When something happens to the pilot of a light aircraft, the results are often tragic for those on board. One technology company has come up with a solution — and it’s something that will soon be implemented on small planes from two leading manufacturers.
The Economist reports that Garmin, a company known for both airplane landing systems and GPS technology, has developed a system that blends the two — and it might help save lives in the future.
The name of the system is Autoland — which makes sense for something that would automatically land a device. The Economist notes that, following successful testing, Autoland “is about to become a standard feature on the Piper m600/sls, a six-seater single-engined turboprop, and the Cirrus Vision Jet, a single-engined personal jet.”
Piper’s page for the M600/SLS offers some details on how Autoland will work. In the case of an emergency, any passenger can activate the system. Once that’s done, Autoland runs an algorithm to determine the best airport at which to land. Piper’s website describes this as “an optimization scheme that considers a number of factors including approach attributes, runway attributes, distance, wind, and fuel.”
Autoland also utilizes multiple sources to obtain data on the weather — an essential component for guiding the plane to a safe landing.
The Economist also reports that Garmin is looking into creating a version of Autoland that would walk on smaller planes as well, and speculates that something for larger airliners could also follow. Something that makes air travel safer and more reliable sounds like a goal worth striving towards.
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