G1000-equipped King Air takes to the sky

 - February 8, 2008, 5:23 AM

Mike McGraw, founder and CEO of Data Systems International (DSI) in Overland Park, Kan., is the proud owner of the first King Air C90 to be retrofitted with the Garmin G1000 avionics system. Completed last month by Executive Beechcraft at Kansas City Downtown Airport, the project replaced the airplane’s older electromechanical instruments with a pair of Garmin flat-panel displays, traffic and terrain alert systems, weather datalink and engine instrumentation. McGraw, who founded DSI in 1979 and does most of his business and pleasure flying himself, said he’ll think of the G1000 suite as his “copilot in the safe and reliable operation” of the King Air. Executive Beechcraft was finishing a second G1000 C90 panel upgrade at press time. Garmin has also granted approval to Elliott Aviation of Moline, Ill., to perform the G1000 upgrade. Price for the package is $350,000 before installation. Operators can expect a weight saving of about 100 pounds on average, Garmin said.