Called Safe Return, the Garmin-built Autoland system previously announced for the Cirrus Vision Jet has been FAA approved. Safe Return joins with a full-airframe parachute to be what Cirrus calls “the most comprehensive, must-have total safety solution in general aviation.”
“With Safe Return, we are making personal aviation more accessible, elevating the passenger experience and taking the next step towards autonomous flight,” says Zean Nielsen, chief executive officer at Cirrus Aircraft. “The Vision Jet sets a new standard in personal travel with the combination of Safe Return and CAPS, offering the ultimate level of safety, control and comfort for the pilot and passengers.”
Pushing the centrally located activation button—Cirrus puts this in the headliner between the two rows of seats, not on the instrument panel—places the aircraft into “autonomous” mode. The Garmin system, taking advantage of the information available to the Perspective+ avionics suite, considers environmental factors including weather and terrain, chooses the nearest feasible airport for landing, communicates with ATC and begins the approach phase. Autoland can, as the name says, land the airplane and bring it to a stop on the runway. “Additionally, the flight deck provides visual and aural updates to the passengers, including current location, remaining fuel, airport of arrival and estimated time of arrival,” Cirrus says.
“Garmin and Cirrus share a passion for designing and engineering products without compromise. Together, we have delivered some of the finest safety-enhancing technologies to our customers over the years, and we are proud to now add the certification of Garmin Autoland in the Cirrus Vision Jet to that growing list of accomplishments,” said Phil Straub, Garmin executive vice president and managing director of aviation. “Congratulations to our collective teams who contributed to the certification of Autoland on the Vision Jet, a technology that will undoubtedly have lasting impacts on the safety of our aviation industry and the lives of our customers.”
A button in reach of passengers? I hope it sets off a loud alarm in the cabin when activated.
When is YAR’s taking delivery of his composite, kerosene burning V-tail? Auto Land could be that proverbial “straw that broke the camels’ back”.