Piper adds autoland system to M600 turboprop

Piper Aircraft has launched a next-generation variant of its M600 turboprop single, with the SLS model to feature an innovative new safety system that includes autoland functionality – a first for a general aviation aircraft.

Called Halo, the system brings together a number of technologies in the Garmin G3000 avionics suite, including autothrottle, emergency descent mode, and enhanced stability.

However, the standout feature is the new autoland capability which “safely lands the aircraft at the nearest suitable airport in the event that the pilot is incapacitated”, says Piper.

Halo can be engaged either automatically or by a passenger and “gains immediate situational awareness and assumes control of all systems necessary” to land the aircraft.

During its operation, the system continually communicates with passengers and air traffic control while also monitoring external parameters. It can then identify the nearest suitable airport, bring the aircraft in safely and then stop the engine.

In addition, the SLS gains as standard the formerly optional high-end EXP interior package.

“The M600 SLS and its Halo safety system is the result of an unwavering commitment to safety as well as the desire to evolve our products based on market input,” says Piper chief executive Simon Caldecott.

“Halo greatly enhances situational awareness and operational safety through the use of advanced technology and is one the most significant advancements in general aviation history.”

Piper says certification of the SLS is imminent, with deliveries beginning this quarter. List price for the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-42A-powered aircraft is $2.99 million.