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Garmin completes certification of the GFC 500 autopilot for nearly all single-engine Piper aircraft models

By Eric Van Rees - 12th June 2020 - 07:03

Garmin announced it has received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Supplemental Type Certification (STC) for the GFC 500 autopilot in additional aircraft models to include the Piper PA-32RT-300 and PA-32RT-300T.

This recent certification now approves the GFC 500 for installation in nearly all single-engine Piper PA-28 and PA-32 aircraft models. Intended for light piston single-engine aircraft, the GFC 500 delivers superior in-flight characteristics, self-monitoring capabilities and minimal maintenance needs when compared to older generation autopilot systems.

Specific aircraft models recently approved for the GFC 500 autopilot include:

• Piper PA-32RT-300

• Piper PA-32RT-300T

The full line-up of PA-28 and PA-32 aircraft models now approved for the GFC 500 autopilot include:

• Piper PA-28

o Models: 140, 150, 151, 160, 161, 180, 181, 201T, 235, 236 (and Overhead Trim Models)

• Piper PA-28R

o Models: 180, 200, 201, 201T

• Piper PA-28RT

o Models: 201, 201T

• Piper PA-32

o Models: 260, 300, 301, 301T, 301FT, 301XTC

• Piper PA-32R

o Models: 300, 301SP, 301HP, 301T

• Piper PA-32RT

o Models: 300, 300T

The GFC 500 autopilot uniquely integrates with the G5 electronic flight instrument or a combination of both the G5 and either a G3X Touch or G500 TXi flight display to provide pilots with an economical and modern autopilot solution. The autopilot mode controller contains large dedicated keys and knobs, a control wheel that allows for easy adjustments to aircraft pitch, airspeed and vertical speed and a level button that returns the aircraft to straight-and-level flight. As a standard feature, pilots receive Garmin ESP with the GFC 500 autopilot, which works to assist the pilot in maintaining the aircraft in a 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 the pilot is hand-flying the aircraft.

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