The G500′s simplicity is most noticeable on the lower left corner of the primary flight display. (CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE) Located there is the familiar inner and outer knob combination used on so many Garmin displays, but above it are five buttons. Push one of them, and that determines the function of the knobs. If you push the BARO key, then the knobs will only set altimeter settings. There are soft keys along the bottom, but mercifully most of them are blank. Move over to the multifunction display and start wandering through “chapters” of information. Again it’s simplified; most of the chapters have two pages, three at the most.
You’ll find the G500 only on smaller certified aircraft, light sport aircraft, and even Experimental aircraft. The DA20 cockpit is much more comfortable now that the instrument panel has been inclined forward, and the stick has been moved forward as well. The new seats are amazing. You can be 30 pounds overweight like me and still keep your dignity.
For $185,000 you can get a DA20 with the G500 plus, for a limited time only, a free upgrade to the Garmin 430 (an upgrade from the GNS 420 that provides data to the G500 display) and free synthetic vision. Not going with glass? A straight analog ready-to-go DA20 is $175,000. You can also get one with an Aspen primary flight display. Learn more about the G500 and other new systems here. — And here is a short video I made at Oshkosh on the G500/600.