Garmin is well known for his GPS and, although his products have included smartphones without success, they decided to add a new navigation system called Autoland; which was created thinking of emergency situations that could occur in small planes without a co-pilot and that could help land that plane without much effort.
It is a software that will provide peace of mind to the traveler, and will be available on selected general aviation aircraft with the integrated Garmin G3000 flight deck, to be able to land in an emergency with the press of a button or if the system itself determines that the pilot is disabled, activating a protocol to take control of the plane. This system examines all available information, from the remaining fuel, obstacles and meteorology, to the possible land or airports available for landing and the performance of the aircraft. Then, it descends, lands and turns off its engines automatically.
Even Autoland is able to communicate with air traffic control and systems to report the incident. This system is also configured to modify the interface of the aircraft’s touch screens, and to provide visual and verbal communications in simple language that tells passengers to wait calmly, and to indicate with simple instructions how to communicate with ATC.
And as it is “easy” to activate, it is also very easy to deactivate it. By simply pressing the autopilot key “AP” on the controller, or the disconnect button on the controls, you can cancel the activation of Autoland. The flight display shows a message confirming that Autoland has been deactivated and, in case of accidental deactivation, the system shows passengers how to reactivate Autoland if necessary.
It is important to note that it is an emergency system, so it should only be activated if one really exists, taking into account that it automatically alerts the authorities and if it is activated without need, it could have consequences for the person in charge.
For now, this system must be approved by the authorities of each country or region, and by passing this control, it will begin to be installed in future airplanes and in some that already have the Garmin G3000 navigation system, although the latter are they must make some updates and adjustments in the control system.
Garmin’s proposal is promising and because it is an accident prevention system, it takes to another level, even more knowing that small airplanes do not have as many security measures as a commercial aircraft that transports hundreds of people in a single flight.
And you, would you feel comfortable landing with this system?