Garmin chief test pilot wins prestigious award

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Garmin Director of Flight Operations and Chief Test Pilot Tom Carr has received the prestigious Society of Experimental Test Pilots 2020 Iven C. Kincheloe Award for his “outstanding professional accomplishment in the conduct of flight testing.”

The award was established in 1958 in memory of the veteran flight test pilot and U.S. Air Force Korean war ace. It honors test pilots who have made “exceptional contributions to an aerospace program” and is the “most honorable recognition among the society,” according to Garmin officials.

Carr was honored with the award in recognition of his achievements as an experimental test pilot during the Garmin Autoland flight test program.

Autoland is designed to land an aircraft when the pilot can’t, according to company officials. In the event of an emergency, the Autoland system determines the most optimal airport and runway, taking into account factors such as weather, terrain, obstacles, and aircraft performance statistics.

Tom Carr.

Carr has flown Autoland development flights on the Columbia 400, Piper M600, and the Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet and flew as test pilot in hundreds of approaches and fully-automated landings. These tests were conducted as part of the FAA certification of Garmin Autoland, which was achieved on May 18, 2020. The system has since received FAA and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification on several additional aircraft types.

“From the day Tom started at Garmin, he has dedicated himself to growing our business and developing a team of passionate and talented

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