FAA Issues Notice Warning Pilots Not To Silence TAWS Alerts


Late last month, the FAA released an Information for Operators (InFO) notice warning against the dangers of pilots inhibiting terrain avoidance and warning systems (TAWS) aural alerts. According to the notice, “Alerts from TAWS can become a nuisance or a distraction to pilots when flying at altitudes below the alerting threshold of the system. This may result in the pilot’s decision to inhibit the system. Inhibiting warning systems and ignoring warnings, combined with deteriorating weather conditions leading to loss of visual surface reference and situational awareness, has been found to be the cause of some CFIT [controlled flight into terrain] accidents.

“This InFO serves to inform operators about the risks associated with distraction and complacency brought about by routine use of the TAWS’ terrain inhibit feature. It is also intended to ensure operators understand the importance of having procedures and training for the use of the terrain inhibit aural warning switches associated with nuisance alerts.”

The FAA recommends that directors of operations for charter providers (Part 135), private flight department managers (Part 91) and fractional ownership program managers (Part 91, subpart K) “should review their approved training programs to ensure procedures for the use of the terrain warning system inhibit switch is adequately addressed.”

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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  1. When I die, I want to go like my father, peacefully in my sleep. Not screaming in terror like the passengers in the back of his plane.
    – unkown

    “Hey Earl, what the heck are those mountain goats doing up in these clouds?”
    – Gary Larson

  2. I think someone has their terminology mixed up. In the multi-engine turbine planes I have flown there is a EGPWS override switch which cancels those warnings. I am unaware of any TAWS warning override switch. In the Kodak which has the G1000, the TAWS drives you nuts when flying jumpers due to the way jump flights are flown. If you fly jumpers at a private grass field the avionics may not even have the field in the database so you end up with nuisance “terrain pull up” warnings every landing.

    • In the Garmin G650, there’s an option in the terrain page, something like “TAWS Inhibit”. There should be a similar option for the G1000. I’m fairly certain that in both cases, you can even hardwire in a TAWS Inhibit switch if so desired.

    • Depending on the model year, the guarded TAWS Inhibit button for the Kodiak 100 is located under the right-hand side of the center MFD, just to the right of the autopilot control head.