Tech

Garmin: Autolander brings small planes safely to the ground

Most aviation accidents happen with small machines. Garmin has developed a system to make general aviation safer. The first two aircraft equipped with this system are expected to be launched shortly.

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Autoland is the name of the system that should bring a machine safely to the ground without any human intervention. It can be activated, for example, if the pilot becomes unconscious and can no longer control the aircraft. Autoland then selects a suitable airfield and lands there. The system is activated manually at the push of a button. It can also turn itself on.

The system is part of Garmin's small aircraft G3000 avionics system and has access to its data, including position, tank, wind and weather. This compares it with the information about the surrounding airfields such as the terrain, the length, condition and location of the runway.

Based on this information, the system then selects and controls a suitable airfield. It communicates its position and its destination to both the air supervisor and the aircraft pilot nearby.

Also the occupants of the aircraft are constantly informed: On the screen they get displayed, among other things, the current position, the destination, the distance until then or the estimated time of arrival. In addition, passengers have the opportunity to use the touch screen to establish communication with the flight supervisor.

Piper and Cirrus Aircraft are the first manufacturers to announce that they will equip aircraft with Autoland. The next M-Series machine from Piper, the M600 SLS, gets the system as standard, which is called Piper Halo Safety System. In Cirrus Aircraft the system is called Safe Return and will be in the Vision Jet integrated.

The development of the first automatic land system for general aviation was for Garmin a logical evolution of the existing systems for avionics and autonomous flying, said Phil Straub, Division Manager Aviation at Garmin. The system will revolutionize aviation and help save lives.