Garmin now offers a system upgrade to GTN 650/750 touchscreen navigators installed on certain helicopters. The upgrade includes a combination of safety and cockpit-resource-management enhancements that are particularly well-suited to single-pilot operations.
The upgrade applies to GTN navigators with v6.11 software and can be installed on the Bell 206 and 407 series, Eurocopter AS350 B2/B3, EC130 B4, EC 130 T2 and MD Helicopters MD 369 E/F/FF.
Two safety features offered by the upgrade include a wire strike alert system, animated weather graphics and a fuel range ring. WireAware graphically depicts wire-strike hazards on the moving map and terrain pages and also provides both visual and auditory alerts if HTAWS is enabled. The system also animates and displays weather radar data from various sources to make in-flight decision-making easier. With the addition of a fuel flow sensor, the system also can overlay two fuel range rings on the moving map—one indicating the remaining flight distance possible given total fuel and another that subtracts a customizable amount of reserve fuel.
Other features make it easier for pilots to enter flight plans or navigate to waypoints. FastFind uses predictive logic to suggesting waypoints or airports near the user’s GPS. Another feature lets users input common aviation frequencies without the nearly ubiquitous initial “1” or trailing zeroes. For example, to search “122.8,” the user merely has to enter “2, 2, 8.” The new system also displays the facility name next to a tuned frequency for positive identification. The Garmin Aviation Checklist Editor allows pilots to create custom checklists, flight plans and waypoints on their PCs, and load them via a data card into the GTN system.
Finally, the system includes a tool for SAR operators. It can automatically generate flight plans using four SAR search patterns: Parallel Line Search, Expanding Square, Orbit and Sector Search.
Photo courtesy of Garmin