February 22, 2010
By Thomas A. Horne
Garmin announced a new, optional helicopter terrain awareness and warning system (HTAWS) designed for the Garmin GNS 430W and 530W series navigators during Heli-Expo 2010 in Houston. HTAWS can be ordered from the factory, or added to existing units already in the field. The system is set for certification in the second quarter of 2010. The price is $9,995.
HTAWS has visual and aural advisories for hazardous terrain. There is a five-color terrain scale, and voice alerts occur when descending below 500 feet agl. The software can be configured to issue multiple callouts in 100-foot intervals, ranging from 500 feet to 100 feet agl.
In addition, an obstacle database in HTAWS adds some 30,000 low-altitude obstacles, the terrain is shown in a higher resolution, and the database has more than 7,000 heliports.
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.
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