Garmin Introduces Radar ‘Height Advisor’


Garmin has introduced its take on the radar altimeter for small aircraft with the GHA 15 “height advisor.” The device, which is now available for experimental and light sport aircraft, starts measuring the aircraft’s AGL altitude at 500 feet and displays the information on G3X Touch displays in non-certified aircraft. It sends hundreds of radar signals every second to the ground or water below and gives a constant readout of altitude. It also gives audible altitude callouts that can be adjusted to suit the pilot’s preferences.

“Knowing precise height AGL can be helpful to pilots during landings and flying in areas where limited barometric altimeter setting information is available—such as backcountry flying,” the company said in a pre-AirVenture news release. The hardware is a little bigger than a deck of cards and attaches to the belly of the aircraft. It weighs less than a pound and Garmin says the installation is simple. It costs $1995.00.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. I forget the kind of terrain avoidance model that was in the aircraft I rented, but it wasn’t to my liking. As I went low over a windmill farm, the alarm went off
    Not only that, but it blanked out the GPS screen in the process. Yes, it’s nice to have that feature. But it would also be nice to be able to turn it off and or adjust the proximity settings…

  2. Presume it is 5-G immune also 🙂
    My A36 had one of the old Bonzer units when I bought it. I didn’t find it distracting, but then it didn’t work, either.

  3. My Cessna 180K has a radar altimeter which is controlled by an ON/OFF toggle switch. I only turn it on during instrument approaches or when approaching an unfamiliar airport and then I set it for 1,000′ AGL.

  4. Only reading above 500 ft AGL makes it useless for any warning on MDA or decision height during an IFR approach. I loved the radar altimeter for approaches as a backup. I suppose since it’s designed for light sport and experimental they didn’t want people to use it that way.

    • “Also says “Check Gear” if I am bellow 200 and gear not down.”
      That’s probably what would be the most valuable feature for the average GA user. As long as it only speaks when the gear is up.

      • Maybe. First, it only says “Check Gear” if the gear is up and I am below 200 feet. Tested it with a low pass and it works. Agree, it is a great safety advance.

        But, with the gear down, I think the altitude call outs make my landings much better.