Originally Posted by Canadian_JOY
Michael - there are lots of AFS-equipped airplanes around. One just needs to reach out a little farther than Markham sometimes. Get in contact with Rob Hickman of AFS and ask for references in the Toronto area - he will undoubtedly be able to put you in contact with other AFS customers.
As for navigators, I have a GNS480 and, while I haven't used it extensively in our aircraft I've flown in other 480-equipped aircraft. One has to be comfortable with an FMS-style navigator to be comfortable with the 480. It is a fantastically-capable box.
The same can be said for the Avidyne units - very capable and they have the best user interface of the gang. Garmin's GTN boxes have a less intuitive interface, and the 430/530 has never been a user interface with which I could live.
If my 480 were to die tomorrow I would replace it with an Avidyne - I wouldn't even have to think about that decision. The ease of use of the Avidyne boxes makes their choice a no-brainer.
I had actually gone to Rob a couple times about other Canadians with AFS panels and he had one in Calgary, one in Quebec. That's it. I don't mind going father afoot by any means but in checking Brampton, Oshawa and a general broadcast on VAF Canadians last year I came up crickets.
I believe someone at BFC has a 480. I'll see if I can get access.
I don't know the difference in approach between an FMS style and navigator such as the 430. I have certainly only heard good things about the 480.
Rob was clear about was the ability to communicate well between the 480 and the AFS EFIS, as opposed to the 430.