Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) Prevention

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Views: 2053

The screen of this device is normally in a passive flight following mode showing aircraft position, flight plan route, weather and terrain/obstacles.

The system calculates a predicted flight path. If the predicted flight path detects a potential CFIT situation, the pilot is given an aural warning and the display changes from passive flight following to a 3d look - out - the - window - on - a - clear - day picture. The screen shows the aircraft position, terrain/obstacle, and a visual display of the predicted flight path. Dangerous portions of the predicted flight path are depicted in red.

The pilot can see the safest way to alter the flight path to avoid collision (climb, turn, or a combination of both), and can visually alter the predicted flight path by maneuvering the airplane. As soon as the pilot has maneuvered the airplane to a safe flight path, the flight path display turns green and the system returns to the passive flight following mode.

Most CFIT accidents were caused by a lack of pilot situational awareness; The pilots didn't know where they were relative to terrain/obstacles. In the case of the AA Cali CFIT accident, the terrain was too steep for the state of the art Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS) to give the crew a timely warning. My concept improves situational awareness by providing a 3d picture of airplane position, terrain/obstacles and visual predicted flight path that can be altered by maneuvering the airplane.

Training pilots to use this system is simple because it uses the internationally accepted concept of Red=Bad, Green=Good. The pilot maneuvers the airplane to a safe flight path turning the display from red to green.

This concept can be built into anything from a portable GPS navigation device to built-in avionics.

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  • Name:
    Charles Wood
  • Type of entry:
  • Profession:
    Retired USAF and Boeing Pilot
  • Number of times previously entering contest:
  • Charles's favorite design and analysis tools:
    The mind
  • Charles's hobbies and activities:
    Flight Safety
  • Charles is inspired by:
    The American Airlines CFIT crash in Columbia and many other CFIT accidents could have been prevented if the pilots had better situational awareness. This concept provides better situational awareness, and can be adapted for general aviation use as well as airline operations.
  • Patent status: