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GPWS (TAS)

Ground Proximity Warning System


(Terrain Avoidance System)

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 Controlled Flight into Terrain (CFIT) is the most common
cause and phase of fatal accidents to aircrafts. This is when an
ac is in the close proximity of the ground .
 Radio altimeter helped in giving the warning about the
proximity of ground to certain extent, as it was limited to give
the clearance above the ground directly beneath the a/c.
 Radio altimeters inability to i) identify the terrain ahead and ii)
giving false alarms,were two limitations which needed to be
addressed by the GPWS.

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 These problems were addressed in the
EGPWS.
 EGPWS (Enhanced GPWS) has
i) Computer data base containing
terrain structure.
ii) GPS receiver to provide warning of
trouble ahead.

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 ICAO spells out the capabilities of this
enhanced system and incorporates
them as requirement for a Terrain
Awareness and Warning System
(TAWS).
 ICAO has made it mandatory for all
medium and large transport
aeroplanes to have this system
incorporated.

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GPWS Principle
 GPWS Inputs are from a/c sensors and navigation equipment
these are fed into a Computer or CPU (Central Processing
Unit), this is the brain of the GPWS.
 CPU collates and compares the inputs to the stage of flight
the a\c is in and decides which are relevant.
 In the event of the likely-hood of an impending
dangerous/conflicting situation the CPU then provides
warning to the pilot in two levels depending upon the
urgency required to resolve that conflict.

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 1st Level: ‘Alert’ – warns the pilot
that he is approaching a dangerous
situation. Action should be taken to
return to safe condition.
 2nd Level: ‘Warning’ – A more
critical situation demanding
immediate, standard actions to remedy
the critically dangerous condition.

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GPWS Inputs
 GPWS inputs to CPU are from:
i) Radio Altimeter – giving constant feed of height above the
ground.
ii) Vertical Speed Sensor – it digitises the VSI information (in
fact the feed is taken from ADC Air Data Computer)
iii) Under Carriage Position – providing position of under
carriage.
iv) Flaps Position – providing the position of flaps and their
various setting – or position of various high lift devices.
v) Glide Path – providing a/c deviation from the Glide Path.
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GPWS Outputs
All inputs are processed in the CPU which decides that there is
a potential danger of colliding with the terrain, if so, it puts out
warning signals in both Visual and Aural forms – warning the
pilot of the situation.

CPU – shall also give indications of Computer failure or any


other failure which may occur in one of the input
signals.(Integrity Monitoring)

Fig 21.1, Page 257, GSP6- R/Aids 8


GPWS Modes
Total Six

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Mode-1: Comes into play when Radio Altitude is
indicating less than 2500’ and there is excessive sink
rate.
First
Alert using the words ‘sink rate, sink rate’.
Then
Warning uses the words ‘PULL UP, PULL UP’ coupled
with ‘Whooping’ noise and a flashing red lamp.

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“SINKRATE SINKRATE”

“PULL UP”“
SINKRATE
SINKRATE

“PULLUP,PULL UP”
Mode-2:
Inputs same as Mode-1 plus position of flaps and
under carriage.
Mode 2A - Radio Altitude less than 1800 ft. with gear
and flaps up and there is excessive sink rate.

Mode 2B – Radio Altitude less than 790’ and


excessive sink rate even if the flaps and gear are in
landing configuration .

The Alert uses the word “ Terrain Terrain”


The warning – same as in Mode 1.
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TERRAIN, TERRAIN

PULL UP,
PULL UP

Upper limit is reduced to 1250 ft to reduce nuisance alerts


Mode-3:
Applicable after take off or go-around – when the a/c
has started climbing and gear and/or flaps have been
selected UP.

The alert sounds when a/c subsequently descends


(sinks).

The ‘Alert’ uses the words either ‘Don’t Sink, Don’t


Sink’ or ‘Terrain Terrain’

The Warning is same as Mode-1.

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Mode-4:
Comes into operation when a/c is below a certain Height
without being in the Landing Configuration mainly for
Terrain Clearance.
– an ‘Alert’ is sounded.
4A–applies for a/c below 500’ with the landing gear up.

4B–if below 200’ with the flap up.

Mode 4 ‘Alert’ uses the words ‘Too Low - Gear/Flaps’


(whichever is applicable).
“Warning” is the same as in Mode 1 – for Mode 4’A’
Warning for Mode 4’B’ is ‘Too Low-Terrain’.
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“TOO LOW , TERRAIN “
“TOO LOW , GEAR” WARNING AREA
WARNING AREA

COMPUTED AIRSPEED (KTS)


UNSAFE TERRAIN CLEARANCE
GEAR DOWN, FLAPS UP

“TOO LOW ,
TERRAIN”
WARNING
AREA
“TOO LOW, FLAPS”
WARNING AREA
MODE - 4C
 This mode alert is to prevent inadvertent CFIT during
take-off climb when terrain is such that it produces
insufficient closure rate for a mode 2 alert.
 After take-off, modes 4A & B provide this protection.
 This mode is based on EGPWS computed MTC. It is
active after take-off when gear or flaps are not in
landing configuration and during low, go-around (<
245 feet)
MODE - 4C (contd..)
 At take-off MTC is 0 feet. As aircraft ascends, MTC is
increased to 75% of Aircraft Radio Altitude (Average
of previous 15 seconds) . This value is not allowed to
decrease, and is limited to 500 feet below 190K. From
190K to 250K, MTC increases linearly to a limit of 1000
feet.
 Any time Radio Altitude falls to MTC, EGPWS caution
lights illuminate and “Too Low, Terrain” is
annunciated.
 Caution lights will extinguish and aural message
ceases when mode 4C envelope is exited.
MODE - 5
 This mode provides protection against excessive
deviation below glide slope.
 Two levels of alerting are provided.
 First Level (Soft “Glideslope”) occurs when below
1000 feet Radio Altitude, and aircraft 1.3 dots or more
below glide slope, caution light illuminates and “Glide
slope” is enunciated at half volume
 Each additional 20% deviation causes “Glide slope”
enunciation at a progressively faster rate.
 Second Level (Hard Alert “Glide Slope”) occurs when
below 300 feet Radio Altitude with 2 dots or more
deviation below glide slope. A louder “Glide slope”
message is enunciated, every 3 seconds until the “Hard”
envelope is exited. The caution lights remain on until a
glide slope deviation less than 1.3 dots is achieved.
MODE - 6

 These call outs consist of predefined Radio Altitude


based voice call outs or tones and an excessive Bank
Angle Warning.
- “Radio Altimeter” at 2500 ft AGL
- “ One Thousand” at 1000 ft AGL
- “ Five Hundred” at 500 ft AGL ( Smart call out for
non precision approaches)
…..
…..
- “ Minimums”
…..
 There is no visual alerting in Mode 6.
ADVISORY CALLOUTS
 “Minimums, Minimums” : Occurs when aircraft
descend through DH
value as set by Pilot
 “Five Hundred” : Occurs at 500 feet AGL
when not on ILS App
or when GS / LOC
deviation exceeds 2 dots
 “One Hundred” : At 100 feet AGL on App
 “Fifty” : At 50 feet AGL on App
 “Thirty” : At 30 feet AGL on App
 “Twenty” : At 20 feet AGL on App
 “Ten” : At 10 feet on App
 “Bank Angle, Bank Angle” : Occurs when roll attitude
is excessive (35,40&45 Deg)
MODE - 6
 advise of excessive roll angle : “Bank angle, Bank angle”

  10 between 5’ and 30’ AGL


  10 to 40  from 30’ and 150’ AGL
  40 above 150’ AGL
R
A
D
I
O

A
L
T.

F 150
E
E
T 30

40 10 10 40
BANK ANGLE - DEGREES
GPWS Summary
 Fully computerized, fully automatic monitoring and alerting
system.
 Gives pilot visual & aural indications when Flight profile is
becoming potentially dangerous.
 Operates generally between 50’ to 2450’ AGL.
 The system gives two levels of warnings:
i. Alert - indicator of approach of dangerous situation which
warrants action to return to safe condition.
ii. Warning - indicates to pilot that he is already in a
dangerous situation – Action should be immediate and
standard to return to safety.
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The system shall ‘Alert’ to the pilot when in
Mode 1 – An excessive barometric sink/descent rate
below 2500’ AGL.
Mode 2 – An excessive terrain closure rate is
observed below 1800’ (Gear & Flaps up).
Aural indication in mode 1 and 2 shall be ‘Sink Rate
Sink Rate’ or ‘Don’t Sink Don’t Sink’
2B - High sink rate below 790’ (even with Gear &
Flaps selected).
Audio alert – ‘Terrain Terrain’.
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Mode 3 – Loss of altitude after take off or overshoot
before 700’ AGL is reached
Audio Alert ‘Don’t Sink Don’t Sink’ or ‘Terrain Terrain’

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Mode 4 – Unsafe Terrain clearance occurs and the
aircraft not in Landing configuration ( below 500 ft
AGL for U/C - Mode 4A, below 150/200 ft AGL for
flaps – Mode 4B )

Audio Alert – ‘Too Low - Gear/Flaps’ whichever is


applicable.
Audio Warning – Mode 4A - same as Mode 1
Mode 4B - ‘Too Low – Terrain’

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Mode 5 – a/c too far below glide slope soft warning –
1.3 dots below glide slope.
Hard warning – 2 dots below glide slow.
Audio warning – ‘Glide Slope’ repeated more and
more frequently as deviation below the glide slope
increases.
Visual – steady amber Glide Slope light.

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Mode 6 –a/c descends below the selected Decision
Height.
Audio Alert – Minimums
PULL UP BELOW
LIGHT G/S

OVRD FLAP
INOP
NORM OVRD

Note
i. Mode 1 and 2: A descent rate acceptable at 2000 ft
might not be so at 200 ft.
Mode 2 may also occur in level Flight with rising ground.
ii. No warning on GPWS if flying directly towards a
vertical cliff.
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iii. Warnings of Modes 1-4 consist of both Steady Red
PULL UP Light and Aural Warning “WHOOP-PULL
UP”.

iv. Mode 1 to Mode 4 aural warnings have priority over


Mode 5 Warnings.

v. It is impossible to mute/suppress either the aural or


visual warnings for Mode 1 to 4. They continue till the
unsafe conditions are remedied.

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ICAO stipulates all a/c having maximum certified take
off mass of 5700 Kgs or a max approved passenger
seating configuration of more than 9 passengers must
be equipped with a GPWS.

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Serviceability – the equipment has a built in test
equipment BITE monitoring the GPWS serviceability.

This only can be selected on Ground. In air it


automatically indicates unserviceability on the Flight
Deck.

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GPWS Problem
 False alarms while flying Approach Procedures in
Hilly Terrain.

 System has no knowledge of the terrain ahead.

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