Garmin Releases New Aviation GPS – Airplanes

One of the newest Aviation GPS units on the market today is the Garmin GPSMAP 496. For pilots who rent planes or just prefer portable GPS models, the 496 combines several attractive features including terrain alerting, a detailed color map, and satellite datalink weather, which is available with a subscription to XM WX Satellite Weather.

When landing at an unfamiliar airport, I’ve found that navigating the taxiways can be stressful and confusing, especially when there’s heavy traffic.

Garmin’s GPSMAP 496 comes preloaded with information on 650 airports (United States). It’ll show you your exact position on the taxiway diagram and airfield. You can get information about 5,300 more airports using the AOPA Airport Directory that is also included. When you’re looking for ground transportation, or want to find the nearest FBO it can be a big help.

Another feature I like in the 496 is the Altitude-Sensitive Smart Airspace Alerts. During cross country trips, it’s easy to get focused too far ahead which can cause you to lose awareness of what’s in your immediate airspace. The Smart Airspace feature emphasizes the current altitude and position, making it easier to focus on at a glance. Even better is the built-in Jeppesen terrain and obstacle database. Program the GPSMAP 496 with the clearance levels you’re most comfortable with, and it’ll alert you when your current altitude and the surrounding terrain are too close. If you don’t customize the clearance levels, it’ll alert you automatically with the default pre-set.