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STEC 3100 Autopilot

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    Posted: 28 May 2021 at 10:04pm
Hello,
STEC is working towards certifying the STEC 3100 autopilot for the PA-30. I have an IFD550/440, dual G5s, and STEC 60-2 installed in my aircraft now, but I would like to upgrade my 60-2. The IFD 5XX/4XX installation manual I have is revision 17 date 4/29/19. It does NOT list the STEC 3100 as an approved autopilot for the IFD series GPSs. Is that correct, or is there a newer installation manual showing the STEC 3100 is approved? I know there are aircraft flying with the IFD GPS and STEC 3100, so I want to confirm this configuration is approved and legal before I complete the prebuy for the STEC 3100.
I was going to do a GFC 500 installation since Garmin just started certification of the GFC 500 for the PA-30, but it has been pretty clear in the forums that the IFD GPS installation manual does not allow that. The IFD installation manual does NOT list the GFC 500 as an approved autopilot, and the GFC 500 installation manual does NOT list the IFD GPS navigators as approved.

Jeff Hullinger
1964 Piper PA-30 N97VP
IFD550/IFD440/EX500/AMX240/
RDR2100/GMX345/GDL69A/
SKY497/STEC60-2/G5 AI/G5 HSI
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Toadpilot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2021 at 6:07am
I received a reply from Genesys and the IFDs are approved GPSs for the STEC 3100.
Jeff Hullinger
1964 Piper PA-30 N97VP
IFD550/IFD440/EX500/AMX240/
RDR2100/GMX345/GDL69A/
SKY497/STEC60-2/G5 AI/G5 HSI
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gring Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2021 at 5:26pm
the IFD install manual lists the G5 as an approved interface and the G5 is the GFC500 autopilot computer. It’s a legal installation.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Toadpilot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2021 at 9:46pm
Gring,
Thanks for that reply. I agree; the Garmin installation diagram definitely shows that the GFC 500 gets its inputs from the G5 and GAD29B, so it makes sense it would work with the IFDs. I guess my "forum" comment referencing IFDs not approved for GFC 500 refers to avionics shops not installing that configuration due to interpretations of the Garmin install manual stating the GFC 500 could only be interfaced with GNS or GTN navigators.
In the end, it is going to be a simpler and less expensive install for me to upgrade my STEC 60-2 to STEC 3100. The GFC 500 and STEC 3100 autopilots have very similar capabilities between them, so either one should be a vast improvement over my current 60-2.Now I just wait for STEC to obtain enough prebuys to start the certification process. If that takes too long, I may revisit the GFC 500.
Jeff Hullinger
1964 Piper PA-30 N97VP
IFD550/IFD440/EX500/AMX240/
RDR2100/GMX345/GDL69A/
SKY497/STEC60-2/G5 AI/G5 HSI
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