Dramatic new safety innovations arrived for business aviation within the last year, both in terms of hardware and programs.
On the hardware side, new products have been developed that compensate for three leading contributors to single-pilot accidents: pilot incapacitation, recovery from emergency engine out in twin-engine operations, and landing in reduced visibility. On the program side of the safety ledger, the International Business Aviation Council has developed a version of its International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) geared toward smaller operators.
Autoland is now available for the Piper SLS (branded Halo) and Daher TBM 940 turboprop (branded Safe Return) singles and the Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet G2 single-engine jet (branded HomeSafe Autoland). Other aircraft no doubt will follow. Autoland can be adapted to almost any airplane, from piston singles to jets. The Garmin Autoland system is part of the company’s Autonomi family of automation products, which includes Electronic Stability and Protection and Emergency Descent Mode. The Autoland system is designed to safely fly an airplane from cruising altitude to a suitable runway, then land the airplane, apply brakes, and stop the engine. As it flies the airplane toward the airport, Autoland slows the airplane down and, if necessary enters a hold to bleed off excess airspeed.
The Autoland system can be automatically or manually activated, via the touch of a single switch. In the Piper M600, the system automatically activates at 18,000 feet if the autopilot is engaged and the pilot doesn’t interact with the avionics