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 GPS panel-mount products developed, the Bendix/King KLN90 was still the dominant product at the time. It wasn’t until the GNS430 came along that Garmin really competed and began to make inroads.
For me it’s a matter of keeping that culture and remember why we exist. I think the best example is to look at the homebuilt/ amateur market. While it takes a lot of resources to serve that market, they buy our product, put their trust and faith in us, and are entitled to great service. If we don’t serve them well, we give others the opportunity to serve a need where we are not. We never want to take our success for granted.
But on the flipside, we are a small player in the overall aerospace market. So, we have to be very scrappy and innovative, and never let the foot off the gas.
T&T: Where does Autoland technology go from here?
Straub: It needs to go in smaller airplanes, but it also needs to go in bigger airplanes. When you think about the building blocks that allows this to happen – the autopilot, autothrottle, navigation, communications – these are in most airplanes, or they can be in most airplanes. With the right hardware, there is nothing preventing it to being applied in a smaller aircraft.
But I still maintain that when I get on an airliner, I think I have the right to have an airplane equipped with this technology. We are not talking a Category III Autoland system. But in
emergency scenarios, this system could be available and activated. We are seeing some interest among larger-cabin Part 25 OEMs.
T&T: Will the industry continue to see investment in new safety products from Garmin?
Straub: We are committed to developing advanced technologies and we can make a difference here. We hold the bar very high and we recognize that we have a responsibility to bring these types of technologies to the market that protect the lives of our customers, our children, family and friends. Autoland started as a vision many years ago and as it developed, we kept pushing to make it better – not to just save the lives of the people inside the airplane, but to preserve the airplane itself. That’s the kind of place that makes you excited to come to work every day.
  Dianne White is the executive director of MMOPA and editor of MMOPA Magazine. For a total of 14 years, she was editor of Twin & Turbine and has worked in the business aviation industry for nearly 30 years. She also serves on the board of directors for Angel Flight Central. An active multi-engine, instrument-rated pilot, Dianne lives in the Kansas City area and can be reached at
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