RTCA Gets the Ball Rolling on Helicopter TAWS
On September 21, the FAA has scheduled the first public meeting to discuss RTCA's Special Committee (SC) 212 on helicopter terrain awareness and warning systems (TAWS). The committee’s work and recommendations to the FAA could lead to a proposal to require TAWS on private or commercial turbine rotorcraft. Currently, TAWS is required only on certain private and commercial turbine airplanes. SC-212 was established in June at the request of the FAA. An RTCA review of helicopter accident data from 1994 thru 2004 "indicates that controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) is a major contributor to these accidents," said the organization. "Development of helicopter TAWS performance standards to reduce the accidents resulting from CFIT is necessary." To accomplish this, SC-212 is tasked with developing by next March helicopter TAWS protection scenarios for VFR and IFR helicopter operations and, by March 2008, developing minimum operational performance standards for helicopter TAWS.