Garmin's Latest Nav System Can 'AutoLand' Small Planes In An Emergency
Garmin Autoland can determine the most optimal airport and runway by taking into account factors like fuel, weather, terrain, obstacles, and aircraft performance statistics. Garmin notes that Autoland brings peace of mind to air travel and will soon be available on select general aviation aircraft with the Garmin G3000 integrated flight deck.
With the system installed, in the event of an emergency, the pilot or passengers on the aircraft can activate Autoland with the press of a dedicated button. Autoland also can activate automatically if the system determines it is necessary. When enabled, the system calculates a flight path to the most suitable airport, initiates an approach to the runway, and automatically lands the aircraft without pilot or passenger interventions.
The system requires a GPS approach with lateral and vertical guidance and will automatically communicate with air traffic control. The system also provides simple visual and verbal communications in plain-language to let passengers in the aircraft know what to expect. The Garmin Autothrottle system is used to manage the aircraft speed allowing the aircraft to climb, descend, or maintain altitude during activation.
Garmin says if the aircraft needs time to descend or slow down, it will extend the landing gear and flaps in a standard holding procedure. Once landed, automatic braking is applied to stop the aircraft, and the engine is shut down to allow for a safe exit for the occupants. Typically when we talk about Garmin, we are talking about its consumer product line. This past May, the company unveiled an entirely new line of smartwatches.