When Garmin released its incredible new safety utility, autoland, and two aircraft manufacturers, Piper and Cirrus, announced its imminent certification in their flagship planes, the M600 SLS and the SF-50 Vision Jet, respectively, it was a big deal. By my reading, it was the number one topic of conversation in aviation chat groups across the segments. Airline pilots, bush pilots, homebuilders, and the private Jet-A crowd were all talking about Autoland.
And well they should be. The introduction is absolutely revolutionary. In the short term, it’s an automatic autoland feature that when a critical emergency calls, will pick an airport to land your plane at, it will configure the flaps, gear, and power correctly throughout the landing sequence, bring your plane down on the centerline, stop it, shut off the engine, all while giving constant passenger briefings about what’s happening and what will happen next. It stops just short of leaving a mint on your pillow, but Garmin might well be working on that too.