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6 Ground Proximity

section

Warning System

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The material covered in this document is based off information obtained from
the original manufacturers Pilot and Maintenance manuals. It is to be used
for simulation purposes only.

Copyright 2011 by Angle of Attack Productions, LLC


All rights reserved

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Rev 1.0 Dec 11 Ground Proximity Warning System www.flyaoamedia.com
Table of Contents Table of Illustrations
GPWS/EGPWS Overview 4 Figure 6-1. GPWC Diagram 8
Gnd Proximity Warning Computer 5 Figure 6-2. Mode 1 Alert Envelopes 10
GPWS Operating Modes Overview 9 Figure 6-3. Mode 1 Diagram 10
GPWS Operating Modes 10 Figure 6-4. Mode 2A Alert Envelopes 12
Mode 1 Excessive Descent Rate 10 Figure 6-5. Mode 2A Diagram 12
Mode 2 Excessive Terrain Closure Rate 11 Figure 6-6. Mode 2B Alert Envelope 13
Mode 3 Excessive Alt Loss after Takeoff or GA 14 Figure 6-7. Mode 2B Diagram 13
Mode 4 Unsafe Terrain Clearance 15 Figure 6-8. Mode 3 Alert Envelope 14
Mode 5 Excessive Deviation below ILS Glideslope 19 Figure 6-9. Mode 3 Alert Envelope 14
Mode 6 Advisory Callouts 21 Figure 6-10. Mode 4A Alert Envelopes 16
Mode 7 Reactive Windshear 23 Figure 6-11. Mode 4A Diagram 16
EGPWS Functions Overview 26 Figure 6-12. Mode 4B Alert Envelopes 17
Envelope Modulation 27 Figure 6-13. Mode 4B Diagram 17
Terrain Clearance Floor 28 Figure 6-14. Mode 4C Alert Envelope 18
Runway Field Clearance Floor 30 Figure 6-15. Mode 4C Diagram 18
Look Ahead Terrain Alerting 31 Figure 6-16. Mode 5 Alert Envelopes 20
ND Terrain Display 32 Figure 6-17. Mode 5 Diagram 20
Controls and Indications 37 Figure 6-18. Mode 6 Callouts Diagram 22
Figure 6-19. Mode 7 Windshear Alert Diagram 24
Figure 6-20. TCF Alert Envelopes 29
Figure 6-21. Runway Field Clearnce Floor Diagram 30
Figure 6-22. Look Ahead Terrain Alerting Diagram 31

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Rev 1.0 Dec 11 Ground Proximity Warning System www.flyaoamedia.com
Table of Illustrations (Cont.)
Figure 6-23. Low Altitude Terrain Colours 34 Notes
Figure 6-24. High Altitude Terrain Colours 36
Figure 6-25. GPWS Control Panel 37

Page 6-3
Rev 1.0 Dec 11 Ground Proximity Warning System www.flyaoamedia.com
GPWS/EGPWS Overview
GPWS stands for Ground Proximity Warning System. EGPWS database to overcome the limitations of the earlier GPWS
stands for Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System. systems. This allows the system to look ahead of the aircraft
and anticipate collision risks well in advance of projected
Both systems are designed to help prevent accidents impact.
caused by CFIT Controlled Flight Into Terrain. This
is defined by a pilot flying unknowingly into water or EGPWS has been instrumental in increasing air safety in the
obstacles. past decade. The database also allows for terrain data to
be displayed on the Navigation Display, greatly increasing
Following a string of deadly CFIT accidents in the 1960s situational awareness.
and a subsequent enquiry into what could be done
about it, the original GPWS system was developed and The 737NG is equipped with Enhanced GPWS.
subsequently made mandatory for part 121 aircraft by the
US FAA in 1974.

The original GPWS systems had a critical weakness


however. They used the radio altimeter as their core
reference, which only monitors terrain directly below the
aircraft. Very steep rising terrain could therefore trigger
warnings far too late for the pilots to react in time.

A more advanced system Enhanced GPWS (EGPWS)


was developed during the 1990s by Honeywell.

Enhanced GPWS was introduced in 1996 and uses GPS


derived positioning information married to a digital terrain

Page 6-4
Rev 1.0 Dec 11 Ground Proximity Warning System www.flyaoamedia.com
Gnd Proximity Warning Computer
The heart of GPWS on the 737NG is the Ground Proximity Notes
Warning Computer, or GPWC.

The GPWC is located on the E1-1 shelf in the Electronic


Equipment compartment (top left on the forwardmost shelf
as you look forward). (Figure 6-1)

The GPWC receives inputs from many systems and


components on the aircraft, including the following systems.

Air Data Inertial Reference System (ADIRS):


Air data
Computed airspeed
True airspeed
Uncorrected altitude
Barometric altitude
Barometric altitude rate
Inertial data
Inertial altitude
Inertial vertical speed (IVS)
Pitch attitude
Roll attitude
Body longitudinal acceleration

Page 6-5
Rev 1.0 Dec 11 Ground Proximity Warning System www.flyaoamedia.com
GPWC (Cont.)
Inertial data (Cont.) Multi-Mode Receivers (MMRs):
Body normal acceleration Glideslope deviation
Inertial vertical acceleration Localizer deviation
Pitch rate
Ground speed Flight Management Computer System (FMCS):
True track Latitude
True heading Longitude
Inertial reference mode Magnetic track
If FMC input is invalid, ADIRS also supplies: If FMC input is invalid, the ADIRS supplies this data
Latitude
Mode Control Panel (MCP):
Longitude
Selected approach course.
Magnetic track
Display Electronic Units (DEUs):
Stall Management Yaw Damper computers (SYMDs):
Selected display range,
Indicated AOA
TERR selection,
Corrected AOA
DATA selection,
Stick shaker AOA
Radio minimums,
Flap position
Baro minimums.
Minimum operating speed. (VMIN)
Weather Radar (WXR):
Radio Altimeters
Aural prioritization logic the GPWC prioritizes the GPWS,
Radio Altitude TCAS and PWS systems to prevent conflicts.

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Rev 1.0 Dec 11 Ground Proximity Warning System www.flyaoamedia.com
GPWC (Cont.)
Ground Proximity Warning Module (GPWM): The model of GPWC installed on the 737NG is also
Crew-selected FLAP/GEAR/TERRAIN inhibits, initiation of available on other aircraft types, so a number of Program
system test. Pins are used to define the operational environment of the
Located on the First Officers forward panel. system.

The GPWC uses these inputs to generate alerts and terrain During installation of the unit, Program Pins are positioned
data on the Navigation Display. to specify several parameters, including aircraft make and
model, electrical interfaces and feature selections. Airlines
The GPWC also outputs data to several aircraft systems, may adjust GPWS features such as the range of Mode 6
including: approach callouts to suit their operation and SOPs.
System status and caution and warning data for display
on the Display Electronic Units (DEUs). Many more customizations are possible. These selections
are made on the ground by maintenance via the Program
Terrain display data for the DEUs for display on the
Pins on the GPWC. They are not pilot alterable.
Display Units via the Terrain/Weather Relays.
Flight Data Acquisition Unit passes system status and
caution and warning data to the Flight Data Recorder
(FDR).

Additionally to performing calculations for the generation


of GPWS alerts, the GPWC incorporates terrain and airport
databases used by the GPWS Enhanced Functions.

GPWS is a very versatile system available on many types of


aircraft.

Page 6-7
Rev 1.0 Dec 11 Ground Proximity Warning System www.flyaoamedia.com
L ADIRU
GPWS
ENHANCED
EXTERNAL
FAULT

R ADIRU COMPUTER
OK
COMPUTER
FAIL

PUSH

RA 1 TO DEU 1
EJECT

PRESS TO
SELF TEST
RA 2
OK
PROG
HEADPHONES
CARD

MMR 1
CHNG
TERR/WXR
XFER
COMP
RELAYS
MMR 2 XFER
FAIL

DEU 2

FMC

DFCS MCP

SMYD 1

FDAU
SMYD 2

WXR

GPWC

Figure 6-1. GPWC Diagram

Page 6-8
Rev 1.0 Dec 11 Ground Proximity Warning System www.flyaoamedia.com
GPWS Operating Modes Overview
The Ground Proximity Warning System on the 737NG in atmospheric pressure to indicate altitude. Barometric
monitors and provides alerts for seven different sets of altitude is therefore a distance above a pre-determined
conditions. There are also several enhanced functions, datum, usually sea level. This altitude is indicated on the
introduced in the 1990s with EGPWS. Primary Flight Display altitude tape.

These are the seven classic GPWS operating modes: Radio altitude is determined by transmitting radio waves
Mode 1 Excessive Descent Rate,page10 downwards beneath the aircraft and timing how long
Mode 2 Excessive Terrain Closure Rate,page11 it takes them to be reflected back again. Because the
speed of the waves is a known quantity, the distance can
Mode 3 Excessive Alt Loss after Takeoff or
GA,page14
then be calculated to determine radio altitude.
Mode 4 Unsafe Terrain Clearance,page15
Radio altitude is therefore the altitude above the terrain
Mode 5 Excessive Deviation below ILS,page19 directly beneath the aircraft.
Mode 6 Advisory Callouts,page21
Mode 7 Reactive Windshear,page23 It is important to understand these differences, as the
GPWC uses both barometric and radio altitude as inputs.
Modes 2, 4 and 6 have various sub-modes. These are The GPWC also uses inertial altitude as an input for Modes
discussed in detail later. 2 and 3.

To understand GPWS properly, you need to know the Inertial altitude is an ADIRU derived altitude used by
difference between radio and barometic altitude. Both several aircraft systems, including the Flight Control
terms will be used when outlining the various GPWS modes. Computers (FCCs), Flight Management Computers (FMCs)
and the GPWC.
Atmospheric pressure drops with an increase in altitude.
The aircrafts barometric altimeters use those changes

Page 6-9
Rev 1.0 Dec 11 Ground Proximity Warning System www.flyaoamedia.com
GPWS Operating Modes
Mode 1 Excessive Descent Rate 3000
5007 FPM 7125 FPM
Mode 1 provides alerts for excessive descent rates with 2450

respect to altitude above ground level. RADIO


2000 ALERT AREA
SINK RATE

ALTITUDE WARNING AREA


(FEET)

The descent rate input for Mode 1 is inertial vertical 1000


1710 FPM WHOOP WHOOP
PULL UP

speed (IVS), an ADIRU derived quantity not prone to the 10


lag of barometric vertical speed. 1000 1500 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000
DESCENT RATE (FEET PER MINUTE)

If inertial vertical speed is not available, the GPWC uses Figure 6-2. Mode 1 Alert Envelopes
an internally calculated altitude rate. If both the IVS and
the internally calculated rates are invalid, the barometric
altitude rate from the ADIRS is used.

When barometric altitude rate is used, the base of the


Mode 1 envelopes changes from 10 feet to 30 feet. "SINKRATE SINKRATE"

The rate of descent at which an alert is triggered is "PULL UP"


"SINKRATE"
dependent on the current radio altitude. The greater the
radio altitude, the greater the rate of descent needed to "PULLUP"
trigger a Mode 1 alert. (Figure 6-2)

Mode 1 has two alert envelopes a caution envelope


and a warning envelope. Envelope dimensions are defined
by radio altitude and descent rate. (Figure 6-3) Figure 6-3. Mode 1 Diagram

Should an excessive rate of descent develop for the

Page 6-10
Rev 1.0 Dec 11 Ground Proximity Warning System www.flyaoamedia.com
GPWS Operating Modes (Cont.)
aircrafts current radio altitude, a SINK RATE aural caution Mode 2 is based on the rate of change of radio altitude.
message will be triggered. This occurs in the caution A positive closure rate means that the aircraft is rapidly
envelope. approaching the ground, as sensed by the radio altimeter.

If the rate of descent continues or worsens, a continuous Mode 2 exists in two forms: 2A and 2B.
PULL UP aural warning message will be triggered once the
aircraft enters the warning envelope. These two sub-modes are selected as a function of flap
position.
When any Mode 1 alert is triggered, PULL UP annunciates Mode 2A when Flaps < 30
red on the Primary Flight Displays as a visual alert. Mode 2B when Flaps 30
The PULL UP visual alert is also relayed through the Head-
up Guidance System (HGS) if installed. Mode 2A provides alerts for excessive terrain closure rate
during climbout, cruise, and initial approach with flaps 25
Mode 2 Excessive Terrain Closure Rate or less and glideslope deviation more than 2 dots.
Mode 2 provides alerts for rapidly rising terrain with respect
to the aircraft. Mode 2A has two alert envelopes a caution envelope
and a warning envelope. Envelope dimensions are defined
This detection is based on the current radio altitude and by radio altitude and terrain closure rate. The greater the
the terrain closure rate. Terrain closure rate in this case is a radio altitude, the greater the terrain closure rate needed
rate of change of radio altitude. to trigger a Mode 2A alert. (Figure 6-4)

This differs from descent rate monitored by Mode 1. The size of the Mode 2A alert envelopes is dependent
Mode 1 is based on the rate of change of barometric on airspeed. At higher airspeeds the time to impact will be
altitude. reduced, so the envelopes expand to provide increased
alert times. For airspeed less than 220 knots, the caution

Page 6-11
Rev 1.0 Dec 11 Ground Proximity Warning System www.flyaoamedia.com
GPWS Operating Modes (Cont.) 2500 2450 FEET

envelope tops out at 1650ft radio altitude. For airspeed TOP LIMIT GOES TO
2450 FT FOR AIRSPEED
CAUTION AREA

greater than 220 knots (220-310kts), the envelopes 2000


RADIO BETWEEN 220 AND 310 KTS
expand to a maximum of 2450ft. ALTITUDE 1650 FEET
(FEET) 1500 TERRAIN TERRAIN
WARNING AREA
If the aircraft penetrates the Mode 2A caution envelope, a
1000
TERRAIN, TERRAIN aural caution message is generated.
WHOOP WHOOP
If the condition is not corrected and the aircraft penetrates PULL UP
500
the Mode 2A warning envelope, a PULL UP aural warning
message sounds, and is repeated continuously until the 30 FEET

aircraft exits the warning envelope. (Figure 6-5) 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000 9000 10000
RADIO ALTITUDE CLOSURE RATE (FPM)
Once the aircraft has exited the Mode 2A envelopes, Figure 6-4. Mode 2A Alert Envelopes
PULL UP continues to show on the PFD until barometric
altitude has increased by 300ft or after 45 seconds has
elapsed. A TERRAIN aural caution message will sound
during this period if radio altitude continues to decrease.

Mode 2B provides alerts for excessive terrain closure rate


when the flaps are in the landing configuration. (30 or 40).
It is also active for the first 60 seconds after takeoff.

The Mode 2B envelope is desensitized to permit normal


landing approach maneuvers close to terrain without
triggering unwanted alerts. It is inevitable during approach
and landing that the aircraft will approach terrain.
Figure 6-5. Mode 2A Diagram

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Rev 1.0 Dec 11 Ground Proximity Warning System www.flyaoamedia.com
GPWS Operating Modes (Cont.) 1000
RADIO 799 FEET
ALTITUDE
In some cases, the runway threshold may be in close (FEET) 600 FEET
proximity to rapidly rising terrain, resulting in radio altitude LOWER LIMIT
500 DEPENDS ON IVS TERRAIN TERRAIN
spikes on approach that could potentially trigger nuisance CLOSURE RATE OR
alerts. AND FLAP
CONFIG.
WHOOP WHOOP, PULL UP
30 FEET
The Mode 2A alerting envelope could trigger nuisance
alerts during this phase, so Mode 2B is automatically
1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000
activated upon selection of flaps 30 or 40, or once
RADIO ALTITUDE CLOSURE RATE
established on an ILS approach with localizer and (FPM)
glideslope deviation less than 2 dots. This reduces the Figure 6-6. Mode 2B Alert Envelope
potential for nuisance alerts during an approach. (Figure 6-6)

Mode 2B is also active for the first 60 seconds after takeoff TERRAIN TERRAIN
to prevent nuisance alerts during this period.
PULL UP
Mode 2B has a single envelope. Envelope dimensions are
defined by radio altitude and terrain closure rate.
The greater the radio altitude, the greater the terrain
closure rate needed to trigger a Mode 2B alert.

The upper limit of the envelope is fixed at 789ft radio


altitude, however the lower limit varies between 600ft
and 30ft as a function of inertial vertical speed and flap
configuration.
Figure 6-7. Mode 2B Diagram

Page 6-13
Rev 1.0 Dec 11 Ground Proximity Warning System www.flyaoamedia.com
GPWS Operating Modes (Cont.)
If the aircraft penetrates the Mode 2B envelope with RADIO
either the gear or flaps not in the landing configuration a ALTITUDE
(FEET)
TERRAIN, TERRAIN aural caution message is generated. If 1500 FEET
1500
this condition lasts for more than 1.6 seconds, a PULL UP
BASELINE
aural warning message will sound.
1000 DONT SINK
If the aircraft enters the envelope with the landing gear
down, there will be no aural PULL UP messages, but a
TERRAIN message will be repeated until the envelope is 30
exited. 50 100 150 200 250 300
LOSS OF INERTIAL ALTITUDE (FEET)
When any Mode 2 alert is triggered, PULL UP annunciates Figure 6-8. Mode 3 Alert Envelope
red on the Primary Flight Displays as a visual alert. The
PULL UP visual alert is also relayed through the Head-up
Guidance System (HGS) if installed.

Mode 3 Excessive Alt Loss after Takeoff or GA


Mode 3 provides alerts for excessive altitude loss after
takeoff or go around below 245ft.

There is a single Mode 3 envelope. Envelope dimensions


are defined by radio altitude and altitude loss. The
altitude loss permitted is a function of radio altitude. The
greater the radio altitude, the greater the altitude loss
needed to trigger a Mode 3 alert.
Figure 6-9. Mode 3 Alert Envelope

Page 6-14
Rev 1.0 Dec 11 Ground Proximity Warning System www.flyaoamedia.com
GPWS Operating Modes (Cont.)
Notes
If the aircraft penetrates the Mode 3 envelope, a DONT
SINK aural caution message is generated. The DONT
SINK aural message is enunciated twice for each 20%
degradation in altitude. The message will cease once a
positive rate of climb is established. (Figure 6-8)

When a Mode 3 alert is triggered, PULL UP annunciates


red on the Primary Flight Displays as a visual alert. The
PULL UP visual alert is also relayed through the Head-up
Guidance System (HGS) if installed.

Mode 4 Unsafe Terrain Clearance


Mode 4 provides alerts for insufficient terrain clearance
with respect to phase of flight, aircraft configuration and
speed.

Modes 1 and 2 are based around rates of descent and


terrain closure, while mode 4 prevents inadvertent flight into
terrain where the rate of descent or terrain closure is too
gradual to trigger a Mode 1 or 2 alert.

Mode 4 exists in three forms: 4A, 4B and 4C. These three


modes are selected as a function of gear and flap
position and phase of flight.

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Rev 1.0 Dec 11 Ground Proximity Warning System www.flyaoamedia.com
GPWS Operating Modes (Cont.)
Mode 4A is active during cruise and approach with the 1000
gear up and flaps not in the landing configuration (30 or RADIO
40). It provides alerting for inadvertent flight into terrain ALTITUDE
where the aircraft is not descending excessively and terrain (FEET)
closure is not excessive. (Figure 6-11) 500

TOO LOW - GEAR TOO LOW - TERRAIN


Mode 4A has two alerting envelopes. Envelope dimensions
30
are defined by radio altitude and computed airspeed.
100 200 300 COMPUTED
Below 500ft radio altitude and less than 190 knots AIRSPEED
airspeed, the Mode 4A aural alert is TOO LOW GEAR. (KNOTS)
Figure 6-10. Mode 4A Alert Envelopes
Below 190 knots airspeed, the envelope upper limit is
500ft radio altitude. Above 190 knots airspeed, the
envelope is shaped by increasing terrain clearance, and
generates a different aural message.
TOO LOW
As airspeed increases, the envelope expands to TERRAIN
TOO LOW
incorporate greater terrain clearances. The envelope GEAR
expands to 1000ft at 250 knots. This airspeed
compensation ensures a more timely alert, as the time to
impact reduces at higher airspeeds. Above 190 knots
airspeed the Mode 4A aural alert is TOO LOW TERRAIN.

For either Mode 4A aural alert, further alert messages are Figure 6-11. Mode 4A Diagram
generated for each 20% degradation in altitude.

Page 6-16
Rev 1.0 Dec 11 Ground Proximity Warning System www.flyaoamedia.com
GPWS Operating Modes (Cont.)
Mode 4B is active during cruise and approach with the 1000
gear down and flaps not in the landing configuration (30 RADIO
or 40). ALTITUDE
(FEET)
Like Mode 4A, Mode 4B provides alerting for inadvertent 500

flight into terrain where the aircraft is not descending


245
excessively and terrain closure is not excessive. (Figure 6-12) TOO LOW - FLAP TOO LOW - TERRAIN
30
100 200 300 COMPUTED
Mode 4B has two alerting envelopes. Envelope dimensions
AIRSPEED
are defined by radio altitude and computed airspeed. (KNOTS)
Below 245ft radio altitude and less than 159 knots Figure 6-12. Mode 4B Alert Envelopes
airspeed, the Mode 4B aural alert is TOO LOW FLAPS.

Below 159 knots airspeed, the envelope upper limit is


245ft radio altitude. Above 159 knots airspeed, the
envelope is shaped by increasing terrain clearance (radio
TOO LOW
altitude), and generates a different aural message. TERRAIN
TOO LOW
159 FLAPS
As airspeed increases, the envelope expands to
incorporate greater terrain clearances. The envelope
expands to 1000ft at 250 knots. Above 159 knots FLAPS

airspeed the Mode 4B aural alert is TOO LOW TERRAIN.

For either Mode 4B aural alert, further alert messages are Figure 6-13. Mode 4B Diagram
generated for each 20% degradation in altitude.

Page 6-17
Rev 1.0 Dec 11 Ground Proximity Warning System www.flyaoamedia.com
GPWS Operating Modes (Cont.)
Mode 4C is active during the takeoff phase or during a 1000
low altitude go around with the gear or flaps not in the TOP LIMITS
OF ALTITUDE
landing configuration. THE FILTER
CAN STORE MODE 4C LIMIT
500
The Mode 4C envelope is constructed dynamically as the
aircraft climbs, using radio altitude and computed airspeed THE FILTER TOO LOW TERRAIN
to define the top limit of the envelope. ACTIVATES
AT APPROX 30
150 FEET
During the takeoff roll the minimum terrain clearance is 190 250
zero feet. As the aircraft climbs, the minimum clearance is COMPUTED AIRSPEED (KNOTS)
increased to 75% of the aircrafts Radio Altitude, based on Figure 6-14. Mode 4C Alert Envelope
an average taken over the previous 15 seconds. This value
is not allowed to decrease, and forms the top of the Mode
4C alert envelope.

The envelope is limited to 500ft radio altitude for


airspeeds less than 190 knots. Above 190 knots, the
envelope expands to a limit of 1000ft at 250 knots.
If the aircrafts radio altitude enters the envelope, a TOO
LOW TERRAIN alert is generated. The alerts cease once
the envelope is exited. (Figure 6-14)

When any Mode 4 alert is triggered, PULL UP annunciates


on HGS (if installed) and shows in red on the Primary Flight
Displays as a visual alert. Figure 6-15. Mode 4C Diagram

Page 6-18
Rev 1.0 Dec 11 Ground Proximity Warning System www.flyaoamedia.com
GPWS Operating Modes (Cont.)
Mode 5 Excessive Deviation below ILS Glideslope Notes
Mode 5 provides alerts for excessive deviation below
the ILS glideslope. It uses radio altitude and glideslope
deviation as its references.

There are two levels of Mode 5 alerting soft alerts and


hard alerts.

A soft alert occurs when the aircraft is below 1000ft radio


altitude with an ILS deviation 1.3 dots or greater below
glideslope. In this case, a reduced volume GLIDESLOPE
audio message is triggered.

A hard alert occurs when the aircraft is below 300ft radio


altitude with an ILS deviation 2 dots or greater below
glideslope. In this case, a full volume GLIDESLOPE audio
message is triggered. (Figure 6-16)

As deviation below glideslope increases, additional


GLIDESLOPE alerts are generated at a progressively faster
rate.

Mode 5 alerts are enabled only when:


Aircraft is below 1000ft radio altitude
Localizer signal is captured (deviation within 2 dots)

Page 6-19
Rev 1.0 Dec 11 Ground Proximity Warning System www.flyaoamedia.com
GPWS Operating Modes (Cont.)
Glideslope signal is valid 1000

Landing gear is down MESSAGE


GLIDE SLOPE
LOW VOLUME AREA: 6DB BELOW NORMAL
INTERVALS INTERVAL BETWEEN MESSAGES: 5.15 SEC
A front course approach is selected. RADIO ALTITUDE
(FEET) 1.55 SEC 1.0 SEC 0.59 SEC
300

The Ground Proximity Warning Computer identifies a front 150


GLIDE SLOPE
NORMAL VOLUME AREA

course approach by comparing the aircrafts magnetic


30
track to the ILS approach course. If the difference is less
1.3 DOTS 2.0 DOTS 2.7 DOTS 3.4 DOTS
than 90 degrees, it assumes that a front course approach DEVIATION BELOW GLIDESLOPE SIGNAL

is being conducted, and Mode 5 alerts will be available. Figure 6-16. Mode 5 Alert Envelopes

If the difference is greater than 90 degrees, it assumes


that a back course approach is being flown, and Mode 5
alerts will be inhibited to prevent nuisance alerts. SOFT ALERT

HARD ALERT
The upper boundary of the Mode 5 envelope is affected
by aircraft descent rate. For descent rates greater than
500 feet per minute, the upper boundary is set to the
normal 1000ft radio altitude. A vertical speed greater than Figure 6-17. Mode 5 Diagram
500 feet per minute is to be expected on a normal ILS
approach, so this is the normal condition.

For descent rates less than 500 feet per minute, the upper
boundary is reduced to a minimum of 500ft radio altitude.
Additionally, both hard and soft modes are progressively
desensitized below 150 feet radio altitude to allow for

Page 6-20
Rev 1.0 Dec 11 Ground Proximity Warning System www.flyaoamedia.com
GPWS Operating Modes (Cont.)
normal ILS glideslope variations near to the ground. This The callouts at 1000ft and 500ft are based on barometric
reduces the possibility of nuisance alerts. altitude above the landing field elevation. The rest are
based on radio altitude.
A Mode 5 alert causes the below glideslope switches
to illuminate on the left and right forward panels. Pushing A smart 500ft callout is also available, which sounds
either switch inhibits Mode 5 glideslope alerts when below only during a non-precision approach. When the smart
1000ft radio altitude. 500ft callout is selected, 500 is only called during a
non-precision approach it is removed from precision
approaches.
Mode 6 Advisory Callouts
Mode 6 provides advisory callouts based on barometric The Ground Proximity Warning Computer determines a non-
altitude, radio altitude and bank angle. This modes precision approach when glideslope deviation is greater
callouts include the following: than two dots, or if a back course approach is being flown.
Radio and barometric altitude callouts
Minimums callout Mode 6 also provides callouts for Decision Height or
Approaching minimums callout Minimum Descent Altitude based on the altitude set by the
captains Minimums Selector on the EFIS control panel.
Bank angle callouts
These callouts may be based on radio or barometric
altitude depending on the position of the Minimums
The set of callouts used is selectable by program pins
Reference Selector.
on the Ground Proximity Warning Computer. This allows
airlines to customize Mode 6 callouts to their operational
There are four callouts available, up to two of which will
environment. (Figure 6-18)
sound during an approach: PLUS HUNDRED sounds 100
feet above the DH or MDA. APPROACHING MINUMUMS
Mode 6 provides altitude callouts during approach based
sounds 80 feet above the DH or MDA. MINIMUMS or
on radio and barometric altitudes.

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Rev 1.0 Dec 11 Ground Proximity Warning System www.flyaoamedia.com
2500 FEET TWENTY FIVE HUNDRED...OR...RADIO ALTIMETER
2000 FEET ONE THOUSAND
DECISION HEIGHT PLUS 100 FEET PLUS HUNDRED
DECISION HEIGHT PLUS 80 FEET APPROACHING MINIMUMS
DECISION HEIGHT MINIMUMS, MINIMUMS...OR..MINIMUMS
500 FEET FIVE HUNDRED
400 FEET FOUR HUNDRED
300 FEET THREE HUNDRED
200 FEET TWO HUNDRED
100 FEET ONE HUNDRED
50 FEET FIFTY
40 FEET FORTY
30 FEET THIRTY
30 FEET TWENTY
10 FEET TEN

NOTE: All possible altitude callouts shown

Figure 6-18. Mode 6 Callouts Diagram

Page 6-22
Rev 1.0 Dec 11 Ground Proximity Warning System www.flyaoamedia.com
GPWS Operating Modes (Cont.)
MINIMUMS MINIMUMS or DECISION HEIGHT sounds when provided.
passing through the DH or MDA.
If the roll rate is so great that the next threshold is reached
The MINIMUMS callout has priority over other altitude before the previous thresholds callout is complete, then no
callouts. For example, if the DH is set to 200ft and both callout is given for the bypassed limit.
TWO HUNDRED and MINIMUMS are valid callouts, then
only MINIMUMS will be called out at 200ft. The vertical extent of the bank angle alert envelope is
limitless.
Mode 6 provides bank angle callouts to advise of an
Mode 7 Reactive Windshear
excessive roll angle. Between 30 and 130 feet radio
Mode 7 is designed to provide alerts if the aircraft enters
altitude, a BANK ANGLE, BANK ANGLE callout is
windshear.
generated when the aircraft bank angle exceeds 10
degrees.
The term windshear refers to a sudden and drastic
change in wind direction or speed over a relatively short
Above 130 feet radio altitude, the callout occurs at 35
distance along the aircrafts flight path.
degrees, 40 degrees and 45 degrees of bank. The callout
sounds once as the aircraft passes through each threshold.
Most wind usually travels more or less horizontally, but under
(In other words), a callout will sound as the aircraft passes
certain conditions can be provoked to travel in a vertical
through 35 degrees, but will not be given again until the
direction.
bank angle passes through 40 degrees. A further callout
will then be given when 45 degrees is exceeded.
The most dangerous phenomenon associated with
windshear is microburst, as it poses a great threat to aircraft
When any one of the thresholds is exceeded, the bank
on approach or shortly after departure. A microburst is a
angle must reduce below 30 degrees for the system to
localized, very concentrated column of sinking cool air,
be reset before additional bank angle callouts will be

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GPWS Operating Modes (Cont.)
usually emitting from the base of a thunderstorm. As the air
strikes the ground, it spreads horizontally.

An aircraft flying through a microburst will first see an


increase in airspeed as it enters the zone of increased
headwinds. It will also experience an increased sink rate as
the sinking air pushes it down.
CAUTION
As the aircraft flies through the core of the microburst, WINDSHEAR

tailwinds start to increase, with a corresponding decrease


in airspeed. The combination of reduced airspeed and the
downdraft from the microburst may force the aircraft into WINDSHEAR!
WINDSHEAR!
terrain if prompt correction is not applied. (Figure 6-19) WINDSHEAR!

Several airliners have been lost to this phenomenon.


Mode 7 is designed to provide alerts if the aircraft enters Figure 6-19. Mode 7 Windshear Alert Diagram
windshear.

Two alerting envelopes provide either a Windshear


Caution or Windshear Warning alert.

Mode 7 windshear alerting is based on rapid rates of


change of headwind, tailwind, updraft and downdraft.
Note that this is an entirely different system to Predictive
Windshear. Mode 7 is purely reactive, and provides

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GPWS Operating Modes (Cont.)
alerts based on currently occurring changes, rather than Other inputs to the warning envelope include:
conditions detected ahead of the aircraft. Available climb performance
Flight path angle
An increasing headwind and/or increasing updraft
Airspeed significantly different to normal approach
may result in the aircraft entering the windshear caution speed
envelope. This would trigger a Windshear Caution alert,
Unusual fluctuations in Static Air Temperature
which generates a CAUTION, WINDSHEAR aural message.
This would be indicative of the aircraft entering a
Mode 7 windshear alerting is active under the following
microburst.
flight conditions:
A decreasing headwind, which could also equate to an During takeoff; from rotation until 1500ft AGL
increasing tailwind, coupled with an increasing downdraft During approach from 1500ft down to 10ft AGL
is a far more dangerous situation. This region is covered During a missed approach until 1500ft AGL
by the warning envelope, penetration of which will trigger
a Windshear Warning, and the aural alert WINDSHEAR, Remember that GPWS Mode 7 is an entirely separate
WINDSHEAR, WINDSHEAR. system to Predictive Windshear. PWS uses the weather
radar to look ahead of the aircraft at wind trends that
When a Mode 7 windshear alert is triggered, WINDSHEAR signify the existence of windshear. Mode 7 is simply reactive
annunciates red on the PFDs and conveyed on HGS (if to current windshear conditions.
installed), both as a visual alerts.

The visual alert remains present for as long as the aircraft


is exposed to conditions that place it in the warning
envelope.

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Rev 1.0 Dec 11 Ground Proximity Warning System www.flyaoamedia.com
EGPWS Functions Overview
Additionally to the seven classic GPWS modes already Notes
discussed, EGPWS adds several enhanced functions.

These enhanced functions are made possible by an


internal database in the GPWC, that consists of four
general subsets:
A worldwide terrain database
A frequently updated obstacles database
A worldwide airport database containing information on
runways 3500 feet or longer
An Envelope Modulation database referenced by the
Envelope Modulation function covered later in the lesson

The aircrafts present position is overlaid on these


databases to determine proximity to terrain, obstacles and
areas that require envelope modulation. This allows terrain
alerts to be generated accordingly.

The GPWC determines aircraft position using inputs primarily


from the GPS 1 system. If GPS 1 position is not valid, GPS
2 position is used. When neither GPS 1 nor GPS 2 positions
are valid, ADIRU position may be used for short periods.

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Rev 1.0 Dec 11 Ground Proximity Warning System www.flyaoamedia.com
Envelope Modulation parameters to verify that all the data required for Envelope
Early GPWS equipment was plagued by nuisance alerts, Modulation is valid and within tolerances. Monitored inputs
which could cause pilots to distrust the equipment even include:
when actual hazardous conditions existed. Latitude
Longitude
Certain airports around the world have terrain features and
Radio altitude
approach procedures that have resulted in nuisance or
missed alerts in the past. Localizer deviation
Magnetic track
With the introduction of the EGPWS terrain and airport Selected runway heading
database, it is possible to identify these areas and adjust Barometric corrected altitude
the normal alerting envelopes to compensate. This is
Envelope Modulation. Once the snapshot requirements have been verified, one
or more of the GPWS modes can be modified upon entry
Envelope Modulation uses the database to both to the Envelope Modulation Area.
desensitize and expand alerting envelopes where required
to provide alerting protection consistent with normal The Envelope Modulation function adjusts the Mode 1, 2
approaches. 4 and 5 envelopes to prevent nuisance or missed alerts.
Mode 1 adjusted to allow greater descent rates.
Data for airports that require envelope modulation are Mode 2 adjusted to allow greater terrain closure rates.
stored in the Envelope Modulation database. Each Mode 4 adjusted to allow less minimum terrain clearance.
effected airport has a Snapshot Area and an Envelope Mode 5 adjusted to allow glideslope warnings at higher
Modulation area, both defined by latitude and longitude. radio altitudes, including with the landing gear up.

As the aircraft enters the Snapshot Area, the Ground Envelope Modulation is automatic and requires no flight
Proximity Warning Computer looks at several aircraft crew action.

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Rev 1.0 Dec 11 Ground Proximity Warning System www.flyaoamedia.com
Terrain Clearance Floor
The Terrain Clearance Floor function alerts the pilots of a The Terrain Clearance Floor function has been
descent below a defined Terrain Clearance Floor. progressively improved since the introduction of EGPWS in
the mid-1990s.
The standard GPWS Modes 2 and 4 are desensitized
when the aircraft is in landing configuration, and thus fail to Construction of the Terrain Clearance Floor envelope in
trigger alerts when landings are attempted where there is the immediate vicinity of the runway varies depending on
no airport. the EGPWS version installed on the aircraft.

Since EGPWS features a terrain and airport database When the aircraft descends into the Terrain Clearance
which contains the exact positions of all allowable airport Floor envelope, a TOO LOW TERRAIN voice alert
runways (3500ft or longer), it is possible to define an is generated. The alert is repeated with further 20%
additional alert envelope at all areas where there are no decreases in radio altitude. Additionally to the aural alert,
runways. This is the Terrain Clearance Floor. TERRAIN is annunciated on the Navigation Display in
amber.
When the aircraft is 15nm or more from a runway, the floor
is 700ft AGL. As the aircraft approaches an airport in the
database, the Terrain Clearance Floor steps down closer
to terrain. Between 12nm and 15nm from the runway the
envelope steps down gradually to 400ft AGL. The floor
remains at 400ft AGL from 12nm to 4nm, then steps down
further. (Figure 6-20)

The lower limit of the Terrain Clearance Floor within 4nm of


the the runway is dependent on an envelope bias factor
which varies as a function of aircraft position accuracy.

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Rev 1.0 Dec 11 Ground Proximity Warning System www.flyaoamedia.com
245 700
Improved TCF
Envelope 400
4 NM 12 NM 15 NM

Figure 6-20. TCF Alert Envelopes

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Rev 1.0 Dec 11 Ground Proximity Warning System www.flyaoamedia.com
Runway Field Clearance Floor
The Runway Field Clearance Floor function augments the
Terrain Clearance Floor by providing an additional alert
envelope for runways that are significantly higher than the 300 ft
surrounding terrain. RFCF Alert Envelope

The envelope is contained within a circle within 5.5nm


of the runway threshold, and extends to a ceiling 300ft
above field elevation. (Figure 6-21) TCF Envelope

Penetrating the Runway Field Clearance Floor envelope 5.5 NM

results in a TOO LOW TERRAIN voice alert. The alert is


Figure 6-21. Runway Field Clearnce Floor Diagram
repeated with further 20% decreases in radio altitude.
Additionally to the aural alert, TERRAIN is annunciated on
the ND in amber.

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Rev 1.0 Dec 11 Ground Proximity Warning System www.flyaoamedia.com
Look Ahead Terrain Alerting
Look Ahead Terrain Alerting is accomplished based on A terrain conflict penetrating the warning ribbon generates
aircraft position, flight path angle, track, and speed relative a TERRAIN, TERRAIN, PULL UP aural message.
to the terrain database image ahead of the aircraft. This alert is typically given 20 to 30 seconds from
projected impact. Additionally to the aural alert, TERRAIN
Two alert ribbons are constructed ahead of the aircraft is annunciated on the ND in red. (Figure 6-22)
to provide advanced warning of conflict with terrain and
obstacles. These ribbons project down, forward, then up Equivalent alerts are generated in the event that an
from the aircraft. They have a width starting at nm, and obstacle in the EGPWS database should penetrate
extend out at 3 degrees laterally. The width extends if the the caution or warning envelopes. The aural messages
aircraft is turning. are CAUTION OBSTACLE, CAUTION OBSTACLE and
OBSTACLE, OBSTACLE, PULL UP.
The look-down and look-up angles are a function of
aircraft flight path angle. The look-down distance is a
function of aircraft altitude with respect to the nearest or
destination runway. The look-ahead distance is a function
of aircraft speed and distance to the nearest runway.
These measures prevent nuisance alerts when taking off or
landing.
WARNING

A terrain conflict penetrating the caution ribbon generates


a CAUTION TERRAIN, CAUTION TERRAIN aural message.
This alert is typically given 40 to 60 seconds from CAUTION

projected impact. Additionally to the aural alert, TERRAIN


is annunciated on the ND in amber.
Figure 6-22. Look Ahead Terrain Alerting Diagram

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Rev 1.0 Dec 11 Ground Proximity Warning System www.flyaoamedia.com
ND Terrain Display
Terrain data from the EGPWS terrain and obstacle Terrain displayed on the ND is colour coded. Colour and
database can be displayed on the Navigation Display. density vary based on the relative altitude of the aircraft
The Terrain Display is selected by pushing the TERR select to the terrain.
switch on the EFIS control panel.
The older type of EGPWS terrain display did not display
The terrain display is available in the following Navigation terrain greater than 2000ft below aircraft altitude.
Display modes: The terrain display would thus typically be blank during the
Expanded MAP en-route portion of a flight.
Center MAP
Later versions of EGPWS incorporate the Peaks Display
Expanded VOR
type of terrain display as a customer option selectable via
Expanded APP a Program Pin.
It is not possible to have both the Terrain Display and The Peaks Display feature adds further terrain information
weather radar returns selected at the same time. Selecting even for terrain greater than 2000ft below aircraft altitude.
the Terrain Display ON deselects the weather radar This allows the depiction of a mountain range below
automatically. the aircraft in the cruise for example, useful for situational
awareness during an emergency descent.
The Terrain Display is a graphical plan view of surrounding
terrain designed to enhance vertical and horizontal The Peaks Display feature also provides a digital readout
situational awareness. of the highest and lowest terrain elevation currently
displayed.
The display design was subject to human factors studies
which recommended a minimum of complexity to ensure Terrain is displayed on the ND in varying densities of
easy interpretation. green, amber and red. Each specific colour and density

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Rev 1.0 Dec 11 Ground Proximity Warning System www.flyaoamedia.com
ND Terrain Display (Cont.)
represents terrain below, at and above the aircrafts Low density amber indicates terrain from 500ft below
altitude based on the position of the aircraft with respect to 1000ft above aircraft altitude. With the landing
to the terrain in the database. gear down, the envelope shrinks to indicate terrain
from 250ft below to 1000ft above aircraft altitude.
Since the introduction of the Peaks Display feature, there
are now two sets of rules that dictate the logic used by High density amber indicates terrain from 1000ft to
the system to draw terrain: 2000ft above aircraft altitude.
Aircraft at a low relative altitude to highest terrain on the
Terrain Display High density red indicates terrain greater than
Aircraft at a high relative altitude to highest terrain on the 2000ft above aircraft altitude.
Terrain Display
Solid amber indicates terrain that has triggered a
We will first discuss the coloured terrain display indications look-ahead terrain caution condition.
active when the aircraft is at a low relative altitude to
terrain. These indications are active when the aircraft is Solid red indicates terrain that has triggered a look-
500ft (250ft with gear down) or less above the highest ahead terrain warning condition.
terrain in view on the display. (Figure 6-23)
Magenta indicates that no terrain data is available
Low density green indicates terrain from 2000ft to for that area.
1000ft below aircraft altitude.
Cyan indicates terrain identified as water. This is a
High density green indicates terrain from 1000ft to program pin-selectable customer option, available
500ft below aircraft altitude. With the landing gear only with the Peaks feature.
down, the envelope expands to indicate terrain from
1000ft to 250ft below aircraft altitude.

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Rev 1.0 Dec 11 Ground Proximity Warning System www.flyaoamedia.com
High Density Red
+2000'
High Density Yellow
+1000'
Low Density Yellow

-500
High Density Green
-1000'
Low Density Green
-2000'
Black

Figure 6-23. Low Altitude Terrain Colours

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Rev 1.0 Dec 11 Ground Proximity Warning System www.flyaoamedia.com
ND Terrain Display (Cont.)
Terrain greater than 2000ft below aircraft altitude is not Terrain below the lowest elevation band is not displayed.
indicated these areas are black. (Also,) terrain within This is typically terrain less than 50% of aircraft altitude. This
400ft of the nearest airport runway elevation is not is variable!
indicated.
The Peaks Display feature also provides a digital readout
When the aircraft is at a high relative altitude to terrain the of the highest and lowest terrain elevation currently
Terrain Peaks feature adds additional colour gradations displayed. The elevation values are expressed in hundreds
to further define terrain below the aircraft. These indications of feet above sea level, the colour of these values
are active when the aircraft is greater than 500ft (250ft matches the corresponding terrain bands on the display.
with gear down) above the highest terrain in view on the
display. (Figure 6-24) The Terrain Display automatically pops up when a look-
ahead terrain alert occurs.
The shades of green displayed are based on the
distribution of terrain elevations within the display range. The Terrain Display updates with a display sweep similar to
This is a mathematical calculation based on terrain the weather radar display.
elevation and is independent of aircraft altitude. Each
shade of green relates to a separate band of terrain TERR is displayed in cyan on the left side of the display
elevations. whenever the Terrain Display is enabled.

Low density green indicates the lower terrain band.

High density green indicates the middle terrain band.

Solid green indicates the highest terrain band on the


display - peaks.

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Rev 1.0 Dec 11 Ground Proximity Warning System www.flyaoamedia.com
High Density

High Density

Low Density

High Density

Low Density

Figure 6-24. High Altitude Terrain Colours

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Rev 1.0 Dec 11 Ground Proximity Warning System www.flyaoamedia.com
Controls and Indications
Thus far the following controls and indications have been
discussed:
TERR select switch on each EFIS control panel
Below glideslope switches
PULL UP and WINDSHEAR indications on the PFD and
HGS GROUND PROXIMITY
EGPWS Terrain Display and TERRAIN annunciation GPWS

FLAP GEAR TERR


INOP INHIBIT INHIBIT INHIBIT
The remainder of the GPWS controls and indications are
located on the right forward panel. The three capped
INHIBIT switches allow flight crew to manually inhibit GPWS
alerts. All three switches are capped to the NORM position.
(Figure 6-25) SYS TEST

The FLAP INHIBIT switch simulates a flaps landing position NORM NORM NORM

in the GPWC, inhibiting the Mode 4B TOO LOW FLAPS


Figure 6-25. GPWS Control Panel
alert.

The GEAR INHIBIT switch simulates the landing gear in


the extended position, inhibiting the Mode 4A TOO LOW
GEAR alert.

The TERR INHIBIT switch inhibits the look ahead CAUTION


TERRAIN, CAUTION TERRAIN and TERRAIN, TERRAIN,

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Controls and Indications (Cont.)
PULL UP alerts. It also inhibits the Terrain Display. Notes
The INOP light illuminates when the GPWC suffers a
malfunction or power loss. The INOP light illuminates under
four sets of conditions:
GPWC has suffered a malfunction or power loss
GPWC cannot calculate windshear conditions
Failure of a critical input to the GPWC
A GPWS self-test is active

The SYS TEST switch initiates a self-test of the system.


Pushing the SYS TEST switch quickly gives a short
confidence test, and pushing for 5 seconds gives a full
vocabulary test. Several indications on the flight deck
cycle on and off as the test completes:
Below glideslope switches
GPWS INOP light
PULL UP alert on the PFD and HGS
WINDSHEAR alert on the PFD and HGS
WINDSHEAR annunciation on ND
TERR FAIL annunciation on the ND
TERR TEST annunciation on the ND
EGPWS terrain display test pattern on the ND

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