Two additional Garmin GFC500 autopilot systems were recently installed in Sporty’s Skyhawk fleet replacing the KAP140 systems and bringing sophisticated levels of automation including Garmin ESP, speed protection, automatic level mode, vertical navigation (VNAV) mode, and more.

Driven by the Garmin G5 and GTN650 interface, the GFC 500 will fly a wide range of precision, nonprecision and GPS approaches as well as holds, procedure turns, missed approaches and more.

Flight director cues are displayed as command bars on the G5 and may also be used for visual guidance when you are hand-flying. The “go-around” button, installed just above the throttle, will cue the correct pitch attitude required to fly a go around or missed approach and will even execute a missed approach procedure if loaded.

A control wheel integrated into the GFC 500 mode controller allows for easy and precise pitch, vertical speed and airspeed adjustments, while separate knobs allow quick twist control of heading and altitude. For added safety, a dedicated LVL button on the controller lets you command the autopilot to automatically return your aircraft to straight-and-level flight.

Additional GFC500 installations are expected throughout the summer. You may visit Sporty’s aircraft pages at for manuals and instructional videos.