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Garmin Auto-land to Receive the 2020 Robert J. Collier Trophy


In a defining moment for both Garmin International and Cirrus Aircraft, the National Aeronautic Association announced that Garmin has been selected as the 2020 Robert J. Collier Trophy recipient for its Auto-land system. Known as Safe Return on the Vision Jet, the award-winning technology allows passengers to land the aircraft with just the single touch of a button in case of an emergency.

“Autoland began as a simple exploration to develop automation technology for general aviation aircraft,” said Cliff Pemble, Garmin president and CEO. “This exploration resulted in the first automated system that can safely fly and land an aircraft in an emergency without human intervention. It is a tremendous honour for Autoland to be recognized as one of the greatest achievements in aviation history. We owe this accomplishment to the many Garmin associates who dedicated themselves to creating this game-changing aviation safety technology.”

The Robert J. Collier Trophy is awarded annually for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America, and this win by Garmin for its Autoland system follows Cirrus Aircraft’s own 2017 Collier Trophy win for the whole airframe parachute system, the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) on the Vision Jet.

“The entire Cirrus community is thrilled to congratulate Garmin on this historic accomplishment,” said Zean Nielsen, CEO of Cirrus Aircraft. “Our teams thrive on working together to bring revolutionary new safety systems to Cirrus owners and operators worldwide. The Safe Return Autoland System truly introduces the benefits of autonomous flight to general aviation and is rightfully deserving of the 2020 Collier Trophy acclaim and recognition.”

Cirrus and Garmin have a long history of partnering to develop industry-first innovations for personal aviation. Every Cirrus aircraft delivered since the introduction of the SR20 in 1999 has included Garmin avionics, and over the past two decades, both companies have collaborated to bring revolutionary technologies to the market including Synthetic Vision, datalink weather, Electronic Stability & Protection, automatic Emergency Descent, blue-button one-touch Leveling, Autothrottle, Safe Return and more.

“The Garmin Autoland system marks a significant improvement in civil aviation,” affirmed NAA Chairman Jim Albaugh. “It’s the ability to take over an aircraft with a disabled pilot and land it safely will save many lives in the future. It’s a remarkable technical achievement and clearly merits the Collier Trophy.”

Leading the industry as the best-selling business and general aviation jet aircraft for two years in a row, the Vision Jet continues to safely deliver a world-class aviation experience to owners, operators and passengers around the world.


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