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.
The AOPA Medical Advisory Board is the latest group to urge quick action on the proposed FAA rule that would allow thousands more pilots to fly without the need for a third class medical certificate.
Mexico has lifted a requirement that pilots of arriving and departing private general aviation flights use a third party provider to file advance passenger information system (APIS) manifests.
The Perlan Project is less than a year away from the first flight of a glider being built to ride waves near the edge of space. While construction continues in Oregon, the team’s pilots are staying proficient in more ordinary aircraft.
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