Flying|September 2020
A retired airline pilot’s perspective

Cruising among the flight levels in excess of Mach 0.82 most times, our weather radar typically remained in an active status. The Boeing 777’s system was sophisticated enough to adjust its sweep to the attitude of the airplane and turn itself on during takeoff for predictive wind-shear-detection warnings. It was the primary long-range tool for in-flight convective-weather avoidance and often the reason for the statement, “Unable a heading of…”

Depending upon one’s experience and acuity, adjusting the radar return was an art form. Trusting the display for more than 200 miles in front of the nose became a matter of opinion. All that being said, the radar provided a mostly accurate and instantaneous picture.

Aside from forecasts and other data, our long-range convective-weather planning started and ended in operations. We didn’t have access to SiriusXM weather or ADS-B in the cockpit. The in-flight Wi-Fi wasn’t known for providing a reliable-enough signal to our iPads, which was especially problematic on widebody airplanes, where the cockpit was a long distance from the router location.

Screenshots from the iPad running the Garmin Pilot app show the level of detail given by the FIS-B (left) and GDL 52-streamed SiriusXM (right) weather information.

So, now that I rarely fly at altitudes higher than four digits—and that my cruise knots are barely equal to typical 777 approach speeds, I have no radar, and only one spinny thing is keeping me airborne—my airline-pilot psyche requires a reliable source of in-flight weather data.

Years earlier, the only real choice was SiriusXM, which has evolved into an even more comprehensive weather product. Now with ADS-B and its attached FIS-B (flight information system-broadcast) data, I have great options. But should I choose one over the other, especially if one of them is free?

Well, to answer that burning question, I was given the opportunity to equip my Piper Arrow II with a Garmin GDL 52, which has the ability to simultaneously receive both SiriusXM and ADS-B signals through a compatible app. In my case, the app is Garmin Pilot, installed on the iPad because it has been playing well with the airplane’s Garmin GTX 345 ADS-B transponder.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine


Garmin zūmo XT

Garmin has long been the big fish in the pool of GPS, and their zumo line of products has graced motorcycle handlebars for years.

3 mins read
Adventure Motorcycle (ADVMoto)
November - December 2020


The GPS device maker Garmin Ltd. acknowledged this week being victimized by a cyberattack last week that encrypted some of its systems, knocking its fitness tracking and pilot navigation services offline. It said systems would be fully restored in the next days.

1 min read
Techlife News
Techlife News #457

SPOT, SPOT X, inReach, or PLB: Which One?

I like to row, and I even learned how to use a yuloh to move my Potter.

10+ mins read
Small Craft Advisor
May - June 2020

Garmin Fenix 6 Pro

The ultimate multi–sport watch, but do you need it?

1 min read
Mac Life
February 2020

Top 10 Sports Monitoring Gadgets

Technical upgrades to sport performance monitoring can keep an eye on your health rhythms at work, at play and in flight.

6 mins read
Business Traveler
October 2015


A modern smartwatch and the first of its kind from Garmin, the Lily comprises features ‘designed by women, for women’.

1 min read
T3 India
April 2021

Garmin's Rally Brings Power To Shimano Pedals

New power meter pedals use transferable spindle with Look, Shimano and SPD bodies available

4 mins read
April 01, 2021


An Apple Watch lookalike that lacks innovation but offers loads of fitness features and great battery life for very little money

2 mins read
T3 Magazine
April 2021

Garmin Instinct Esports Edition

THE INSTINCT ESPORTS EDITION is a rugged GPS smartwatch uniquely designed for esports athletes and enthusiasts to take their gaming performance to the next level. Using Garmin’s proven health and fitness tracking technologies, it uses a dedicated esports activity function to track and analyze heart rate and stress during play, as well as offer long-term trend analysis. Garmin’s new STR3AMUP! PC streaming tool also provides Instinct users the ability to livestream biometric data to audiences for a new streaming experience.

1 min read
March 2021


New Tacx Boost turbo trainer from Garmin is a real beast

1 min read
T3 India
February 2021