September 17 (Sat) 12:00pm In-Flight Terrain Awareness using Terrain and TAWS Displays

Event Date: 
Saturday, September 17, 2016 - 12:00pm

Cockpit technology is becoming more sophisticated and more accessible, which is good news for GA pilots. When used properly, these tools increase our safety in the skies exponentially. One new category of information available to GA pilots is terrain awareness. Terrain Awareness and Warning Systems (TAWS) can vary from simple display of ground elevations to active alerting systems that warn when AGL drops below certain minimums. Newer GPS navigators, including many G1000 displays, include fine-grained displays of terrain and obstacles that can greatly improve the pilot's situational awareness, provided their capabilities and limitations are understood. The goals for all of these systems are to better inform the pilot about terrain separation and to prevent controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) accidents.

In this seminar, SCFC CFII and technology expert Brian Eliot defines and examines the common database-driven terrain awareness functions: basic color-coded terrain and enhanced awareness via TAWS-B. Basic terrain awareness compares the aircraft's altitude and GPS position with detailed underlying 3D maps of terrain and obstacle elevations. TAWS-B adds to this a predictive estimate of aircraft trajectory and audible annunciations of terrain and obstacle hazards. Brian will offer guidance about how to use and interpret these tools in flight.

Presenter Brian Eliot is San Carlos Flight Center’s resident expert for IFR training and Garmin G1000 avionics. He has been flying since 1995 and received all his training in the Bay Area. Brian previously worked as a broadcast engineer, a software developer, and taught computer science at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He regularly presents at San Carlos Flight Center safety seminars and has a reputation for making complex concepts easy to learn and understand.

This event qualifies for FAA Wings credit - click here to register.

Any questions, contact us at (650) 946-1700 or

San Carlos Flight Center is committed to promoting safety in general aviation through our evening safety seminar programs. Space is often limited so it is important to sign up early through the FAA event notification system at FAASAFETY.GOV.

SCFC members may choose to watch the seminar live over the web at home. Contact your SCFC member service rep at (650) 946-1700 to confirm secure online access to any particular seminar.