Garmin Avionics has developed an Autoland system to get a General Aviation plane back on the ground if its pilot becomes incapacitated. [credit:
If you’ve been around long enough, you’ve probably heard stories of passengers who successfully landed small planes after their pilots fell ill or died. It happened in Australia just a few months ago (Aug. 31) when a student on his first flight lesson in Perth was forced to land a Cessna 150 after his instructor lost consciousness.
The student had never landed anything previously, but it worked. However, it usually doesn’t, and the consequences are disastrous. That’s why electronics/avionics maker Garmin is launching Autoland, an emergency autopilot system that can autonomously land a private aircraft and bring it to a stop on the runway.
Push the red button
Commercial airliners have long had auto-landing systems as well as the ability to fall back on co-pilots if the pilot-in-command becomes incapacitated. Until recently, single-pilot certified general aviation (GA) airplanes haven’t had autonomous landing capability. To be clear, they still don’t. Garmin’s Autoland system is not yet FAA certified, though the company expects certification “soon.”
Source: Ars Technica