Despite false rumors and misinformation that the hugely popular Garmin GNS-series navigators are at the end of their service life, Garmin says that 99 percent of GNS users can keep using their units. Moreover, the Garmin factory will still continue to support common repairs and refurbishments as it has for the past 25 years. For a deep dive into the future of GNS support, and some tips for dealing with a dreaded failure, Aviation Consumer Editor-in-Chief Larry Anglisano linked up with Garmin’s Jim Alpiser.

Larry Anglisano
Larry Anglisano is a regular AVweb contributor and the Editor in Chief of sister publication Aviation Consumer magazine. He's an active land, sea and glider pilot, and has over 30 years experience as an avionics tech.


  1. Great video as always Larry.

    I agree that Garmin has done the right thing for owners of the 400 and 500 series navigators. They gave us a cheap upgrade to WAAS probably with no profit to themselves when including the certification process, parts, and actually doing it. I didn’t have to buy a new unit and go through the downtime of having to wire something new.

    When the FlightStream 210 came out around 10 years ago to link my iPad running Garmin Pilot , I installed it along with a GDL88 for early ADS-B compliance. I got the benefit of weather and traffic years before the 2020 deadline, beat others to the delay at avionics shops, and had the benefit of being able to send flight plans between Garmin Pilot and the 430W. It makes editing flight plans on the map or flight plan page as easy as it is on the 600/700 series, but on my 11” iPad Pro, which can be changed out every few years for $1000 as technology advances.

    With the announcement last year, I sent in my 430W right away when my display fan started making a noise. I wasn’t aware of any other issues and it still looked like new. I got it back and it really looked and felt like new. The buttons had a different feel after being replaced and the knob turning was tighter as they replaced the gears. They replaced the display and display glass. They also tuned the radios. It was well worth the $1960 charge to IRAN the 430W so I can hopefully get years of service from it.

    That’s the same price to IRAN just one of my markedly simpler S-TEC servos!

    As you mentioned the display fan is not adequate to cool the whole 430W. It still needs an external avionics fan, same as the KX-155 I had IRAN’d last year at the same time.

    Thanks for what you do. And thanks for helping me navigate the folks that lost my lifetime subscription to Aviation Consumer with the changeover to Flying Media. I wasn’t getting anywhere with customer service online, and a way of contacting them by phone is not listed on the support page.

  2. Good information, Larry. I’ll stick with my 430W as long as I can; I just sent back to Garmin last year for a complete sw update, front button bezel replacement, and, believe or not, the backlight/screen (backlight went out, screen was fine…) for a fixed repair price. It works, is interfaced to my GFC500/G5 autopilot with all necessary functions working (I seem to recall that there were some gaps with the Avidyne 440 swap out interfacing to the GFC500 that while it replaced the 430 with newer tech, the gaps made the 500 less capable) and, with the complete overhaul of the 430…will probably serve for a lot more years.

    I listen to the conspiracy theorists (who obviously have never worked in tech manufacturing…pretty sure Garmin, while they would like to sell new iron, understand the need to support as long as possible their installed base…and are measured in how they approach the issue of supporting a device which has existed for almost 20% of the time since the Wright Brothers first took off!) but, for the $…in my experience…the 430w/530w is still a useable product…perhaps a little long in the tooth, but, then, they’re not making the same mistakes that their competitor (are they?) across town in Olathe made with their GA avionics line.

    Good and timely information, Larry. Safe flying!

  3. Food for thought; I propose a maintenance and repair insurance program, to maintain Garmin GNS units’ value and functionality, focusing on preventing unnecessary obsolescence and to protect aircraft resale value, a significant matter.
    This plan includes display module support, database updates, a parts availability strategy, transparent pricing, reduced downtime with a loaner unit policy, and importantly, resale value protection. By ensuring these units remain current and operational, this initiative directly addresses the financial impacts of aging avionics on market value, responding to community needs for a reliable navigation system without compromising investment. The premium? $50 per database upgrade.

  4. The unasked question was why Garmin didn’t and doesn’t make a slot-in replacement for the GNS430 and 530 to keep installation costs down.

  5. No discussion of Garmin can be made without acknowledging the contribution of Apollo/UPSAT. The CNX80 was truly revolutionary and delivered WAAS from day 1. Without Apollo, Garmin would likely have been another Trimble or Lowrance

  6. The GPS 100 is a great unit. No database but for getting from A to B it was the unit I would choose. Funny thing, when I was using one for skydiving ops, we put it in the panel and the antennae on the glare shield. Also the antennae cost more than the GPS 100 at that time.