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3 min read

Good Ole Garmin

By Ron Oetjen on October 13, 2017


Garmin G500

Has Garmin’s new product releases this year been exciting or what? What has been impressive to me is how Garmin released new products in so many different categories and then just the sheer number of new product releases. When you look to the right and the left of Garmin it is easy to see that their competitors may have one or two new product releases that are substantial, but nobody can touch as many categories with meaningful products as Garmin has in 2017.  On October 24th, representatives from Garmin will be at Johnston County Regional Airport to introduce all of the products mentioned in this blog and more. If you are interested in coming to this amazing event click the button below to RSVP and secure your spot for this amazing opportunity! 

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Let’s dive into some of the new goodies that Garmin released this year. Garmin really made it a point to reach out to their whole audience this year.  From the pilot who flies a couple times a year and doesn’t want to spend a ton of money to the pilot who wants the fanciest, most capable aircraft they can put together. We have the 2020 ADS-B mandate looming in the background, and because of that I have met quite a few aircraft owners who feel like they need to be ADS-B equipped but simply don’t fly enough to spend a lot of money on this mandate. Translated…that means they want the cheapest solution they can get that will allow them to fly in controlled airspace after 2020. Garmin released the GDL 82 over the summer and they nailed it for this group of aircraft owners! Keep your existing transponder, add an in-line data link between it and the antenna, and you are ADS-B Out compliant.


Over the summer Garmin also took a deeper look into another product category that raise a few eyebrows. Garmin is known to have a reliable OEM auto-pilot in the GFC 700, but competed in the auto-pilot retrofit market. That category had been left to a few other manufacturers who are probably in strategy meetings to assess the damage after Garmin released the GFC 500 and the GFC 600 auto-pilots designed for the retrofit market. All those vintage Cessna and Beechcraft Bonanza aircraft out there now have an additional option when it comes to auto-pilots. This is great for aircraft owners and is sure to bring prices down which consumers always want to hear.


Last week, the Garmin new product machine struck again with the release of the TXi series integrated touchscreen flight deck panels. Garmin is known for the comprehensive feature set in their integrated flight decks in the OEM market, but finally we have all the pieces from Garmin to do everything customers want. No longer will avionic shops have to piecemeal together a solution of 3-4 different manufacturers to get pilots and aircraft owners all the information they desire in the cockpit. With the G500/G600 TXi comes multiple screen size options to accommodate all the aircraft scenarios and the option for EIS…or engine monitoring as the average pilot refers to it. If you’re in the market for a high-end avionics package, what more could you want?


This has been a great year for the product development folks at Garmin! I took a few minutes to talk about a few that I am sure will impact our business, but I could have spent hours talking about the entire list of products that Garmin delivered to the market this year. You should spent some time on their website or stop by our shop if you want to learn more, but right now….I need to get back to doing my real job!

Sparkchasers Aircraft Services specializes in expert installation and technology recommendations to customize your airplane’s flight panel with modern avionics from the top brands in the industry. Sparkchasers is an award-winning, experienced team that strives to provide excellent customer service, stay current with the latest avionics technology, and draws on years of experience to diagnose technical issues quickly and efficiently. Sparkchasers provides services for piston-driven, turboprop, and turbine engine aircraft. When you plan to upgrade your aircraft’s avionics or need FAA certifications completed, give us a call at (919) 934-1654 or visit www.flysparkchasers.com for a quick quote.

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