The United States Forest Service (USFS) has chosen the G950 Integrated Flight Deck for their fleet of Sherpa aircraft (Shorts SD3-60). Garmin says the G950 will provide the USFS with an advanced avionics suite to increase mission effectiveness, while also providing an added cost-savings that solves avionics obsolescence, exceeds regulatory requirements and expands the operational life of these versatile aircraft.
The G950 encompasses all of the features of the G1000 Integrated Flight Deck, while integrating with the Sherpa’s existing autopilot, reducing cost and installation complexity. Three 12-inch liquid crystal displays (LCD) combine navigation, communication, terrain, traffic, weather and more within the G950 integrated avionics suite, providing the flight crew with easier access to the information they need. Flight plan information is overlaid on a rich, dynamic map displaying airspace, rivers, lakes, parks and woodland areas that are pertinent to the missions executed by the USFS. Increased situational awareness provided by Synthetic Vision Technology (SVT), presents a 3D depiction of virtual terrain, obstacles, traffic and the runway environment. SVT works seamlessly with the Class-A Terrain Awareness and Warning System (TAWS) by providing alerts such as excessive closure rate and large glideslope deviations. Additional features of the G950 include WAAS/LPV approach capability, Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS II) and more, providing pilots with more safety enhancing technology to aid in mission effectiveness.
NextGen regulatory requirements are met with the ADS-B Out-compliant GTX 3000 Mode S Extended Squitter (ES) remote transponder. The GDL 88 ADS-B datalink provides flight crew with the additional benefit of ADS-B In traffic and weather. Replacement of the existing avionics with the G950 is estimated to provide a weight savings of up to 250 pounds, allowing the option to carry additional cargo, personnel or fuel. In addition to increased utility, Garmin says the G950 offers greater reliability, increased dispatch rates and delivers tangible operational cost benefits.
The G950-equipped Sherpa aircraft will be utilized to support wildland fire operations, including smokejumper, passenger and cargo missions. Delivery of the first G950-equipped Sherpa aircraft for the United States Forest Service is anticipated to take place in Q3 2016.