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Garmin develops dedicated aviation GPS

September 15, 2011, 03:54 pm

Recent developments in synthetic vision technology have improved flight safety for pilots flying at night or in low visibility situations, and Garmin recently announced the release of an aviation specific GPS that developers are calling the iPad of aviation, according to the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

Garmin's Aera 796 provides pilots with color-coded topographical maps, flight path indicators and 3D visualization technology particularly useful in landing procedures when airports are not in view. Pilots navigate the device's menus and visualization modes via a finger-operated touch pad, like many consumer level tablet computers.

The device also includes up to date airspace information distributed via control tower connections. The source notes that while pilots who already use Garmin's previous release, the Aera 696, are unlikely to upgrade because the 696 required hardwire integration into cockpits. The technological advances in the 796 will likely attract new aviation GPS customers who are already comfortable with consumer tablets like the iPad, from which the 796 gleans many of its basic operative functions.

As cockpit technology continues to advance, aviation safety improves as well. Pilots still face a unique set of liabilities when it comes to insuring themselves and their craft, and pilot insurance policies are often the most responsible route for aviators looking for appropriate, comprehensive coverage. Many pilot organizations like the AOPA offer pilot insurance guidance and sometimes discounted insurance rates for members.

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