Current status re. S-TEC autopilot:
I received an e-mail from Cirrus Monday 10-30-00 as follows: “the point of concern from the faa has only to do with whether or not a pilot might accidently turn on the autopilot…given the switching on and off regime of the 40 and 50 “x” series. nothing more. regardless of how the issue is resolved with the faa, production will not slow down or halt on the sr22. there are plenty of other capable autopilots on the market should the question not be resolved in an appropriate time frame. we’ll keep ya posted, tom bergeron”
I noted a posting on the Avionics West website (www.avionicswest.com/stecsales.htm)dated 10-11-00 quoting a memo from Dennis Tolleson, Asistant Director of Sales and Customer Service indicating “Until further notice the sale and production of the System FourtyX/FiftyX autopilots has been suspended. These autopilots will be removed from the next printing of the Autopilot Selection Guide and the Dealer Price List”
The person at Avionics West indicated “I’ve known Dennis for years so I thought I’d give him a call to see why the suspension. Dennis explained that the System FourtyX/FiftyX are based on the CWS (Control Wheel Steering) and that the FAA is looking closely at theis subject at this time. Until whatever issue it may be between the FAA and S-Tec as related to CWS S-Tec is halting production and sales. To be honest, I’ve never seen a FourtyX or FiftyX system yet. The GPSS system which will work with any S-Tec autopilot and the Garmin GPS is not an issue. The GPSS is certified for just about any general avaition aircraft”
On 10-26-00 I received an e-mail from Dennis Tolleson reading “S-TEC is currently in discussions with Cirrus regarding the suspension of sales on the System FiftyX and a decision is pending”
This subject should be watched closely. At this point it is not certain that S-Tec will be the autopilot in the SR22.