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December 13, 1999

Garmin® Delivers Weather Data to the Cockpit

Technology leader launches its first effort to bring NEXRAD weather to its multi-function displays

OLATHE, Kan. – Garmin International, the full-line avionics manufacturer who brought you the GNS 430, the amazing all-in-one color avionics system, is introducing yet another interface capability that will allow pilots to get even more out of their multi-function avionics box. Garmin is pleased to announce that it will offer satellite-based weather data-link technology through Echo Flight. The GNS 430 and GNS 530 will provide a display interface with the Echo Flight data-link system.

"Garmin is pleased to offer pilots the kind of life-saving information that NEXRAD weather radar can provide," said Gary Kelley, director of marketing, Garmin International. "When we designed the GNS 430 and GNS 530 we wanted an expansive platform for flight-critical data. Weather information was a high priority for us. However, this is definitely just the beginning when it comes to Garmin's ability to deliver both text and graphic weather depiction data in the future."

"We are proud to be working with Garmin," said Robert Kalberer, president, Echo Flight. "The introduction of a satellite data-link in the cockpit provides a powerful tool, significantly increasing not only the safety, but efficiency of general aviation transportation."

The weather data provided by Echo Flight is an alternative to other Flight Information Systems (FIS) that are currently in development. Unlike traditional broadcast FIS information, Echo Flight uses ORBCOMM's network of low-earth orbit satellites to deliver weather information to the cockpit on a request/reply basis. With Echo Flight, there are no altitude restrictions and you can request weather data at your current location, your destination or anywhere in between. In order to access this data, pilots will need to purchase a transceiver or "subscriber communicator" from Garmin that will interface with the GNS 430 and GNS 530. Users will then subscribe to a monthly service through Echo Flight. In addition to providing NEXRAD service, pilots will also be able to view graphical and textual weather information such as METAR and TAF. The service offered by Echo Flight will also make it possible for pilots to send and receive e-mail from the cockpit, as well as send position reports.

Garmin's revolutionary GNS 430 and GNS 530 combine an IFR GPS/comm with VOR, LOC, glideslope and a full-color moving map. While the GNS 430 boasts a four-inch diagonal display, the GNS 530 offers an impressive five-inch diagonal display.

The subscriber communicator will be available from Garmin at a suggested retail price of $2495. The subscription service from Echo Flight will cost around $40 a month. Garmin will make the NEXRAD weather data available to pilots during the summer of 2000.

Echo Flight is located in Boulder, Colorado. The company has been involved in the development and licensing of general aviation safety products since 1994. For more information on Echo Flight, please call (303) 413-9002 or visit their Web site at www.echoflight.com.