Setting Minimums on a Legacy Garmin G500

The retrofit glass panel market wowed all pilots in 2008 and 2009 with the announcement of the Aspen retrofit PFDs and MFDs and the Garmin G500 and G600 units

Both companies will argue who came up with the idea first, but in the end, both were revolutionary.  The ability to get rid of an airplane’s steam gauges and go all digital no matter how old the airplane was led to some serious mind blowing.

Both Aspen and Garmin have updated their respective units quite a bit over the last 13-14 years (Aspen has it’s Evolution Max PFD now and Garmin has the G500TXi and G600TXi units), but there are still a lot of airplanes with the “legacy” equipment installed.

Approach Minimums on the Legacy Garmin G500
Today, we are going to focus on the legacy Garmin G500 and how to input the approach minimums on the unit.  The legacy Garmin G500 is vastly different from the Garmin G500TXi in almost every respect, so jumping from one panel to another will take a little bit of getting used to.  We have a video on our YouTube page on how to set minimums on a Garmin G500TXi.  On a legacy Garmin G500, though, it’s a bit tricky to find.

It is a very useful tool to be able to input the approach minimums on the airplane’s glass panel.  When you do, at that minimum altitude, the pilot will hear an audible “minimums” call, which is handy when the pilot’s attention is split between scanning the instruments and trying to see the runway through the soup.  

To input minimums on a legacy Garmin G500, here are the steps:

  1. On the MFD, twist the big FMS knob to the FPL chapter
  2. On the first page of the FPL chapter, push the FMS knob to activate the cursor
  3. Use the big FMS knob to move the cursor down to the Minimums line below the flight plan
  4. Twist the small FMS knob to set the Minimums to “Baro” and press Enter
  5. Use the small FMS knob to input the numbers and the big FMS knob to move the cursor over until the minimums are input, then press Enter

The Minimums will now pop up next to the Altimeter on the PFD

This procedure should be included on all approach briefings in a legacy Garmin G500, or any glass panel that allows the pilot to input the minimums for the approach. 

It’s an excellent resource that a glass panel gives you.

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