Performance Assessment of Pilot Response to EGPWS

Performance Assessment of Pilot Response to EGPWS


In response to the CFIT hazard, the industry developed and implemented the Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS) which provides warnings to pilots when the aircraft is in potentially hazardous proximity to terrain.

The functionality of GPWS was limited so in order to overcome this, a new technology Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGWPS) (also known as Terrain Awareness and Warning System (TAWS)), was introduced. It combines a worldwide digital database (regularly updated) of terrain, obstacles and runways with an accurate navigation system (ideally GNSS based).

IATA/Honeywell Guidance Material

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Honeywell have jointly produced guidance on pilot response to EGPWS warnings as well as recommendations for operators regarding aircraft equipment.

Operators are encouraged to consider equipping their aircraft with EGPWS equipment and ensure the use of GPS that feeds direct to EGPWS. Appropriate and clear procedures and pilot training should also be developed.

Following an EGPWS alert, flight crew should control the aircraft flight path with immediate maximum Required Obstacle Clearance (ROC) and maximum thrust to clear the obstacles threatening the flight. Climbing is the only recommended response unless operating in visual conditions and/or pilot determines that turning in addition to the climbing is the safest course of action.

The document provides supporting information in the form of EGPWS statistics of different warnings and crew response times.

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