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Autolanding: A button in the cockpit can save lives

Autolanding: A button in the cockpit can save lives

A plane landing in an emergency? This is available with the Garmin Auto System. What can she do exactly?

The product is relatively new. Garmin has only been offering this since 2020. Under the name Autonomi, the American manufacturer of the electronically integrated cockpit sells an autonomous system that can be installed in aircraft with the G3000 avionics system.

Autonomi is currently available for Piper M600, Cirrus Vision Jets, and Dort TBM-960, or as a retrofit for the TBM 940. However, the number of aircraft models is expected to increase soon. Because a new product can save lives – for example in a situation like BBusiness plane with unconscious people on board, which went to the Baltic Sea at the weekend Drops.

Passengers can press the emergency button

The emergency system cannot be compared to the autopilot of modern commercial aircraft. With the autonomous landing system, the aircraft flies completely independently, without human intervention. It works in two different ways. The most obvious way is to activate the emergency button, which is clearly visible in the cockpit.

The concept is very simple. In the event of an emergency, for example if the pilot loses consciousness, a person can press a light-colored button installed in the cockpit for a few seconds. From now on, the plane takes over all the controls.

Also automatic release

The pilot finds the nearest available and suitable landing site, automatically communicates with air traffic control and other nearby aircraft, reports the emergency, displays information to passengers, lands the aircraft and shuts down the engine. The system integrates weather, traffic and terrain information to determine the best airport for landing, given fuel range and runway length.

The second possibility is automatic operation by the system itself, and anyone who drives a modern luxury car can see that the car is monitoring them and that a warning will appear on the dashboard advising the driver to take a break in case of fatigue. . With this Garmin automatic, the pilot is also monitored. If no activity is detected for a while, the system attempts to alert the pilot.

It needs certain conditions

If there is no response and the plane is flying at a distance of say 5500m, the system will automatically drop to a lower altitude. If after some time no activity is detected, the automatic targeting system will be activated and the plane will land at the nearest airport.

The system has the ability for the pilot to remain in control of the aircraft and to turn it off at any time during the process. Of course, it doesn’t work without additional hardware features such as the autothrottle, radar altimeter, flap and landing control, automatic braking and access to shutdown the engine.