Garmin Announces STC For GFC 600 Autopilot In Piper Navajo Chieftains

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Earlier this month, Garmin announced it had received an FAA Supplemental Type Certificate for installing its GFC 600 digital autopilot in the Piper PA-31-350 Navajo Chieftain cabin-class piston twin. Concurrently, Garmin announced that its Smart Rudder Bias technology is certified for installation on PA-31-350 Navajos when equipped with the GFC 600 autopilot.

In addition to standard autopilot functions such as vertical speed, heading and altitude hold, the GFC 600 will provide Navajo Chieftain operators additional capabilities, including altitude pre-select and indicated airspeed hold mode; VNAV capability (when paired with Garmin’s GTN or GTN Xi series navigators); dedicated LVL (level) button to restore the aircraft to straight-and-level flight; support for Smart Glide, which helps automate tasks in the case of a single engine power loss (when paired with a GTN Xi series navigator and Garmin attitude indicator); underspeed and overspeed protection; coupled instrument approaches, including GPS, ILS, VOR, LOC and back course approaches when paired with a compatible Garmin GPS navigator; yaw damping; and Electronic Stability and Protection (ESP), which “operates independently of the autopilot 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 an appropriate flight attitude,” according to Garmin.

Smart Rudder Bias assists the pilots of appropriately equipped twin-engine aircraft in maintaining directional control during one-engine inoperative (OEI) situations.

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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