoon. Among them, the previously announced Autothrottle and Autoland STCs in work for the King Air 200 and 300 with the company’s G1000 NXi installed. 

The King Air series will join more than 600 OEM-equipped, Autoland-capable aircraft already in the field.

GHA 15 Height Advisor

A great new tool for light sport experimental aircraft, the GHA 15 height advisor puts above-ground-level data on the altitude tape of a Garmin G3X Touch primary flight display. The unit—a little larger than a deck of cards and weighing about a pound—is available to order now, with deliveries beginning in a couple of weeks. The GHA 15 calculates the aircraft’s height above the ground using its own radio waves and measuring the time it takes for those signals to return.

Jim Alpiser, director of aftermarket sales for Garmin Aviation, also called out the utility of the GHA 15 for pilots flying into remote and unimproved areas. “It’s using our radar technology to provide that above-ground-level information,” said Alpiser, “which can be challenging certainly over water, if you’re flying over clear lakes, if you’re flying over rough terrain, if you’re backcountry folks—I think that’s another area that’s really going to benefit from this technology.”

The GHA 15 incorporates standard callouts, starting at 300 feet agl, and in selected intervals down to 1 foot agl. These callouts can be customized according to the pilot’s preferences. The system retails for $1,995 plus installation.

PlaneSync Update Available 

In April, Garmin projected the expansion of its PlaneSync connected aircraft management system would be available in Q3 of this year for a wide range of aircraft—and turns out it is indeed ready now. The GDL 60 datalink uses 4G, LTE, Wi-Fi, or cellular connectivity to help the pilot streamline pre- and postflight processes. While the GDL 60 uses LTE to check fuel and systems status, it uses LTE or Wi-Fit to download database updates and upload engine and other flight data. Downloads can take place when the pilot is away from the aircraft. 

PlaneSync is now available for pilots flying with a wide range of Garmin avionics, including the GTN Xi and NXi series. [Courtesy: Garmin]

The GDL 60 can integrate with several varieties of Garmin avionics, including GTN Xi series navigators, TXi series flight displays, GI 275 electronic flight instruments, and select Garmin integrated flight decks. Starting in 2024, PlaneSync will add the capability to automatically transmit engine and flight data, and it can then be viewed using the Garmin Pilot app or on—or some features on a Garmin D2 Mach 1 smart watch.

Based in Maryland, Julie is an editor, aviation educator, and author. She holds an airline transport pilot certificate with Douglas DC-3 and CE510 (Citation Mustang) type ratings. She's a CFI/CFII since 1993, specializing in advanced aircraft and flight instructor development. Follow Julie on Twitter @julieinthesky.

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