Garmin International has received FAA Supplemental Type Certification (STC) for the GFC 600 autopilot in certain Piper Meridians (PA-46-500TP).
The new STC covers Meridian models from 2000-2009. The autopilot is not compatible with G1000 installations, Garmin officials note.
Additionally, Smart Rudder Bias is now certified for Cessna 414A aircraft equipped with the GFC 600 autopilot, officials announced.
The GFC 600 digital autopilot is intended for piston single/twin-engine and turbine aircraft that have a wide range of speed and performance characteristics, according to Garmin officials.
In addition to traditional autopilot capabilities such as altitude hold, vertical speed, and heading modes, the GFC 600 also includes:
- Advanced capabilities such as altitude pre-select and indicated airspeed hold mode
- VNAV capability when paired with a GTN or GTN Xi series navigator
- Dedicated LVL button engages the autopilot to restore the aircraft to straight and level flight with one press
- Support for Smart Glide that can automate tasks and reduce pilot workload in engine power loss emergencies when paired with a GTN Xi series navigator and Garmin attitude indicator
- Underspeed and overspeed protection
- Select, couple, and fly various instrument approaches, including GPS, ILS, VOR, LOC and back course approaches when paired with a compatible Garmin GPS navigator
- Yaw Damping mode minimizes yawing oscillations while also helping to maintain coordinated flight
- ESP functions independently of the autopilot and works in the background while the pilot is hand-flying the aircraft to help avoid inadvertent flight attitudes or bank angles by nudging the pilot to return the aircraft back to a safe flight attitude.
Smart Rudder Bias
Smart Rudder Bias provides pilots assistance against the hazardous effects of one-engine inoperative (OEI) flight. The system continuously monitors engine parameters using Engine Indication System (EIS) data displayed on a G500 TXi or G600 TXi flight display and activates when the system detects a predetermined power differential between each engine. Once activated, rudder force is 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 displayed along with autopilot annunciations on the G500 TXi or G600 TXi flight display, helping the pilot identify the issue quicker.
Enhanced Garmin Electronic Stability and Protection (ESP) settings for OEI conditions help Smart Rudder Bias equipped aircraft avoid potentially hazardous flight attitudes and airspeeds by tailoring these settings to help address the aerodynamic characteristics associated with OEI operations.
Smart Rudder Bias requires a G500 TXi or G600 TXi configured as a primary flight display (PFD) with engine indication system (EIS) data, which can be shown as a strip on the G500 TXi or G600 TXi, or on a separate dedicated TXi EIS display. Additionally, Smart Rudder Bias requires the yaw axis option be installed on the GFC 600.