Daily Archives: 2021-03-13

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Garmin GFC500 autopilot in a Cessna 210

We have noted an increased interest in autopilots, not just any autopilot but the Garmin GFC500 that in it’s basic configuration has pitch/roll and automatic pitch trim as an option. Some aircraft may also be equipped with a yaw servo but that might seem like an overkill for small GA aircraft like the Piper PA28 that has a one axis roll Century IIB autopilot as standard. The GFC500 requires that the Garmin G5 EFIS system is installed and preferably a WAAS GPS navigator such as the Garmin GTN 650/750Xi series for full functionality.

Total system pricing for a roll/pitch/pitch-trim, dual G5 attitude and HSI with OAT option is about USD15k. Installation cost varies depending on the complexity of the servos and standard PA28 series with battery in the tail section being the easiest. PA28R series are much more complex since the servos are located in the most AFT tail section and very hard to reach.

Is is difficult to estimate installation time since it may include the removal of VAC system, complete rework of pitot/static system and re-doing the existing installation.

The picture below is from a C210 with a GFC500 pitch/roll autopilot with pitch trim option. The attitude indicator was kept in the panel since the aircraft has de-icing so the VAC/Pressure pump can not be removed.