This quarter’s safety issue is level flight. Losing control of your aircraft in-flight is a major safety concern in flight today. Many of us only have to think back to John Kennedy’s fateful flight and his loss of control. The safety issue is so significant, that it is listed on the National Transportation Safety Board’s “Most Wanted List.”
Chances are if you’re familiar with Garmin’s autopilot systems, you’ve likely heard of the infamous blue button. Designed to address this safety issue, Garmin is doing their part to put an end to these dangerous events.
At Leading Edge Avionics, we’re seeing more and more interest in the product, and pilots and aircraft owners are increasingly asking for it by name.
So what exactly is this blue button?
Officially referred to as the return-to-level (LVL) mode button, this dedicated blue button is available in select Garmin integrated flight decks and has a single but critically important purpose: it puts the blue side — the sky — up.
We’re heard of situations such as spatial disorientation from flying in inadvertent IMC, loss of situational awareness and other scenarios. Whether you’re in a dive, a stall, or experiencing an emergency health issue with the pilot, one press of the blue button will level out the aircraft and keeping it humming along. It’s an invaluable tool that can provide critical support at the moment you need it most.
All it takes is the simple press of the button. Once activiated, the feature will immediately engage the the autopilot and return the aircraft to a straight-andlevel condition. No further effort required.
It’s a feature that you hope you never need, but if you do, it could indeed, save your life.