Garmin has received FAA approval for its software update and service bulletin to correct a previously reported possible runaway trim issue with its popular GFC 500 autopilot. In December, the FAA alerted GFC 500 operators who have the optional GSA 28 pitch trim installed of the possible problem, which could lead to loss of control. Software updates to accommodate installations involving Garmin GI 275 instruments is expected within weeks, according to Garmin.
In December, Garmin issued Service Alert 22109 Revision A for pitch-trim-equipped GFC 500 digital autopilots installed in accordance with Garmin’s Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) SA01866W. That configuration is approved for certified, experimental and light-sport aircraft.
Under the terms of the service alert, operators of certified aircraft with the STC were required “to pull and collar the autopilot circuit breaker and placard the autopilot as ‘inoperative’ prior to further flight.” To comply with this month’s approved software update requirements, owners must complete the software update in the next six months or at the next scheduled service interval, whichever comes first. The warranty reimbursable period closes out at the end of June 2023.
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