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Terrain awareness and warning system

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Terrain awareness and warning system

A terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS) aims to prevent "controlled flight into terrain" (CFIT) accidents.[1] The actual systems in current use are known as ground proximity warning system and enhanced GPWS.[1] The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) developed the TAWS term to encompass all current and future systems which meet the relevant FAA standards.[1] New systems, with different names than GPWS and EGPWS, may be developed which meet TAWS objectives. As well, the term TAWS is sometimes used to refer to second-generation EGPWS systems as opposed to first generation GPWS systems, although this usage can be confusing.

As of 2007, 5% of the world's commercial airlines still lack a TAWS, leading to a prediction of two CFIT accidents in 2009, even though they were completely preventable.[2]

Several factors can still place aircraft at risk for CFIT accidents: older TAWS systems, deactivation of the EGPWS system, or ignoring TAWS warnings when an airport is not in the TAWS database.[3]

Contents

  • History 1
  • Workings 2
  • TAWS types 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

History

A piece of the remains of Air New Zealand Flight 901, which crashed in 1979. All 257 people on the plane died.

Beginning in the early 1970s, a number of studies looked at the occurrence of CFIT accidents, where a properly functioning airplane under the control of a fully qualified and certificated crew is flown into terrain (or water or obstacles) with no apparent awareness on the part of the crew.[4]

Findings from these studies indicated that many such accidents could have been avoided if a warning device called a ground proximity warning system (GPWS) had been used. As a result of these studies and recommendations from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), in 1974 the FAA required all Part 121 certificate holders (that is, those operating large turbine-powered airplanes) and some Part 135 certificate holders (that is, those operating large turbojet airplanes) to install TSO-approved GPWS equipment.[4][5]

In 1978, the FAA extended the GPWS requirement to Part 135 certificate holders operating smaller airplanes: turbojet-powered airplanes with ten or more passenger seats. These operators were required to install TSO-approved GPWS equipment or alternative ground proximity advisory systems that provide routine altitude callouts whether or not there is any imminent danger.[6] This requirement was considered necessary because of the complexity, size, speed, and flight performance characteristics of these airplanes. The GPWS equipment was considered essential in helping the pilots of these airplanes to regain altitude quickly and avoid what could have been a CFIT accident.[4]

Installation of GPWS or alternative FAA-approved advisory systems was not required on turbo-propeller powered (turboprop) airplanes operated under Part 135 because, at that time, the general consensus was that the performance characteristics of turboprop airplanes made them less susceptible to CFIT accidents. For example, it was thought that turboprop airplanes had a greater ability to respond quickly in situations where altitude control was inadvertently neglected, as compared to turbojet airplanes. However, later studies, including investigations by the NTSB, analyzed CFIT accidents involving turboprop airplanes and found that many of these accidents could have been avoided if GPWS equipment had been used.[4]

Some of these studies also compared the effectiveness of the alternative ground proximity advisory system to the GPWS. GPWS was found to be superior in that it would warn only when necessary, provide maximum warning time with minimal unwanted alarms, and use command-type warnings.[4]

Based on these reports and NTSB recommendations, in 1992 the FAA amended §135.153 to require GPWS equipment on all turbine-powered airplanes with ten or more passenger seats (57 FR 9944, March 20, 1992).[4]

A Mode 5 warning in EGPWS alerts the pilots if they descend below the glideslope during a landing approach.

After these rules were issued, advances in terrain mapping technology permitted the development of a new type of ground proximity warning system that provides greater situational awareness for flight crews. The FAA has approved certain installations of this type of equipment, known as the enhanced ground proximity warning system (EGPWS). However, in the proposed final rule, the FAA is using the broader term “terrain awareness and warning system” (TAWS) because the FAA expects that a variety of systems may be developed in the near future that would meet the improved standards contained in the proposed final rule.[4]

The TAWS improves on existing GPWS systems by providing the flight crew much earlier aural and visual warning of impending terrain, forward looking capability, and continued operation in the landing configuration. These improvements provide more time for the flight crew to make smoother and gradual corrective action.[4]

In 1998, the FAA issued Notice No. 98-11, Terrain Awareness and Warning System (63 FR 45628, August 26, 1998), proposing that all turbine-powered U.S.-registered airplanes type certificated to have six or more passenger seats (exclusive of pilot and copilot seating), be equipped with an FAA-approved terrain awareness and warning system.[4]

On March 23, 2000, the FAA issued Amendments 91–263, 121–273, and 135-75 (Correction 135.154) (65 FR 16736, March 29, 2000) with an effective date of March 29, 2001. These amendments amended the operating rules to require that all U.S. registered turbine-powered airplanes with six or more passenger seats (exclusive of pilot and copilot seating) be equipped with an FAA-approved TAWS.[4] The mandate only affects aircraft manufactured after March 29, 2002.[7]

Workings

A TAWS works by using digital elevation data and airplane instrumental values to predict if a likely future position of the aircraft intersects with the ground.[8] The flight crew is thus provided with "earlier aural and visual warning of impending terrain, forward looking capability, and continued operation in the landing configuration."[9]

TAWS types

The FAA specifications have detailed requirements for when certain warnings should sound in the cockpit.[10]

Class A TAWS includes all the requirements of Class B TAWS, below, and adds the following additional three alerts and display requirements of:

  • Excessive closure rate to terrain alert
  • Flight into terrain when not in landing configuration alert
  • Excessive downward deviation from an ILS glideslope alert
  • Required: Class A TAWS installations shall provide a terrain awareness display that shows either the surrounding terrain or obstacles relative to the airplane, or both.

Class B TAWS is defined by the U.S. FAA as:[2][11] A class of equipment that is defined in TSO-C151b and RTCA DO-161A.[12] As a minimum, it will provide alerts for the following circumstances:

  • Reduced required terrain clearance
  • Imminent terrain impact
  • Premature descent
  • Excessive rates of descent
  • Negative climb rate or altitude loss after takeoff
  • Descent of the airplane to 500 feet above the terrain or nearest runway elevation (voice callout "Five Hundred") during a non-precision approach.
  • Optional: Class B TAWS installation may provide a terrain awareness display that shows either the surrounding terrain or obstacles relative to the airplane, or both.

Class C defines voluntary equipment intended for small general aviation airplanes that are not required to install Class B equipment.[10] This includes minimum operational performance standards intended for piston-powered and turbine-powered airplanes, when configured with fewer than six passenger seats, excluding any pilot seats. Class C TAWS equipment shall meet all the requirements of a Class B TAWS with the small aircraft modifications described by the FAA.[10] The FAA has developed Class C to make voluntary TAWS usage easier for small aircraft.[13]

See also

References


-- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --


local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno

local p = {}


-- Helper functions


local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end

function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end

function p._hatnote(s, options) checkType('_hatnote', 1, s, 'string') checkType('_hatnote', 2, options, 'table', true) local classes = {'hatnote'} local extraclasses = options.extraclasses local selfref = options.selfref if type(extraclasses) == 'string' then classes[#classes + 1] = extraclasses end if selfref then classes[#classes + 1] = 'selfref' end return string.format( '
%s
', table.concat(classes, ' '), s )

end

return p-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --


local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno

local p = {}


-- Helper functions


local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end

function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end

function p._hatnote(s, options) checkType('_hatnote', 1, s, 'string') checkType('_hatnote', 2, options, 'table', true) local classes = {'hatnote'} local extraclasses = options.extraclasses local selfref = options.selfref if type(extraclasses) == 'string' then classes[#classes + 1] = extraclasses end if selfref then classes[#classes + 1] = 'selfref' end return string.format( '
%s
', table.concat(classes, ' '), s )

end

return p
  1. ^ a b c Federal Aviation Administration, Installation of Terrain Awareness and Warning System (TAWS) Approved for Part 23 Airplanes, 14 June 2000
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Note: Original text copied from U.S. FAA Circular AC23-18 [1]. As a work of the United States government, there is no copyright on the work, and it may be freely copied, and is thus included here. Additional or reduced text and formatting, not included in the original, have been added here for clarity and emphasis.
  5. ^ (§§ 121.360 and 135.153) (39 FR 44439, December 18, 1974)
  6. ^ (§135.153) (43 FR 28176, June 29, 1978)
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b c
  11. ^ Definitions copied from U.S. FAA Circular AC23-18. As a work of the United States government, there is no copyright on the work, and it may be freely copied, and is thus included here. Additional text, formatting, and boldface not included in the original have been added here for clarity and emphasis.
  12. ^ Text was originally copied from TSO-C151a. These specifications may have changed in TSO-C151b and should be verified for current accuracy.
  13. ^

External links

  • Honeywell Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS)
  • FAR Sec. 121.354 – Terrain awareness and warning system
  • Terrain Awareness and Warning System; Final Rule
  • TSO-C151b Terrain Avoidance and Warning System PDF, TSO-C151b Web Page
  • TAWS - FAA Mandates A New Proximity to Safety by Gary Picou
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