March 2, 2023
Garmin GFC 500 autopilot for Commander and Cessna aircraft
Garmin received Federal Aviation Administration Supplemental Type Certification for the GFC 500 autopilot in additional aircraft to include the Commander 112, 112A models, as well as Cessna 172A, 172B, 172C, 175A, 175B and 175C models.
Garmin explains the GFC 500 autopilot is intended for light piston aircraft while delivering in-flight characteristics, self-monitoring capabilities and minimal maintenance requirements when compared to older generation autopilot systems.
The GFC 500 autopilot integrates with Garmin’s GI 275 or G5 electronic flight instruments; a combination of either a standby GI 275 or G5 electronic flight instrument interfaced to a G500 TXi flight display; or a G3X Touch flight display. Garmin explains the autopilot mode controller contains large dedicated keys and knobs, a control wheel that allows for adjustment to aircraft pitch, airspeed and vertical speed, and a Level Mode (LVL) that returns the aircraft to straight-and-level flight with the push of a dedicated button.
In addition, GFC 500-equipped aircraft can take advantage of Smart Glide, a safety tool that helps pilots in an engine power loss event by automating certain tasks and helping to reduce pilot workload.
In addition to traditional autopilot capabilities, such as altitude hold, vertical speed and heading modes, the GFC 500 also includes altitude preselect, VNAV2, underspeed and overspeed protection and more. Pilots can also select, couple and fly various instrument approaches, including GPS, ILS, VOR, LOC and back course approaches when paired with a compatible Garmin GPS navigator.\