Garmin’s GFC 500 Earns STC for Additional Aircraft

Garmin’s GFC 500 autopilot received the FAA’s supplemental type certification for a number of less complex single-engine aircraft like the Cessna 172 and 182. Garmin

Garmin said yesterday its GFC 500 autopilot received the FAA's supplemental type certification for a number of less complex single-engine aircraft like the Cessna 172 and 182. When linked with Garmin's G5 primary attitude indicator, that provides input and display of altitude preselect, heading, vertical speed target, airspeed target, as well as flight director command bars for the GFC 500, the complete system provides an economical autopilot and modern flight instrument combination. Pilots can select, couple and fly various instrument approaches, including a GPS, ILS, VOR, LOC and back course. Adding a GAD29 adapter allows the GFC 500 and G5 to interface with select Garmin GPS or VHF navigators.

As a standard feature, pilots receive Garmin enhanced stability and protection with the GFC 500 that assists in maintaining stable flight condition. ESP functions independently of the autopilot and works in the background to help pilots avoid inadvertent flight attitudes or bank angles and provide airspeed protection while hand-flying the aircraft. Garmin’s under speed protection helps prevent inadvertent aircraft stalls, while over speed protection inhibits the aircraft’s ability to operate beyond its never-exceed speed. Aircraft can also fly coupled go-arounds during missed approach sequencing. A remotely-installed go-around button commands the flight director to display the appropriate pitch attitude required for the missed approach procedure and activates a loaded missed approach when paired with a GTN™ 650/750 navigator.

The GFC 500’s autopilot mode controller contains large dedicated keys and knobs, a control wheel for easy adjustments to aircraft pitch, airspeed and vertical speed and the level button to return the aircraft to straight-and-level flight.

Garmin expects to add the Piper PA28 to the STC list in the first quarter of this year and the Beechcraft 35S/35V in the second. Aircraft already G5 equipped can add the GFC 500 to a Cessna 172 at a suggested retail price of $6,996 for a 2-axis autopilot. If the G5/GFC 500 are purchased together, the total price is less than $10,000.

Rob MarkAuthor
Rob Mark is an award-winning journalist, business jet pilot, flight instructor, and blogger.

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