Pilot Journal
Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Screen Gem

Avidyne’s new Entegra makes glass perfectly clear

screen gemA flight down Florida’s east coast is replete with tropical playground panoramas, but the million-dollar view isn’t enough at the moment to pry my eyes from the dual IFDs (Integrated Flight Displays) of Avidyne’s new Entegra Release 9, installed in the company’s Cirrus SR22.
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If you have a change of plans, you can divert to another airport without reloading a destination. Passing by Vero Beach (KVRB), we decided to shoot the runway 11R VOR approach at the airport. After highlighting the airport on the FMS, I pressed the dedicated procedures button (PROC) on the FDC, and a list of approaches at the airport appeared. I scrolled and pressed the FMS knob to select the desired approach, and the plane turned toward the IAF (initial approach fix). (If I pressed “vectors,” the autopilot would let me choose my own course using the heading bug.) The approach and missed approach procedure were superimposed on the map, and I could put any view of the Jeppesen approach plate I wanted on the screen in front of me.

Release 9 can fly any approach, including procedure turns, enter and fly holds and execute missed approaches, without requiring the operator to master a thick instruction manual. It takes the mystery out of flying a glass panel. As Keirnan had said on the ground, “This does a better job of letting pilots know, ‘What have I planned, and what should I expect to happen next?’”

Avidyne is introducing Release 9 as an aftermarket upgrade for Cirrus and Piper aircraft equipped with Entegra panels. Certification for Cirrus aftermarket installations is expected in the first half of 2009; in the second half of 2009 for Pipers. Contact Avidyne for exact pricing and availability.

We finish our flight with the runway 9L GPS approach into Melbourne. But the Entegra isn’t through providing navigational help and situational awareness. I’m not sure where the Avidyne hangar is among the rows of identical buildings. “That turnoff,” Keirnan says. He isn’t pointing outside. His finger is aimed at an upcoming taxiway intersection on the map page, just ahead of the depiction of our taxiing airplane. For more information, visit www.release9.com.


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