The glass cockpit market is segmenting, and solutions are now
available for virtually any GA aircraft.
Mooney dealer in the western states. Errol
referred me to his local salesman, Pete Sandhu.
A week later, the same Husky I’d spotted arrived
from Wyoming, and I was going flying.
The Husky is a good-looking airplane that can
turn heads on any ramp. It’s available with either a
180- or 200-hp Lycoming engine; we flew with the
former. Skis, floats, and 31-inch Tundra tires are a
few of the many options. This Husky had several
options including an Avidyne traffic awareness
system that I find essential, living and flying
under the San Francisco Class B. We took off with
the tanks topped with 50 gallons of usable fuel,
putting us about 60 pounds under this aircraft’s
usable load of 801 pounds.
The ground roll was remarkably short, and the
climb rate high. The Aircraft Flight Manual claims
a ground roll of 289 feet. We took off with an outside temperature of 64°F and experienced a climb
rate of 1,200 feet per minute at around 70 knots.
That’s 50 percent more climb than I see in other
aircraft I fly with the same engine. Visibility from
the cockpit was excellent.
A JPI Instruments EDM-930 engine monitor is
located on the left of the panel. Analog and digital
indications of rpm and manifold pressure are displayed on the left above bar graphs of cylinder head
temperature and exhaust gas temperature for each
cylinder. Nine 12-segment bar graphs display oil
temperature and pressure, fuel flow, fuel remaining, and electrical parameters.
In the center, the Garmin G500 incorporates
two displays: a primary flight display (PFD) on the
left that displays flight instruments and a multi-function display (MFD) on the right for the
moving map, traffic, terrain, and flight-planning
functions. The PFD layout is similar to the G1000.
A minor difference is that the vertical speed indicator is displayed in the lower right instead of to
the right of the altimeter. While this makes scanning the pitch instruments less efficient, since
they are no longer on the same horizontal line,
pilots will transition easily.
A big surprise, that I didn’t notice until I
started a steep turn, is that in the plane I flew,
the attitude indicator bank angle pointer was
configured as a sky pointer, commonly found
only in jets. It moved in the opposite direction
from the G1000 and most GA mechanical attitude indicators, which use roll index pointers
that move in the direction of the turn. Thus in
this plane, a GA pilot looking for the bank angle
would look in the wrong place. The G500 manual shows the pointer can be configured either
way by an avionics technician, but it adds confusion by introducing a third term, ground
pointer, referring to an old and now rare type of
attitude indicator with an index on the bottom
of the instrument that points toward the
ground. Regulations require the G500’s attitude
indicator pointer configuration match the
standby attitude indicator, and I’m sure the
plane I flew has already been reconfigured.
Along the PFD’s left side are keys that, like on
the Avidyne Entegra PFD, determine the function
of the knob below. For example, pushing the
BARO key lets you use the knob to set barometric
pressure; pressing the HDG key lets the same
knob set the heading bug. Soft keys along the bottom of the PFD select the navigation source for
the horizontal situation indicator’s (HSI’s) course
pointer and other PFD parameters.
The MFD organization resembles the G1000,
Garmin 430, and 530. A large knob selects page
groups, and a small knob selects pages within the
group. The main navigation map page is configured with soft keys that select or deselect traffic,
The panel of the Sweepstakes Husky includes a Garmin G500 with
a GNS 430 Panel-Mount Avionics Suite.