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Trio Pro autopilot approved for Grumman AA-5Trio Pro autopilot approved for Grumman AA-5

There is a new autopilot option available to owners of Grumman (True Flight Aerospace) AA-5 single-engine airplanes.

The STC Group announced receiving a supplemental type certificate (STC) for installation of a Trio Pro Pilot autopilot that “brings a robust set of features to the legacy fleet at an affordable price” in the AA-5 models, the company said in a news release from EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

“Cooperation from the FAA and support from industry organizations such as AOPA and EAA has accelerated STC approvals for new aircraft makes and models,” said Paul Odum, STC Group’s founder and CEO.

Simi Valley, California-based STC Group sells the Trio Pro Pilot autopilot, and installation kits including the STC and drawings, for $6,245 for most aircraft types on the STC, not including tax (California) and shipping.

“Trio’s Pro Pilot autopilot has a proven record of reliability in the Experimental and warbird fleets. As such, it is an excellent off-the-shelf choice to retrofit into the legacy GA fleet based on its record of safety and reliability,” he said, noting that the STC also covers all variants of the Cessna 172, 175, 180, 182, 185, and Piper’s PA-28.

Trio Pro Pilot autopilot photo courtesy of Trio Avionics.

The two-axis Pro Pilot model utilizes roll and auto-trim pitch servos to provide precise horizontal and vertical navigation capabilities. Altitude control includes climb and descent functions with altitude pre-select. Vertical navigation can be flown at pilot-selected speeds. When connected to a WAAS-enabled GPS, the Trio Pro Pilot can fly the lateral and vertical portions of RNAV approaches and other procedures. The ability to fly localizer, back course, and glideslope will be added in coming months, STC Group said.

The digital autopilot provides flight envelope protection—"nudging the flight controls away from an overspeed or stall situation.” An automatic 180-degree turn feature can guide VFR pilots out of inadvertent weather encounters—a feature that has been credited with saving lives in Experimental aircraft, the announcement said.

Chuck Busch, Trio Avionics’ president and the designer of the Pro Pilot autopilot, added, “As Experimental aircraft builders, our primary design goal has always been safety of flight.  We are especially proud that our Pro Pilot incorporates many safety features that are unique in the industry.”

STCs for the Cessna 190, 195, several Cessna 210 models, and Piper PA-32 aircraft are in development and expected this fall, the company said, crediting the FAA’s. “willingness to reconsider its traditional certification methods” with benefiting STC Group’s certification effort, which Odum began in 2016, “after becoming frustrated with efforts to install a traditional aftermarket autopilot” in his 1975 Cessna 182P.

For more information about the Trio STC project, contact Paul Odum at 805/304-5246 or by email.

Topics: Supplemental Type Certificate, Aircraft Accessories

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