Crew Resource Management is essential and Garmin has a computer to help pilots
My only spontaneous engine failure was in a Turbo Commander with two equally qualified pilots on board, myself and my co-worker. Unfortunately, I was in the right seat, so I instantly lost all say regarding the outcome of the flight when the engine suddenly spooled down with absolutely no warning. The acting Captain immediately took control, completely disregarding any reference to Crew Resource Management. To say I was irritated is an understatement. Aren’t we supposed to discuss the emergency, at least a little bit? Bounce ideas off of each other? He was having none of that. Thankfully we were in a twin-engine airplane and hobbled back to our home airport without much trouble at all, but what if we were in a single-engine plane that day – would we still not have discussed the procedures together?
Imagine if you have access to a computer that could give you unbeatable advice when you were having a positively awful, lousy flight. A computer that could instantly sense an engine failure and recommend a suitable airport estimated to be within gliding distance.
Imagine no more. Smart Glide is the latest feature in the Garmin family of autonomous technologies – a family that also includes the ever-popular emergency autoland button. Smart Glide also navigates to the terminal area so the pilot can concentrate on the dead stick landing.
Additionally, if the system is interfaced with a Garmin Autopilot, Smart Glide will automatically engage the autopilot and pitch up or down to find the aircraft’s best glide airspeed. Of course, Smart Glide requires at least one of Garmin’s latest GTN Xi series navigators, as well as a compatible Garmin display, but once you have all that, you’re good to go!
The system can be activated by a switch mounted on the panel or by pressing the Navigator’s “Direct-To” button for 2 seconds. Once activated, sit back, watch the magic happen, and get ready to land the plane.
Smart Glide automatically considers terrain, winds, runway length, and even weather when connected to an appropriate source. It also presents a glide ring that shows all airports within range and constantly adjusts the ring as necessary. Once within 4 miles of the airport, it tells the pilot to get ready, with AGL altitude information and distance and bearing to the runway.
The best part is that beginning August 2021, Smart Glide is available at no charge, dealer installed, software upgrade (except for installation) for compatible systems. The other best part is that the computer is a great Crew Resource Management partner, giving you the facts and leaving opinions out of the decision-making process. We can all benefit from that.