Mark Scheuer, the founder of PS Engineering, came to AOPA Summit this week to announce a special offer for pilots who are now flying with Garmin’s GMA340 — ask your avionics shop to swap in a PMA8000B audio panel for a free trial, and fly with it for up to two weeks. “Really, you’re going to know after that first flight, if this is what you want,” said Scheuer. But if you want to keep it for a week or two, that’s fine, he said. Among its other features, the panel enables pilots to monitor radio calls while passengers hear only music. “We also have tweaked it so the pilot can hear music too, but any communications from the radio will cut in,” Scheuer said. The offer covers installation and labor costs, so there is no risk for the pilot.
The system provides automatic adjustments so the pilot hears audio from various sources all at the same level, Scheuer said. It also includes an auto-squelch feature and a digital aircraft radio recorder. The 8000BT version adds Bluetooth. The upgrade also can help to reduce the workload when flying single-pilot IFR, said Scheuer, and it features a cellphone interface. The panel lists for $1,895, and $2,095 for the BT version.