garmin 296 vs 430

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Fly a cessna with a panel 430 garmin. Want to have a back up portable
garmin with the instrument page. Thinking about the 296 or 196.
Does the 296 have better features than the 430 regarding graphics and
terrain alert so that it would be more prudent to buy than the basic
196? It is mainly for back up and if the features of the 296 are not
significant over the 430, I would just get the cheaper 196. What do
you guys think?

-- Craig Jaces, November 27, 2008


The 296 screen is definitely easier to read than the 196. If you have the latest 430 with terrain, I guess the 296's terrain features aren't worth that much.

-- Philip Greenspun, December 30, 2008

This is precisely what I did. Installed a panel-mounted 430W and found a used 196 for $300 as backup. And I keep spare AA batteries on hand.

I also installed an MX-20 MFD for XM weather and enroute IFR charts. Many pilots have opted for a lower-cost 496 to display XM weather. There is no FAA requirement that your WX display be panel-mounted (at least for Part 91 ops). I very much like having the IFR charts on the panel, however I couldn't bring myself to pay for the Jepp Chartview option and on-going subscription to Terminal IFR Charts (approach, arrival, departure and airport). Instead, I developed this low-cost tablet PC app with NACO charts and fuel prices:

-- Don Shade, November 27, 2008