November 30, 2009
By Alton K. Marsh
Certification is complete to add a Garmin G1000 glass cockpit option to the Piper Mirage and Piper Matrix models. With the addition of the two models, the G1000 is now available on all of Piper’s PA-46 models.
The new avionics suite includes the Garmin GFC 700 autopilot. The combination of the two integrated systems means you can fly fully automated from shortly after takeoff to shortly before landing. It is already offered on the Piper Meridian. Prior to takeoff and after landing, the system provides information to the pilot about taxiways.
The system includes a 15-inch multifunction display flanked by two 10.4-inch primary flight displays. Synthetic Vision Technology is offered as standard on all PA-46 aircraft. It presents a three-dimensional depiction of terrain and obstacles. Synthetic vision includes a flight-path marker (displays projected path of the aircraft), Pathways (Garmin’s implementation of highway-in-the-sky), and unique runway highlighting and airport signs.
The Meridian, Mirage, and Matrix currently feature Avidyne’s advanced glass avionics suite, the FlightMax Entegra Integrated Flight Deck, as standard equipment, as do the Seneca V, the Saratoga II TC, and Piper 6X. All other Piper models offer the Avidyne system as optional equipment.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
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