Consider for a moment some of the norms in aviation and how absurd they are. We practice partial-panel flying because we expect our vacuum-driven gyroscopes to fail. We hand-fly instrument approaches to minimums because our airplanes lack autopilots. We overhaul 50-year-old mechanical instruments and expect they will work when our family’s lives depend on it. All this, despite technology that exists today that could easily wipe out these problems and make flying safer, easier, and more enjoyable. Thankfully, attitudes are changing.
When Aspen Avionics introduced its combination electrically powered attitude indicator and horizontal situation indicator for legacy airplanes 10 years ago, it was a revelation. Garmin and others quickly followed, and now there are tens of thousands of Aspens, Avidynes, Garmin G500s, and other displays in Cessna 182s, Beechcraft Bonanzas, Piper Saratogas, and the like. With a price tag of anywhere between $10,000 and $20,000, plus installation, these new options represented an opportunity for some owners—but left those with Cessna 172s and similar, lower-valued aircraft without a practical path to replace their aging technology.
Now, AOPA and other industry associations are working with the FAA and manufacturers on a range of instrument certification changes bringing a new tier of incredibly capable, relatively low-cost options that increase safety and make financial sense to owners, no matter the airplane’s hull value.
Garmin is still one of the largest avionics equipment names out there... and lets not forget their watches. While Garmin may have a good product they are just like Apple or Verizon. Who also try to make us follow their own rules. We have had two calls this week asking if we replace Garmin 430 RAM Battery? I am sorry to say we do not, we would love to do all things avionics and aircraft related for our customers.
So unlike Avidyne, Aspen and BendixKing
Garmin is the only unit that has a battery backup just for RAM.
All of these other units connect straight to your aircrafts battery allowing you consistent life. (Flight plans are always safe and accessible.)
And as stated before Garmin is a great product, a dependable unit!
But I’ll give it to you straight:
ONCE YOU GO GARMIN YOU WILL NEVER GO BACK..
Because you will have no choice.
(Garmin products talk to Garmin products best.)
Garmin products do Not communicate well with other products!
If you are going to purchase and install a Garmin unit some mechanics even recommend you go ahead and replace your whole panel (or at least your main units)
What a pain.
But still one of the most popular sellers today.
Still if you are looking for ADS-B we have found that the Appareo Stratus In & Out unit with ForeFlight has been the TOP SELLER.
And if you would like your fuel consumption to decrease (and who wouldn’t?)
the EDM900 is a great product, that replaces three to four other displays on your panel!
As we know here maintaining an FAA Repair station is work.
I’m sure certifying a piece of modern avionics is a complex endeavor.
We have seen a few come and go, never quote making the mark.
When all the systems were mechanical, the process was relatively straightforward. The FAA put out a technical standard order (TSO) for each type of equipment that listed specific performance standards, and a manufacturer simply developed the equipment, made sure it met the specifications of the order, and applied for TSO approval.
That all changed when software found its way to the cockpit. Instead of verifying final performance, the FAA required each line of software code to be validated.
That validation is called DO-178 compliance testing, and for manufacturers it can mean millions of dollars of additional investment in bringing a product to market.
So glad we have a whole government department out there also helping to keep our Pilots and their families safe.