Garmin Adds Smart Rudder Bias Technology to Latest GFC 600 Upgrade

Garmin’s Smart Rudder Bias provides yaw assistance during a one-engine inoperative (OEI) event with a warning flag showing on the panel. Garmin Aviation

Two major recent announcements from Garmin International add features to existing products. The latest upgrade to the company’s GFC 600 digital autopilot will bring a major safety enhancement to select twin-engine airplanes during a one-engine inoperative (OEI) event, while the addition of integrated runway analysis service from AeroData to the functionality of Garmin’s product will allow pilots to calculate performance data while creating a flight plan.

On December 15, the company announced the addition of Smart Rudder Bias (SRB) to the Garmin Autonomi family of automated flight technologies, providing pilots with assistance in maintaining control of the aircraft while simultaneously reducing workload in a high-stress and time-critical flight environment.

“We are proud to be able to offer a new safety tool for twin-engine piston aircraft with the introduction of Smart Rudder Bias, making the GFC 600 digital autopilot the most advanced solution for this class of aircraft on the market today,” said Carl Wolf, Garmin vice president of aviation sales and marketing. “With the introduction of Smart Rudder Bias technology, working together with the other Garmin systems onboard, pilots can react to an engine failure by quickly and accurately detecting the issue while simultaneously receiving automatic assistance applying the correct flight control input—providing an additional safety tool not seen before in twin-engine piston aircraft.”

Twin-engine aircraft inherently have aircraft controllability concerns in the event of an engine failure, a situation that can often be fatal if it happens immediately after takeoff low to the ground with gear and flaps still extended. When a twin-engine piston airplane loses an engine, pilots can expect significant yaw toward the inoperative engine, resulting in an unstable aircraft state.

Describing their new SRB technology, Garmin said “In addition, due to a sideslip condition and a windmilling propeller, there can be decreased lift on the wing associated with the inoperative engine and simultaneously an increase in drag, all factors contributing to degraded performance and a critical loss in airspeed. Through close integration with multiple onboard Garmin systems, SRB immediately assists with controllability issues. This gives the pilot time to take the correct action required to better maintain positive aircraft control and help keep the aircraft in a safe flight condition.”

The addition of Aerodata’s runway analysis service to gives pilots additional functionality. Garmin Aviation

When the aircraft reaches the manufacturer’s published minimum control speed (VMC) during the takeoff roll, SRB is automatically armed and begins to continuously monitor engine parameters using engine indication system (EIS) data displayed on a G500 TXi or G600 TXi flight display. SRB then activates when the system detects a predetermined power differential between each engine. Once activated, rudder force is dynamically adjusted to aid a pilot in providing enough force to the rudder to help control a sideslip. A yellow annunciator for the associated inoperative engine is conveniently displayed along with autopilot annunciations on the G500 TXi or G600 TXi flight display, helping the pilot identify the issue more quickly. The entire SRB system can be deactivated via a panel-mounted switch. Initial certified aircraft with SRB capability include the Beechcraft Baron 58 and 58A, as well as the Piper PA-31-300, PA-31-310, PA-31-325, and PA-31-325CR. Additional certifications of SRB will be forthcoming.

In another update, the addition of integrated runway analysis service from AeroData to Garmin’s now allows pilots to calculate more critical performance data while creating a flight plan. With the addition of AeroData runway analysis joining Aircraft Performance Group (APG) and Automated Systems in Aircraft Performance (ASAP) runway analysis services available from, all three runway analysis offerings now eliminate the need for pilots to reference manuals and perform their own manual calculations for takeoff and landing data while assuring compliance with runway and obstacle requirements.

Additional features of the AeroData service inside include concise engine-out escape procedures that factor in obstacles and terrain, the ability to specifically configure takeoff-and-landing data (TOLD) based on conditions and limitations, automatically calculate aircraft fuel requirements based on the flight plan, integration with Garmin Pilot and more.

“AeroData is a leading provider of runway analysis for commercial airlines, serving over 135 airlines globally and providing data for more than 70 percent of airline flights in North America, and Garmin is excited to integrate this service with for use by our business aviation customers,” Garmin’s Wolf said. “Pilots and operators now have the unique ability to calculate performance data and receive obstacle clearance while creating their flight plan on—maximizing aircraft performance for the intended operation.”

Dan Pimentel is an instrument-rated private pilot and former airplane owner who has been flying since 1996. As an aviation journalist and photographer, he has covered all aspects of the general and business aviation communities for a long list of major aviation magazines, newspapers and websites. He has never met a flying machine that he didn’t like, and has written about his love of aviation for years on his Airplanista blog. For 10 years until 2019, he hosted the popular ‘Oshbash’ social media meetup events at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.

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