Garmin discounts databases, adds synthetic vision upgrades

April 12, 2010

Garmin synthetic visionGarmin is lowering database prices up to 50 percent for GPSMAP 495/496 and 695/696 database subscribers who sign up for bundled electronic charts, airport diagrams, and AOPA’s airport directory, the Kansas firm announced in advance of the Sun ’n Fun fly-in.

Garmin also will provide free synthetic vision upgrades for G3X and G300 customers; and it will offer Pilot My-Cast flight planning and filing applications on Android smart-phones.

Garmin set the prices for U.S. electronic database subscriptions at $500 to $700 for GPSMAP 696 customers and $300 to $500 for GPSMAP 496 customers. Current GPSMAP 696 customers who use the tablets as electronic flight bags can pay more than $1,200 a year for IFR charts, approach plates, weather, and other databases.

Garmin synthetic vision showing obstacleBy offering GPS-based synthetic vision on the G3X and G300, Garmin is extending the technology pioneered on the high-end G1000 integrated avionics suite to the light sport aircraft market. Now, pilots who learn to fly in a Cessna 162 Skycatcher with a G300 avionics package could move up through Cessna’s full line of piston aircraft and into a turboprop Caravan or jet Mustang and always have synthetic vision—a GPS-derived view of the outside world that shows terrain, runways, and desired flight paths.

“Synthetic vision is one of the most useful, safety enhancing features that we offer and it makes a world of difference in how you aviate,” said Gary Kelley, Garmin’s vice president for marketing. “G300 and G3X pilots will appreciate the added situational awareness in 3D as they fly.”

The G300 is unique to Cessna’s Skycatcher. The G3X is a nearly identical platform designed for Experimental and light sport aircraft.

Additionally, Garmin is offering a variety of rebates at Sun ’n Fun for purchases made by June 30.

Garmin offers bundled pricing

By Alton K. Marsh

Garmin has several news announcements for Sun ’n Fun. Here are some more:

  • G600/G500 PC training software is available at Garmin.com for free. The G600/G500 PC software includes Synthetic Vision Technology (SVT) and FliteCharts, and is designed to help customers gain familiarity with their avionics before takeoff.
  • Up to $6,000 in bonus purchase rebates are now available with the purchase of a new G600, G500, and other avionics. Purchases must be made between now and June 30, 2010.
  • Limited-time rebates are available for the GTS 800, 820 and 850 traffic systems. Customers can save $750, $1000 and $1250, respectively, on purchases made between now and June 30, 2010.
Dave Hirschman

Dave Hirschman | AOPA Pilot Senior Editor , AOPA

AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Dave Hirschman joined AOPA in 2008. He has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates. Dave flies vintage, historical, and Experimental airplanes and specializes in tailwheel and aerobatic instruction.