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Using the Garmin 696


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Hi pilotgeorge,


The 696 is amazing! I'd be glad to try answer any questions you may come across. I'm not an expert but I do use our a lot teaching students everyday in our CTLS. Feel free to call the number listed below or email at coppercityaviation.com or just post on the forum.

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Two things helped me understand and better utilize the 696.


Consider subscribing to GARMIN's eLearning course at fly.garmin.com/fly-garmin/training For $49 you get a 90 day sub which I completed twice and referenced more times. Costs less than a month of XM-WX and worth it.


The unit has a simulator mode. It's very robust. And in any event, play with the unit. Press the buttons along with reading the manual [RTFM].


Feel free to email me if I can be of help. Glad to.

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I just bought a Garmin 696. Getting it installed in my Piper Seneca.

I am looking to hook up with someone who has already mastered the instument, and can answer questions I will have as I tackle the complexity of this amazing device.


I more or less get the basics of the unit, but two questions to get started:

1) I understand how to put in a "go to" airport, and follow the map. BUT, if I am out just flying around with no goto airport set in, will the map simply follow my position?

2) On a planned flight, I put in a destination airport. I want to easily be able to switch between map and airport charts. Is there a quick way to switch back and forth?

3) With reference to charts, I thought the approach plates were geo-referenced? They appear to be simply static copies of the Jeps, or NOS charts. Ho do I get the charts to become geo-referenced?


Once I have the hang of this, my 35 year old technology radios are going to gather dust!


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Garmin sells a DVD simulator for your computer that operates exactly like the in panel device. The CD sells at Garmin and I found it to be a tremendous learning tool!




It probably would do the trick, but I choke at spending another $100 on this. I looked around the net, hoping to find someone who had it and was done - and would sell it at a reasonable price. so far, no luck.

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I have most of the basics down.

I select a destination [ either flight plan or direct], and add an approach.

I can bring up the maps, charts, etc.

So far this is all done at my kitchen table, not in a cockpit.

I was told that the charts are geo-referenced.

As I fly the enroute leg, and get to the approach, does the map turn into the approach plate, and is the approach plate really geo-referenced?

I can't simulate this at a table [actually moving through the flight path], but I want to have a good handle on the 696 before using it in the cockpit and being distracted from flying the plane.

If the transition from enroute map to approach plate is not automatic, do I simply call up the approach plate? Right now, the plate is static - just an electronic version of an NOS or Jep plate. How do I then get it to be geo-referenced?

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  • 3 months later...

When booting up, the 496 will present to you the battery level and whether it is charging. The 696 doesn't. So, this individual had been motoring along westbound when the 696 monitor went dark. He tapped the power control and it came back to life, merely to go out again after a few minutes. In a number of fumbling around (who takes the user handbook when flying? ), he finally located the page which showed the power to be nearly dead. I thought this was a bit interesting given it had been inserted into the cigarette lighter socket in the plane. It turns out that the connection was poor and removing and inserting the connector solved the issue.

And so the following are a couple of methods for battery power administration. First, whenever you initially start the 696 (or any other GPS), head to the battery monitor and be sure to have a good charge. For the 696, on the map page, rotate the FMS joystick clockwise until you get to the INFO page. The charge level is below the GPS Level data. If you have it connected to airplane electric power, make sure it's charging. Whether or not it truly is charging, there will be a lightning bolt through the battery image. The cigar lighter connector in our Baron will be sufficiently flaky that we ordinarily check the charge status every so often on long flights.


Afterwards, switch on the power loss notice. For the 696, that is in the system set up screen. Touch MENU twice with the primary menu. Move the FMS joystick to System Setup, then push ENT. Twist the joystick to emphasize Electric power and touch ENT. Twist the joystick to select ON and just push ENT.

And finally, add to your before takeoff check list a step to check out that the 696 is charging. It truly is far better to troubleshoot an issue prior to deciding to go flying.

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