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Garmin aera 796 Aviation GPS (Americas)

- 8 customer reviews.
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Garmin aera 796 Aviation GPS (Americas)

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Garmin’s new flagship portable aviation product, the Garmin aera 796 GPS incorporates the popular features of the GPSMAP 696, while also adding new capabilities such as a touchscreen user interface, pilot-selectable screen orientation and 3D Vision. The Garmin aera 796 also takes the pilot one step closer to a paperless cockpit with a digital document viewer, scratch pad and pre-loaded geo-referenced AeroNav IFR and VFR enroute charts.

The Garmin 796 has a high-resolution, 7-inch capacitive touchscreen display that can be viewed in portrait or landscape mode. The physical design has been optimized to fit on the yoke and is sized perfectly as a knee-mounted device. There are four touch keys on the bezel of the unit representing “Back”, “Menu”, “Direct-To” and “Nearest” for quick navigation to frequently used functions, and because the Garmin 796 is customizable, the user can also pick favorite features or pages to anchor as icons along the bottom of the screen for even faster access.

The display has large, finger-touchable icons with intuitive pictures and labels to indicate their function such as: map, terrain, 3D Vision, WPT info, FPL list, active FPL, numbers, doc viewer, charts, weather, SiriusXM and tools. Pilots can choose any of these functions by simply touching the appropriate icon. The touchscreen interface also allows the pilot to quickly pan across the map and pinch zoom.

Enhanced situational awareness with 3D Vision
The Garmin 796 features 3D Vision, a unique 3D view of database-generated terrain. 3D Vision uses GPS position and the terrain-alerting database to recreate a behind-the-aircraft perspective view of the topographic landscape. The resulting virtual reality display offers pilots a supplemental 3D depiction of land and water features including terrain, obstacles, runways and airport signposts all shown in relative proximity to the aircraft. With the flick of a finger, the 3D view can be rotated around the aircraft to easily view the surrounding terrain. Using forward-looking terrain avoidance capability, the Garmin 796 predicts in advance where potential hazards may exist and colorizes the landscape showing amber or red overlays on those areas. Any towers or obstacles that may encroach upon the flight path are color-highlighted and clearly displayed with height-appropriate symbology.

The path to a paperless cockpit
Because of the comprehensive offering of electronic charts, the Garmin 796 may be qualified for use as either a Class I or Class II Electronic Flight Bag (EFB). Geo-referenced IFR Enroute charts and VFR Sectional charts come pre-loaded, and the Garmin 796 also includes geo-referenced Garmin FliteCharts, an electronic version of the AeroNav U.S. Terminal Procedures Publication. With FliteCharts, pilots can quickly find and view all departure procedures (DP), standard terminal arrival routes (STARs), approach charts and airport diagrams. For pilots who prefer Jeppesen charts and diagrams, Garmin also offers a ChartView enablement option. Garmin ChartView utilizes Jeppesen’s extensive library to provide global charting capabilities.

Other new features include a built-in digital document viewer that enables the pilot to load and view PDF documents, JPEG photos, and many other electronically formatted materials including checklists and detailed performance/procedural data from the aircraft flight manual. There is also a convenient scratch pad for writing down clearances or other important notes.

Added support for helicopter missions
The addition of optional City Navigator data on the aera 796 allows the user to search and locate any desired surface address for use as a flight plan waypoint or for direct-to navigation. This makes it even easier for helicopter and fixed-wing operators to respond to critical missions around streets and highways, survey land or perform search and rescue operations.

Instrument back up, weather, traffic and more
Garmin’s patented Panel Page on the Garmin 796 offers a backup solution to the instrument panel with its exclusive display of GPS-derived panel information, including track indication, GPS altitude, groundspeed, vertical speed and turn indication. Plus, the internal GPS provides position updates five times per second (5 Hz), allowing it to present flight data more smoothly and accurately.

Like many other Garmin portable devices, the aera 796 also includes a GXM™ 40 receiver for XM WX Satellite Weather and SiriusXM Radio. XM WX Satellite Weather gives next generation radar (NEXRAD), aviation routine weather reports (METARs), terminal aerodrome forecasts (TAFs), temporary flight restrictions (TFRs), lightning, winds aloft, turbulence forecasts, PIREPs, icing forecast and several other important weather products. The weather data may be laid directly over the unit’s navigation and topographic map databases. And because the GXM 40 is powered through the aera 796, the set up is simple, and satellite weather and radio can continue to operate for up to four hours without external power. XM WX subscription data and coverage area information is available from XM WX Satellite Weather.

The Garmin 796 will also display traffic if coupled to a compatible traffic source like the GTX 330, showing TIS (traffic information service) where available. Garmin has increased the interface capability through the addition of a second serial port to allow even more connectivity simultaneously. With two serial ports, the pilot can display traffic information, send frequencies to a Garmin SL30 or SL40 radio, send position information and more to other select aircraft devices.

Taxiing at unfamiliar airports is made easier thanks to SafeTaxi®, which includes geo-referenced diagrams of over 1,000 U.S. airports that identify runways, taxiways and hangars, as well as the aircraft’s exact location on the field. The aera 796 also has AOPA Airport Directory data, an electronic version of AOPA’s popular U.S. pilot guide, which includes information for over 5,300 public-use airports and nearly 7,000 FBOs. Optionally, pilots can purchase the AC-U-KWIK airport directory database, which features worldwide airport information for more than 7,800 airports globally, and contains hard-to-find information for pre-flight planning in North America, Europe, Asia, Central America, the Caribbean, South America, Africa and Australia.

North American customers that do not require XM WX Satellite Weather and SiriusXM Radio, may be interested in the Garmin 795 that has identical features to the Garmin 796 except that it is not XM capable. Garmin also offers Garmin aera 795 Atlantic and Garmin aera 795 Pacific versions for customers in Europe and in Asia/Australia, respectively.

Size: 5.1"W x 8.0"H x 1.5"D (13.0 x 20.3 x 3.8 cm)
Display Size: 3.6"W x 6.0"H (9.1 x 15.2 cm); 7.0" diag (17.78 cm)
Weight: 26.4 ounces (748 g) with battery pack; 18.3 ounces (519 g) without battery pack; 12.7 ounces (361 g) RAM mount
Battery Life: up to 3 hours with full backlight and GXM 40 connected (8 hours with 50% backlighting and XM connected)

What's Included?

  • Garmin aera 796
  • Yoke mount
  • DC cigarette adapter 12/24 volt cradle
  • Home A/C cradle dock
  • GXM™ 40 XM smart antenna
  • XM USB extension cable
  • GA 25 remote antenna with suction cup mount
  • USB cable
  • Carrying case
  • Touchscreen cleaning cloth
  • Quick reference guide
  • Complimentary single database update
  • Pilot's Guide e-version (viewable on the document viewer)


List Price: $2,199.00
Now: $1,999.00

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Have a question about Garmin aera 796 Aviation GPS (Americas)?  Ask your question and see previous Q & A about this product.


Customer Reviews For Garmin aera 796 Aviation GPS (Americas):
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Thursday, August 28, 2014
by Oscar from Miami, FL 
Review: Great product!
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Wednesday, July 02, 2014
Better Than I had Expected
by KSmith from South Salt Lake UT USA 

Pros: rugged, fast, feature rich, great mounting options
Cons: 3D Vision could be more colorful, maybe its my color blindness...
Review: I was very pleasantly surprised to find the 796 does everything I'd hoped for and more. Its fast, accurate and easy to use. I would gladly buy it again. Like a G1000 without the Com and Xponder. I use it in a Merlin and a Husky, its become my primary source of information despite the 530W/430W and 396 respectively.
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Tuesday, February 04, 2014
Garmin aera 796
by Bryon from Sequim WA USA 

Pros: The direction and measure stick in the map function is very helpful for accurately guaging the distance up to 10 miles. +++ No more guessing
Cons: The XM antenna should have been built in, too many cables when everything is connected.
Review: The base unit is great and easy to use. The GPS RX without the external antenna is great. Have it running at least 15 minutes before you need it. It takes a while to acquire.

I found that the reception of the XM Satellite RX is marginal and the external antenna isn't conducive to being stuck on a window or otherwise in the aircraft.

The "check list" is clearly not an easy function and requires an external program and memory card. Why were these two extremely cheep options not included in this $2K device???? What a pain-in-the-*&^ to find the method to get this to work.

The Flight Timer and Fuel Timer reset are still a mystery to me.

I'm not fond of having to spend another $20 to buy the knee pad. Again, for the $2K spent, don't torture us over the $%^# issues!

This unit is geared very heavy towards aircraft as opposed to helicopters. I would think that some simple options would have made this even better.

The "map" has many of the airspace similarities as the normal charts do except for many of the important "restricted airspace" areas like military restricted areas, Everett Aircraft Carrier Base, Indian Island munitions loading port, etc.

The "chart" option of being always North isn't overly bad, but come on, this could have been optioned to be always up like every other map option on the planet! That would have made switching between Map and Chart easy and without any further orientation.

Lastly, the frequency use for larger airports is not clear and it could have been easily part of the data-base. Example: it shows KBFI as 118.3 and 120.6 but it doesn't indicate that the use of 118.3 is for east and 120.6 is for west. Same with other airports, just how hard is it to be clear when there is ample ability to do so?

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Friday, November 22, 2013
by Royce from White Deer TX USA 

Pros: Works great
Cons: Cost of xm weather programming
Review: Product works just as good as I could have dreamed! My only problem with it is how much the xm weather subscription cost. I wish there would have been a warning on that, but it still might not have deterred me from the perchase.
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Wednesday, January 23, 2013
No handbook a bad idea
by Richard from PA. 

Pros: All features
Cons: No handbook
Review: The 796 is fantastic and looks great in the panel when using the flush mounted Air Gizmo.
The only short comming is the lack of a hard copy operating manual. For $2,500, you would think Garmin would include a handbook. A buyer should not have to download and print. I've had the 195 and the Aera 500 previously, and both came with a handbook.
Garmin short changed us all on this one.  Garmin, do the right thing and provide the handbook. No additional charge should be required.

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Thursday, January 26, 2012
by Warren from Paradise Valley AZ USA 
Review: I would buy this product again.
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Wednesday, December 07, 2011
I really like mine
by david from nebraska city NE USA 

Pros: easy to use, does what it should
Cons: Sirius and their issues getting stuff running, price, and subscription fees are rather pricey
Review: I am still a very low hour pilot, and for me, the safety factor it carries with it with the weather (the xm weather is awesome in all the varying levels of information it has available), GPS, and safe taxi, maps, just darn near everything I could think of to want. Course this is my first GPS handheld, so I have nothing to compare it to. But from my ignorance I can say this, it is god awful simple to use, very intuitive and really, again, does everything I could have hoped for from it. The only downside is it took a good 5 days to get the xm weather up and running correctly, but that was a Sirius problem and had nothing to do with the unit. Takes a "bit" for XM weather to fully boot up once you have shut it off (maybe up to a couple of minutes), but as long as you are aware of it, not a real problem
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Thursday, November 10, 2011
Not 'user friendly'
by Kent Magnuson from Kearney,NE 

Pros: Detailed enroute charts
Cons: Basically, not very user-friendly
Review: I flew all of today with the G796. Have been using a Garmin 696 in our 2 company aircraft. Setup is NOT easy on the G796. Map page only has 4 data fields to customize vs about 12 on the G696. Weather is not easy to access, nor is much of anything else on this unit. On the last leg of flight, the GPS signal was showing all 5 bars, but no data was displayed confirming that. I purchased the Chartview key from flyGarmin and that is anything but simple. Ongoing issues with it all day and never did work, after multiple calls to Garmin and Jeppesen. I do like the detailed enroute charts however. That is the only plus I see in this unit. I am returning it and will keep the G696 which is much more user my opinion.
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Previous Customer Questions For Garmin aera 796 Aviation GPS (Americas):
Ask Your Own Question
On Saturday, January 11, 2014 a customer asked:
Does the 796 have a portable collision avoidance system, or can one be purchased which is compatible with the device?
A: You can use the Garmin GDL39 ADS-B Receiver with the Garmin 796 to get ADS-B traffic displayed on the Garmin aera 796.

On Wednesday, November 20, 2013 a customer asked:
Do you have maps for Southern Africa
A: The Garmin aera 796 includes coverage for the Americas only.  If you need coverage for Southern Africa, then you would want the Garmin aera 795 with the Atlantic database.

On Thursday, August 02, 2012 a customer asked:
Is the 796/795 compatable/able to receive the ADS information coming online with nexgen ATC..or it only able to receive XM weather??
A: Yes, it will receive both ADS-B weather and traffic information with a compatible receiver.  The Garmin GDL39 ADS-B receiver is offered in a Bluetooth model that will connect wirelessly to the Garmin 795/796 to provide ADS-B traffic and weather.

On Thursday, March 08, 2012 a customer asked:
can the garmin Aera 796 be used in a car as well for car nav ?
A: The Garmin 796 does not have include a streets database, however by adding the optional City Navigator maps, pilots can add street addresses as waypoints or direct-to destinations.

On Saturday, October 29, 2011 a customer asked:
Hi, I want to use the device in Germany and in the US together. Do I have to purchase 2 devices, or can I, of course at additional cost, put all maps in one device?
A: You can use the same device in both Europe and in the USA, however you would just need to purchase and download another database from Garmin (either Americas or Atlantic).  We would recommend that you get the device with whichever database you will be using most and then add the other database when you travel.  You can read about the different coverage areas here.  If you are mainly going to be using it in Europe and don't plan to have an annual subscription to XM Weather/Radio, I would suggest that you purchase the Garmin 795 instead of the Garmin 796 since XM does not offer any service outside of the USA.

On Monday, October 24, 2011 a customer asked:
Is the 796 plug compatible with the 696. I have wired my plane with power for the 696 - can I use the same cable?

The Garmin aera 796 use the 010-11756-01 Bare Wire Mount for direct power connection while the Garmin 696 uses the 010-11206-15.  I just confirmed this with a Garmin support representative that they are not compatible and you would need to get the new wiring harness and mount for the 796. 

On Thursday, September 15, 2011 a customer asked:
Will the 796 continue to operate even though one or more of the flight databases have expired?
A: Yes, it will.

On Wednesday, September 14, 2011 a customer asked:
What is the ongoing cost(subscriptions) for dbase, weather, TIS, and etc.? Please itemize each recurring cost with $s and frequency.

As of today (prices subject to change), the costs to upgrade different databases and services in the 796 are as shown below.  You can choose which databases you want to update and how often.

  • NavData - This is your main database that includes airports, VORs, NDBs, SUAs and more.  This can be upgraded on a one time basis for $49.95 or you can get an annual subscription for $295.00.  The data is updated every 56 days (eight weeks).  Your 796 includes a pre-loaded NavData database as well as a coupon for one free upgrade.
  • AeroNav Charts - This includes the digital FAA VFR Sectional Charts, High Altitude Enroute Charts, and Low Altitude Enroute Charts.  A one-time update is $39.99 or you can get an annual subscription for $99.99. 
  • XM Weather.  If you decide to get weather, you can get either the Lite for $34.99 or the Full Weather for $54.99/month.
  • Obstacle Database. This digital database includes the locations of towers, tall buildings and other vertical obstructions that could be a potential source of hazard to pilots.  A one-time update is $49.95 or you can get an annual subscription for $195.00.  The data is updated every 56 days.
  • Terrain Database.  This is $150.00 to update.  Since Terrain data does not include man-made objects (towers, airports, VORs etc.), updates to Terrain data do not occur on a regular basis. 
  • FliteCharts - NACO IFR Terminal Procedures.  These are updated every 28 days.  You can get a one-time update for $75 or an annual subscription for $195.00.
  • SafeTaxi - SafeTaxi identifies runways, taxiways, FBOs, and hangars, as well as your aircraft's exact location on the field.  A single one-time update is available for $49.95 or you can get an annual subscription for $195.00.  The data is updated every 56 days.
  • AOPA Database. Offers detailed information for thousands of U.S. airports along with airports of entry for Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. It includes the names and phone numbers of thousands of FBOs, plus ground transportation, lodging, restaurants, local attractions and more. Updates are offered on a quarterly basis.  Single updates are $49.95. 

On Wednesday, September 14, 2011 a customer asked:
Does the sectional chart display show the aircraft location and does it show the course the plane is flying on the sectional as a line. For example, direct from HQZ to HOU. Will the course line from HQZ to HOU show along with the present location of plane.
A: Yes, you can choose which map mode that you want displayed, including having classic Sectional Charts, High Enroute, Low Enroute, and Terminal Procedure charts.  All of the charts are georeferenced so you can watch your aircraft move across the chart and you can even tap on chart features (i.e. airports, restricted areas, etc.) for additional information.  Your course line will be displayed over the chart as well.



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