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Avionics Bucket List: Garmin

Published in Product Reviews & Company Profiles.

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March 2012


How Do You Eat an Elephant?

How do you eat an elephant? You do it—one bite at a time. That’s the way replacement avionics get into most panels—one item at a time. Whether you order a whole new avionics suite at one time or have to develop an incremental plan for VFR or IFR upgrades, I recommend sitting down with a good avionics shop to chart your course. Here is a story of one journey following multiple Garmin upgrades with a bucket list for future additions.Garmin’s GTN (Garmin Touchscreen Navigator) series announcement woke me up to the fact that our aircraft’s avionics redo, which started in 1999 with a Garmin GNS 430, plus audio panel, GTX 320 simple transponder and L-3 Stormscope, might be due for some new upgrades.

At the time I installed the 430, the buzz was all about the risk of combining a Com/Nav-GPS navigator in one box. This was counter to the accepted avionics architecture of the late 1990s. The 430 was the new GPS navigator on the market at that time and was different from everyone else’s units.

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