SE200: Airplane State Awareness - Virtual Day-VMC Displays

SE200: Airplane State Awareness - Virtual Day-VMC Displays



The purpose of this Safety Enhancement is to reduce the risk of loss-of-control accidents by having manufacturers develop and implement virtual day-Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC) display systems (such as Synthetic Vision Systems (SVS) or equivalent) that will support flight crew attitude awareness similar to a day-VMC-like environment in applicable new transport category airplane (TCA) programs. Implementation of virtual day-VMC displays will be in accordance with each manufacturer’s design philosophy and product development strategy and may be contingent (as applicable) upon internal manufacturer review and acceptance of the research findings and standards development. Applicable new TCA programs include:

  • New type certificate programs
  • Major derivative, amended Type Certificate programs involving redesign of flight deck avionics at the manufacturer’s discretion.

Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST) study of 18 loss-of-control accidents and incidents determined that lack of external visual references (darkness, instrument meteorological conditions, or both) was associated with flight crew loss of attitude awareness or energy state awareness in 17 events. To provide visual cues necessary to prevent loss of control resulting from flight crew spatial disorientation and loss of energy state awareness, manufacturers should develop and implement virtual day-VMC display systems. For the purpose of this safety enhancement, “virtual day-VMC displays” describe systems that have the following elements:

  • are presented full time in the primary field-of-view
  • are presented to both flight crew members
  • include display of energy state cues, including flight path, acceleration, and speed deviation, in a manner similar to modern head-up displays.

These systems should be implemented on applicable new transport category airplane programs, pending internal manufacturer review and acceptance of ongoing research activities on such systems.

Related Implementation Plan

Detailed Implementation Plan

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