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Garmin ESP certification expected in 2010

Garmin expects its innovative ESP (Electronic Stability and Protection) system to be FAA certified this year, company officials announced at the EAA’s AirVenture on July 26.

ESP operates when pilots are hand-flying and is designed to keep them from exceeding pre-set bank, airspeed, or angle-of-attack values by “nudging” aircraft controls toward level flight. Pilots can overpower the ESP system, but it’s there all the time to prevent pilot disorientation or loss of aircraft control.

The King Air 200 is likely to be the first airplane to gain FAA certification for ESP, and Cirrus is offering it with special incentives to new aircraft buyers.

“ESP is there to watch over you whenever you’re hand-flying,” said Ben Kowalski, a Garmin sales director. “It’s a massive leap forward that can prevent loss of control. When you’re circling to land at night, it’s there.”

ESP will be sold as a software upgrade with a retail price of $17,999 for King Air 200s. The company hasn’t named a price for other aircraft.

Other announcements from Garmin include:

  • The AOPA Airports directory and ChartView have been added to the G500/600 series.
  • Geo-referenced approach plates are being added to the GPSMAP 695/696 series.
  • Pilot MyCast will show fuel prices at no additional cost, and applications for Apple’s iPad are in development.
Dave Hirschman
Dave Hirschman
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large 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.

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