Piper‘s newest aircraft, the Piper M600/SLS, has become the world’s first plane to receive type certification for the new Garmin Emergency Autoland system. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued the approval on 18 March for the single-engined turboprop. Piper has named it HALO system.
In the event of pilot incapacitation, the system can be activated by a passenger. If the emergency descent mode has been triggered, the Autoland programme will be activated automatically. Once activated, the airplane is then able to land safely at the nearest suitable airport.
How does it work?
Once engaged, HALO gains immediate situational awareness and assumes control of all systems necessary to bring the aircraft safely to the best suited runway. During all phases of flight it communicates with passengers and air traffic control – regarding the new flight path and estimated time until landing. All aircraft system parameters are continually monitored. The system takes into account runway size and orientation, wind, time, fuel range, glide path, considers weather conditions and terrain en route to the nearest suitable runway.
Once HALO has landed the aircraft, the braking system will activate and will bring the aircraft to a complete stop. Finally, the engine will shut down and instructions will be provided on how to exit the aircraft.
The HALO system is standard equipment on all M600/SLS aircraft. It’s main features besides the Autoland function are Auto-throttle and Emergency Descent Mode.
“This is the first aircraft to be certified with one of the most significant advancements in general aviation history. As a company that has always held safety at the forefront of our culture, we are proud to be first to market with Autoland.”
Simon Caldecott, President & CEO, Piper Aircraft
“The FAA certification of Autoland is a day of celebration for the entire aviation industry as we redefine the expectations of not only the pilot, but more importantly the passenger, and what should be standard equipment on general aviation aircraft.”
Phil Straub, Garmin Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Aviation
Here’s a promotional video from Piper, featuring the HALO safety system:
The two companies Cirrus and Daher are working to secure certification of the same Emergency Autoland feature for their VisionJet (Cirrus) and TBM 940 (Daher) models until summer 2020.
Photo Credit: Piper Aircraft, Inc.