Next TAWS Mandate Could Cover Helicopters

 - December 5, 2007, 12:08 PM

In the wake of an NTSB recommendation that urges the use of terrain awareness and warning systems (TAWS) in aeromedical helicopter operations, the technology appears to be getting a closer look from the rotorcraft community.

The NTSB in late January noted that there has been an increase in fatal helicopter accidents in recent years, and said TAWS could have played a role in preventing a significant number of crashes involving controlled flight into terrain or obstacles. The FAA is said to be considering a TAWS mandate that would include helicopters, although details have been slow to emerge.

At the Heli-Expo show in Dallas last month, TAWS manufacturers highlighted their newest terrain warning systems. Honeywell planned to offer customers and the press demonstration flights in an AStar carrying the helicopter version of the company’s enhanced ground proximity warning system. Chelton Flight Systems was at the show touting its class-A and -B helicopter TAWS, now designated by the company as H-TAWS.