Rotorcraft & TAWS

Posted Thursday, August 07 2014 as Industry News


Enhancing Pilot Situation Awareness for Increased Safety

Avionics Intelligence Executive Briefing, Courtney E. Howard. Avionics Intelligence :: EXECUTIVE BRIEFING :: sponsored by Sandel. January 2014

The FAA is credited with having coined the term “terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS)” to encompass a variety of current and future systems that meet the requirements of FAA Proposed Technical Standard Order TSO-C151, Terrain Awareness and Warning System, and TSO-C194, Helicopter Terrain Awareness and Warning System. (Installation of HTAWS is defined in AC 27-1B, Certification of Normal Category Rotorcraft, and AC 29-2C, Certification of Transport Category Rotorcraft.)

To qualify as TAWS, the solution needs to include: a terrain display; terrain awareness and alerting functions that use position information provided by either a suitable internal position sensor or an on-board area navigational system and an on-board terrain database; and ground proximity detection and alerting functions (the traditional GPWS functions).

“TAWS, because of these added capabilities, offers significant improvements over traditional ground proximity warning systems (GPWS) equipment alert and alarm times. The continuous terrain display feature of TAWS will greatly heighten flight crew situational awareness in conditions of limited visibility,” Phillips wrote in “Investigation of Controlled Flight into Terrain.” 

“Warning times that were once measured in seconds, or were not generated at all in non-precision approach situations, may now be measured in minutes. Rather than just providing a “last-ditch” warning of imminent danger, this display will enable crews to maneuver to avoid terrain well before it becomes an obstruction to their flight path,” Phillips added.

The FAA mandates the use of TAWS for certain fixed-wing aircraft, but not helicopters. Regardless, helicopter operators continue to adopt helicopter-specific TAWS (H-TAWS or HTAWS). AS OF FEBRUARY 2014, THE FAA HAS RULLED TO IMPROVE HELICOPTER SAFTY, AND ALL HEMS OPERATORS WILL BE REQUIRED TO INSTALL HTAWS IN THEIR AIRCRAFT. Learn more here

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Learn more and download this free, informative guide to learn how helicopter operators, airframe manufacturers (such as AgustaWestland, Korea Aerospace, and Sikorsky), professional helicopter organizations (such as IHST), and technology innovators (including Sandel Avionics, Garmin, Honeywell, and Rockwell Collins) are working together and putting modern avionics into action to reduce helicopter accidents and fatalities.