Garmin is to receive FAA supplemental type certification (STC) for the GFC 600 autopilot in the Piper PA-46 310P/350P JetPROP and TBM 700/850. When properly equipped, the GFC 600 also offers new features in the TBM 700/850, including emergency descent mode (EDM) and low bank mode.
The GFC 600 delivers superior in-flight characteristics, self-monitoring capabilities and minimal maintenance needs when compared to older generation autopilot systems. It is intended for high performance piston single/twin-engine and turbine aircraft that have a wide range of speed and performance characteristics.
With the approval of the GFC 600 autopilot in the TBM 700/850, new features will be introduced to GFC 600. Low bank mode helps increase passenger comfort by automatically lowering the autopilot roll limit at higher altitudes. A separate switch may also be used by the pilot to activate and deactivate low bank mode at any altitude. Additionally, GFC 600-equipped TBM 700/850 aircraft will also feature emergency descent mode (EDM). In the event an aircraft loses cabin pressurisation, EDM is capable of automatically descending the aircraft to a preset altitude without pilot intervention to help avert hypoxic situations. In addition to the GFC 600 autopilot, a G600 TXi flight display is also required to receive these new autopilot features in the TBM 700/850.
The GFC 600 autopilot in the TBM 700/850 and PA-46 310P/350P JetProp is expected to be available in August. Garmin continues to broaden its aircraft approval list for the GFC 600 autopilots.