Elliott Aviation Delivers First Autoland-Capable King Air

Garmin used its King Air B200 testbed to certify Autoland functionality.

Credit: Bill Carey

Aviation services company Elliott Aviation on Jan. 3 announced the delivery of its first Beechcraft King Air B200 turboprop upgraded with the Garmin Autoland system.

Moline, Illinois-based Elliott Aviation said the first delivery to an unnamed customer marks a significant achievement for the company and a new chapter in the evolution of Garmin’s G1000 NXI avionics platform. Autoland systems to date have been installed in aircraft equipped with Garmin’s G3000 avionics suite.

Unveiled by Garmin in October 2019, Autoland safely returns an aircraft to the nearest suitable airport if the pilot becomes incapacitated. The system calculates a flight plan to the airport that avoids terrain and adverse weather, initiates an approach to the runway and extends the landing gear and flaps as the aircraft descends to a center-line landing.

Autoland has been certified on the Piper M600 SLS and Daher TBM 940/960 single-engine turboprops, the Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet and the HondaJet Elite II light twinjet, all with G3000 avionics. The new Beechcraft Denali turboprop single, slated for certification in 2025, also will come with Autoland.

In August 2022, Elliott Aviation said it had completed post-delivery installations of Autoland systems, branded by Daher as “HomeSafe,” on 29 TBM 940s that were sold in the U.S. with the system included as part of the original equipment list, but delivered prior to certification of Autoland functionality on the aircraft.

Garmin announced in July 2023 that FAA certification of Autoland and integrated Autothrottle functions was imminent on select King Air 200 twin turboprops fitted with the G1000 NXi avionics system.

This was to be followed by certification on select King Air 300-series aircraft. The certifications marked the first time the functionalities were offered as a retrofit solution for older aircraft.

With Autoland and Autothrottle, Garmin added other new functionalities to the G1000 NXi platform, including a synthetic vision upgrade with a 3D exocentric (virtual) view provided during taxi operations and emergency descent mode (EDM), which activates in the event the cabin depressurizes while the aircraft is above 20,000 ft. with the autopilot engaged. EDM will pitch down the aircraft to descend to 15,000 ft.

“We are thrilled to deliver our first Garmin Autoland upgrade in a King Air B200,” Elliott Aviation CEO Dan Edwards said. “Safety is always our top priority, and the Garmin Autoland system represents a groundbreaking advancement in aviation technology. This achievement reflects our team’s expertise and commitment to providing our customers with the latest and most advanced avionics solutions.”

Bill Carey

Based in Washington, D.C., Bill covers business aviation and advanced air mobility for Aviation Week Network. A former newspaper reporter, he has also covered the airline industry, military aviation, commercial space and unmanned aircraft systems. He is the author of 'Enter The Drones, The FAA and UAVs in America,' published in 2016.