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Home > Flying the Plane > Are pilots so retarded as to require the altimeter callouts?
Are pilots so retarded as to require the altimeter callouts?
Flying - Flying the Plane
Sunday, 03 February 2013 12:03

GPWS test mode on a Boeing 737

Hi Captain,

Why does the GPWS (Ground Proximity Warning System) make such weird call outs like 50, 40,30,20,10. I mean pilots are not retarded.

So it's a kind of stupid because not only are pilots not retarded, most aircraft are fitted with a auto-land system which makes landing almost effortless.

Pilots should be looking at their altitude display and airspeed below 1000 feet at almost all times, not both but at least one of them.

Max

Hi Max,

On the Airbus, the altimeter callouts are not part of the main functions of the GPWS.

The GPWS basically warns the pilot if he is descending too fast, excessively flying into terrain, sinking after take-off, flying too close to the ground, turning too steeply and flying below the prescribed glide slope in a precision landing.

The callouts (50, 40,30,20,10 feet, etc) is the function of two radio altimeters which provide the height of the main landing gear above the runway.

Pilots can still land the plane without the altitude call outs but they are good reminders when flying expensive machines. Hence they are generally installed in airliners and not in any recreational planes in the flying Clubs.

Anyway, only a small percentage of landings are carried out by the autopilots and most airline pilots would prefer a manual landing in good weather to hone their handling skills.

Altimeter call outs come in handy which a trained pilot can also do without. At that stage of the game (at least by around 200 feet above the runway), pilots do not look at the altimeter but rely on the callouts aurally only!

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Auto Call-Outs in an Auto Landing System

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Comments (2)

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Really?
"Are pilots so retarded..."???

Rather immature assertion, Max chum. I hope you've outgrown it by now.
Scred , 17 Sep, 2014
Aural Warning
The aircraft isn't referring to the pilots when it calls out "Retard Retard Retard"
Danny , 05 Jan, 2017

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