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Garmin Adds Synthetic Vision to Pilot App

Larry Whitesitt

February 20, 2014 - Garmin has added synthetic vision capability to its Pilot app for the iPad and iPhone. The company has offered the computer-generated view of terrain and obstacles ahead on its panel-mounted displays for several years, but this is its first for an app.

The Garmin Pilot app teams with the portable GDL 39 3D receiver to calculate the attitude, GPS altitude, ground track, and groundspeed to create a display on the iPad that looks very much like a panel-mounted PFD. The compact GDL 39 3D links to the mobile device via Bluetooth so there are no extra wires.

The GDL 39 3D also receives the subscription-free FIS-B weather information broadcast from the FAA's network of ADS-B ground stations and passes that on to the Pilot app. The GDL 39 tracks and displays most traffic targets by receiving both ADS-B frequencies. Of course, the Pilot app performs all of the pre-flight weather, routing, charting, airport info, and other tasks on the ground that you would expect from an advanced flight planning app.

A 30-day free trial subscription is available to new Pilot app subscribers and the annual fee after that is $74.99. The new Pilot 6.1 is a free upgrade to current subscribers. It's all available from the Apple App Store now.

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