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Dumont upgrades TBM prop with glass cockpit G600 retrofit
Parisian owner-operator Louis-Alain Dumont has received the first TBM 700 turboprop with a Garmin G600/ GTN 750 glass cockpit avionics retrofit, replacing mechanical equip-ment and first-generation cathode ray tube electronic flight displays.
Read this story in our October 2014 printed issue.

Parisian owner-operator Louis-Alain Dumont has received the first TBM 700 turboprop with a Garmin G600/ GTN 750 glass cockpit avionics retrofit, replacing mechanical equip-ment and first-generation cathode ray tube electronic flight displays.

The Garmin G600 is an instrument panel upgrade that pairs a liquid-crystal primary flight display and multi-function display in a single 10-inch bezel. Its sophisticated graphics include synthetic vision technology, providing a 'virtual reality' perspective view along the aircraft's flight path.

This upgrade's cost, including replacement of the instrument panel, begins at $120,000 for a dual-screen G600 package, with installation time estimated at 250 man hours.

The initial customer aircraft to be modernised is a 2004 model year TBM 700C2 owned and operated by Dumont, which received an additional avionics package incorporating a second Garmin G600 dual screen for the co-pilot.

“The new installation is a huge improvement over the original equip-ment. It has completely transformed my TBM,” Dumont states.

“After 35 years of European all-year operations in Bonanzas it was time to change to a more safe turbine plane, and the TBMs are the fastest. In 2008 I bought a pre-owned TBM 700C2 because at that time there were no pre-owned 850 G1000s on the market.

“Six years later, it was time for a change and again I had the same problem: no pre-owned 900s on the market. We would have to wait again for this very desirable new aircraft. We decided to upgrade our existing TBM 700 instead.

“The decision was very easy to take. The Bendix EFIS units are becoming increasingly expensive to repair, and it is better to resell them while they are working. All the Garmin systems are more trouble free and much more accurate than the mechanical ones.”

He says Daher-Socata's service centre in Tarbes has done a 'fantastic job' on the upgrade and that there have been no problems with the cockpit since. He only carries out private flights, having completed a round-the-world trip in 2012.

“The auto pilot is working better with its Garmin black box; it is softer and more precise on cross wind, and its control is very easy through the G600,” he adds. “The G600 shows all the information we need: the six old clocks, the moving map with the GPS info, and the chart plates – everything is in front of you.

“Of course we kept our radar, traffic and stormscope pictures and even our radio altimeter on the G600. Plus we get 29 kg of extra payload. We now fly with increased safety and in better comfort.”

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