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AOPA, Garmin bring lower cost avionics to certificated aircraft

G5 STC approved, installed in AOPA Sweepstakes 172 on display at EAA AirVenture

Editor's note: AOPA incorrectly reported the number of aircraft models included in the Garmin G5 STC. The correct number is 562. We regret the error and have updated the story.
Garmin received FAA approval of a supplemental type certificate for its G5 electronic attitude indicator for certificated aircraft. The move supports an AOPA initiative to encourage the availability of less expensive non-TSO’d systems for legacy airplanes.
The Garmin G5 is a prominent feature in the 2017 AOPA Sweepstake Cessna Ascend 172 by Yingling.

Garmin's STC for the G5 is available for 562 makes and models of fixed-wing single- and twin-engine aircraft below 6,000 pounds and not certified for operation in known icing conditions via a comprehensive approved model list, Garmin said July 24.

"The importance of creating a pathway for simplified certification processes and its impact on safety and the ability to deliver lower cost avionics can't be overstated," said Carl Wolf, Garmin vice president of aviation sales and marketing. "AOPA worked closely with the FAA and Garmin to outline the need and opportunities for such equipment. Their counsel and input from their highly active membership base helped guide Garmin's decision to further engage our engineering and certification teams, and enter this important market, a decision that will help improve the legacy fleet.”

The G5, introduced in 2016 for the experimental/homebuilt market, will be approved as a primary source for aircraft attitude or turn coordinator information, and as a secondary source for altitude, airspeed, and vertical speed in a single instrument. It is approved for installation in either position and is valid for flight under VFR and IFR conditions, Garmin said.

“This can  be and is more reliable than vacuum-driven systems,” said Jim Alpiser, Garmin director of aviation aftermarket sales.

Garmin G5The retail price is anticipated to be $2,149, which includes the G5 unit, a four-hour back-up battery, and an installation kit. An optional GPS antenna can be purchased, which brings the retail price to $2,499. The units will begin shipping in September.

“This economical installation and upgrade path revolutionizes GA by bringing modern attitude reference to thousands of aircraft that would otherwise depend on older, vacuum-driven equipment,” said Wolf. “We look forward to working with the FAA to continue to identify and address additional solutions for aging and failure-prone equipment.”

AOPA has worked closely with the FAA, Garmin, and others in the industry to demonstrate the need for affordable avionics and other safety systems for older airplanes. “We are pleased to see this collaboration between government and industry to pave the way for installing in certified airplanes these modern, highly capable systems common in experimental airplanes,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “These cost-effective new products will bring new vibrancy, safety, and reliability to the GA fleet. This is just the beginning. We expect other companies to bring forth other non-TSO’d equipment that will improve the fleet.”

The G5’s 3.5-inch display can be configured to show V-speed references, barometric setting, and selected altitude, as well as provide visual alerts when arriving at the selected altitude. The G5 does not provide vertical or horizontal navigation information, so it cannot be used as a horizontal situation indicator in certified aircraft.

“This changes everything for owners of older aircraft who didn’t think they could afford a glass panel,” Alpiser said.

Garmin has supplied a G5 that is installed in the panel of AOPA’s Sweepstakes 172, on display during EAA AirVenture at the AOPA campus across from the Brown Arch.

“We are pleased that Garmin has chosen AOPA’s Sweepstakes 172 as the first install and demonstration of affordable modern avionics in legacy aircraft," Baker said.

The solid-state G5, which includes a four-hour backup battery, forms the heart of the upgraded panel on the Cessna 172, which is being remanufactured by Yingling Aviation in Wichita. In its effort to continue focusing attention on the need for lower cost, safety-enhancing equipment for the legacy fleet, AOPA hopes to install a new-generation digital autopilot in the airplane and other gear, including an upgraded engine and airbag seat belts, before the aircraft is given away as part of the organization’s membership sweepstakes, which closes May 31, 2017. Anyone with an active membership at that point is eligible to win the revitalized Skyhawk. (See the official sweepstakes rules.)

The September issue of AOPA Pilot will detail the Sweepstakes 172’s G5 and other Garmin equipment in the panel—which includes a touch-screen GTN 650 nav/com, a GTR 225 com radio, a GMA 340 audio panel, and a GTX 345R with Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast Out and In capability.

Jill W. Tallman

Jill W. Tallman

AOPA Technical Editor
AOPA Technical Editor Jill W. Tallman is an instrument-rated private pilot who is part-owner of a Cessna 182Q.
Topics: Avionics, AOPA, EAA AirVenture

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