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Thu, Nov 09, 2006

WAAS Certified!!! Garmin GNS 400W/500W Series

Garmin has JUST tipped ANN to the fact that their GNS 400/500 series have earned the FAA's TSO C146a Gamma-3 certification, which enables pilots to fly Lateral-Precision with Vertical (LPV) guidance approaches and receive GPS navigation via the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS). The FAA also granted AML (approved model list) STC approval allowing the 400W/500W equipment to be installed on over 980 popular makes and models of aircraft. The GNS 400/500W series joins the G1000 and GNS 480 in providing WAAS enabled navigation for aircraft. Garmin currently offers more WAAS solutions than any other avionics provider.

"This is a great day for Garmin and the aviation industry," said Gary Kelley, Garmin's vice president of marketing.

"Since the FAA commissioned WAAS in 2003, there has been an enormous demand for WAAS certified equipment in the marketplace. We are pleased to announce that all 75,000 Garmin GNS 400/500 series products currently in the field can upgrade to WAAS. We expect the number of WAAS equipped aircraft to increase quickly, and pilots will be able to operate to and from airports that would otherwise be unavailable to them in marginal weather."

Thanks to the certification and AML STC approval, owners of Garmin's popular GNS 400/500 series panel-mount avionics will be able to upgrade their products to meet the FAA's WAAS standards* without a field approval**. These upgrades include 5 Hz position updates, faster map redraws, fully coupled and guided procedure turns and holding patterns, and increased XM weather content. Pilots will also experience significantly enhanced functionality because of the WAAS LPV, LNAV/VNAV, LNAV+V, and LNAV approach capabilities.

Garmin's GNS 400W/500W series meets the FAA's highest level of certification for WAAS navigation. The units utilize satellite-based navaids for precise lateral and vertical approach guidance - similar to Instrument Landing System (ILS) operations - without the need for ground-based navaids of any kind. The Gamma-3 level of certification lets pilots fly the FAA's new LPV approaches. The FAA has already published over 600 LPV and 5,500 WAAS approach procedures.

The WAAS system improves the accuracy, reliability and integrity of the GPS signal. GPS-WAAS navigators that meet FAA's WAAS regulations may be used for sole means of navigation* for all phases of flight, including en route through precision approach at airports. With WAAS LPV approaches, pilots will have stabilized lateral and vertical navigation and will be able to navigate as low as 200 feet above the runway end under instrument flight rules.

Garmin's panel mount avionics have been installed on nearly three-fourths of all U.S. single and twin-engine piston and turbine aircraft retrofitted since 2000. The company strives continually to raise-the-bar in the avionics industry, and two years ago at the 2004 AOPA Expo Garmin's GNS 480™ was the first GPS navigator in the industry to earn a TSO C146a Gamma-3 certification.

Background Data

*Due to the TSO limitation in conjunction with the AFMS limitation, Garmin's GNS 400/500 series navigators will not be certified as a "primary means" of GPS navigation until after customers install a new software version. Garmin expects to issue a Service Bulletin in the first quarter of 2007 issuing the software. The software will be updated via the 400/500W data loader card. This required software update is expected to be available in the first quarter of 2007.

**The AML STC data is intended to provide complete FAA approved data for a large subset of CAR3/FAR23 aircraft; however, if the aircraft does not pre-qualify for the AML STC standards, additional means of airworthiness approval will be required.

Garmin expects deliveries of the new GNS 430W™ and GNS 530W™ to begin in about 30 days with upgrades beginning in January 2007. Upgrades are available for a suggested retail price of $1,500. Pilots who do not currently own Garmin 400/500 series equipment and are in the process of upgrading their avionics, will be able to purchase new GNS 430W and GNS 530W units for $10,750 and $16,495, respectively.

FMI: www.garmin.com

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