Garmin Test Pilot Recognized for Autoland Development


Tom Carr, Garmin’s director of flight operations and chief test pilot, was recognized for his efforts in Garmin’s Autoland program. The Society of Experimental Test Pilots (SETP) presented Carr with the 2020 Iven C. Kincheloe Award, which “honors test pilots who have made exceptional contributions to an aerospace program and is the most honorable recognition among the society.” 

According to Garmin, Carr “has flown Autoland development flights on the Columbia 400, Piper M600 and the Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet and flew as test pilot in hundreds of approaches and fully-automated landings.” The Autoland system, presented under various names by the manufacturers using it, was certified this May.

“From the day Tom started at Garmin, he has dedicated himself to growing our business and developing a team of passionate and talented flight test professionals and in doing so, he has built a world-class flight department,” said Phil Straub, Garmin’s executive vice president and managing director of aviation. “His dedication to the advancement of flight testing, along with his perseverance and pioneering vision, have played a vital role in bringing innovative Garmin products to market and into the hands of our customers, all of which further illustrates why he is extremely deserving of the Iven C. Kincheloe Award.”

Garmin’s Autoland is used in the Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet (called Safe Return), the Piper M600 (called the HALO) and the Daher TBM 940 (called HomeSafe).

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KITPLANES Editor in Chief Marc Cook has been in aviation journalism for more than 30 years. He is a 4000-hour instrument-rated, multi-engine pilot with experience in nearly 150 types. He’s completed two kit aircraft, an Aero Designs Pulsar XP and a Glasair Sportsman 2+2, and currently flies a 2002 GlaStar.

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