Avionics Report

November 2009 Issue

SVT Goes Downscale Garmin G500/G600

While it’s not exactly cheap, synthetic vision for Garmin’s entry level EFIS products does almost as much as the high-priced G1000.

Datalink weather for the cheap seats—cheap being single-engine aircraft flying with sophisticated portable GPS—is arguably one of the top safety enhancements of the past five years. Running a close second (or even first for some buyers) are terrain warning features that despite their low cost, are capable of keeping you out of the weeds and towers. They’ll even yell at you, if you want. But compared to fanciful weather depiction, yellow and red terrain warnings with red Xs for towers are, frankly, boring. The evolving world of synthetic vision addresses that and now Garmin is making it available in all of its electronic flight display products, right down to the entry level G500, recently introduced at Oshkosh as an option for aircraft under 6000 pounds. Is it worth the add-on cost to a lower end system? We think that depends on your budget, but there’s no question SVT improves situational awareness and clarifies what can be an ambiguous two-dimensional display of the TAWS-type presentation.

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