Garmin announced on Wednesday that its Smart Glide technology is now available for the G3X Touch and G5 electronic flight instrument in certified aircraft equipped with a GTN Xi-series navigator. Introduced last July, Smart Glide is designed to assist pilots dealing with a loss of engine power by “automating tasks to reduce pilot workload.” Once activated, the system recommends an airport estimated to be within glide range and creates a direct-to route to that airport.
According to Garmin, Smart Glide recommendations take into account factors including runway length and condition, proximity, terrain and available weather data. If it can’t find an airport in range, the system provides an aural and visual alert and continues to search. In aircraft equipped with a compatible Garmin autopilot, Smart Glide can also automatically engage the autopilot and pitch for the aircraft’s best glide speed. The system is activated either by a panel-mounted switch or by holding the navigator’s Direct-To button for two seconds.
Alongside the Garmin Autoland, Smart Glide is part of the company’s Autonomi family of autonomous technologies. It is currently being offered as a free software update through Garmin’s authorized dealer network.