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Old 11-09-20, 07:59 PM
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Ernie Martin Ernie Martin is offline
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Help with Garmin Database Update

My 337G has a Garmin GTN650. The data card needs updating and the Garmin website is not very clear. I'd be most grateful if any of you can help me with these questions:

1. If I only fly in Florida and the Bahamas, do I need to buy the US Fixed Wing Database Bundle for $499?

2. When will that Bundle need updating again? I bought the aircraft in 2015, the unit was installed in 2014, and all the airspace data (airports, etc.) disappeared a couple of weeks ago, so maybe it's a 6-year cycle.

Thanks in advance.
Ernie

Last edited by Ernie Martin : 11-10-20 at 11:09 AM. Reason: Correction
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Old 11-09-20, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ernie Martin View Post
My 337G has a Garmin GTN650. The data card needs updating and the Garmin website is not very clear. I'd be most grateful if any of you can help me with these questions:

1. If I only fly in Florida and the Bahamas, do I need to buy the US Fixed Wing Database Bundle for $499?

2. When will that Bundle need updating again? I bought the aircraft in 2015, the unit was installed in 2014, and the warning to update the data card just started, so maybe it's a 6-year cycle.

Thanks in advance.
Ernie
All of the data is out of date if it's six years old.

When do you need to update? It depends on what you do with it. If you fly IFR and it's your only source of info (I doubt this is the case) you need to keep it updated. For everything else, you can update it as often as you like. Garmin will disallow access to certain features as they age, and the schedule is up to them.

I'm pretty sure you'll need to buy an Americas data pack if you want the Bahamas. The regional days (buy the northeast pack only, or the southwest pack only) seem to be over.

What's your primary use case for the GTN650? DO you have a portable Garmin device where you'd like to also have updated data? It's cheaper if you bundle them together.
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Old 11-10-20, 11:23 AM
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Thanks, Jim. I only fly VFR (unlike up north, IFR here is always thunderstorms) and I don't have a portable Garmin unit.

To clarify, the $499 subscription will last 6 years, at which time I buy another $499 subscription?

Because I have a hand-held ADS-B receiver feeding into an iPad with Foreflight, which gives me all I lost on the GTN 650, I'm THINKING of not updating the Garmin (which still gives me terrain data). Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Ernie
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Old 11-10-20, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Ernie Martin View Post
Thanks, Jim. I only fly VFR (unlike up north, IFR here is always thunderstorms) and I don't have a portable Garmin unit.

To clarify, the $499 subscription will last 6 years, at which time I buy another $499 subscription?

Because I have a hand-held ADS-B receiver feeding into an iPad with Foreflight, which gives me all I lost on the GTN 650, I'm THINKING of not updating the Garmin (which still gives me terrain data). Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Ernie
How long it lasts is up to Garmin. The approach plates (which you don't use) can be out of date in as little as a month, but Garmin gives you access to them for six months. After that they're hidden.

Navdata (frequencies, etc) can also be out of date in as little as 28 days, but Garmin allows you to access that for much longer. I don't know the actual expiration policy for navdata. If you're using foreflight to look up frequencies, etc then you don't need that either.

The obstacle and terrain data changes rarely. Shorelines don't move (much) and tall buildings don't get built in a day. Again, it's up to Garmin how long they'll allow you to use that data.

In short - you can't guarantee the data will still be around in six years. Is the 650 actually prohibiting you from accessing it for navigation?

If the 650 is still useable, I'd skip the garmin subscription and continue to rely on foreflight. I have a 530 in my 337 that has completely out of date data but is still useable for VFR.

Edit: Now I see your edit! The data went poof! I think that's a 650/750 "feature" = I don't think the 430s and 530s do that.

I'd call Garmin and ask directly.
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Old 11-10-20, 02:58 PM
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Will do. Thanks.

Ernie
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Old 11-11-20, 10:58 AM
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An update for those who may have a similar problem in the future.

Spoke to Garmin. The navigation database does NOT delete automatically after X years. It should be there and I should be able to get it back by restoring the unit to its default state. Will check and advise when I go to the airplane again.

Ernie
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