Mr Spaceman
Topic Author
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Automated Cockpit Voice Callouts?

Thu Jul 14, 2005 3:19 am

Hi guys.

I did a search first .... but came up empty, so here we go!

After watching many videos on http://www.flightlevel350.com that were taken from the cockpits of airliners during landing, I've heard the usual "automated" voice that calls out the aircraft's altitude during short final .... you know .....

.... "Five Hundred ... Four Hundred ...Three Hundred ... Two Hundred ... One Hundred ... Fifty ... Fourty ... Thirty ... Twenty ... Ten"

Sometimes you even hear "Five!". Some aircraft also call out "Minimums". I guess it depends on the aircraft type or perhaps the pilots can select what Altitude Alerts they want.

My first question is .... are these callouts based on the Radio Altimeter for the best accuracy (which I believe they are), or are they based on the Barametric Pressure the pilots have set their regular altimeters to?

These next questions are based on a neat cockpit video taken during the repositioning flight of a Gulfstream G IV Bizjet from Van Nuys to Long Beach, California.

During short final you hear the usual altitude callouts (in a male voice), but then, after landing & during the rollout, as the G IV gets closer to the end of the runway you hear these callouts (in a female voice) ......

........ "Four Thousand Remaining" ... Three Thousand Remaining"

........ and then the pilots exit the runway before any more callouts.

My questions are ......

> Do most airliners also have automated voice callouts for the amount of runway remaining after landing? Or is this a feature that only some airliners & bizjets may have as an option?

The main reason why I'm asking about whether or not airliners typically have a Remaining Runway callout system too is because I've never heard it in any airliner cockpit videos, but, I though that could be because the airliners usually exit the runway far before the end (but not always), thus maybe the warning system wasn't activated yet.

> How does this Remaining Runway warning system work? Is it based on GPS signals, or is there a different type of equipment used that's required in both the aircraft and at the end of the runway? - for example.

> Finally, the G IV in the video vacated the runway after the 3000 feet remaining callout. If it kept on rolling out, how many more callouts would the system have to offer? For example would the pilots hear ........

..... "Two Thousand Remaining ... One Thousand Remaining ... Five Hundred Remaining" etc, etc, right down to "Ten Feet Remaining"?


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Photo © Josep Manchado



PS, if you go to the flightlevel350.com website and type the word Gulfstream into the Keywords window & click on search ...... the second video down is the cockpit one I'm talking about. I didn't link the video because of Copyright Rules.

Thanks,

Chris

[Edited 2005-07-13 20:26:32]

[Edited 2005-07-13 20:42:40]
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Ralgha
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RE: Automated Cockpit Voice Callouts?

Thu Jul 14, 2005 3:44 am

Quoting Mr Spaceman (Thread starter):
My first question is .... are these callouts based on the Radio Altimeter for the best accuracy (which I believe they are), or are they based on the Barametric Pressure the pilots have set their regular altimeters to?

Radio altimeter.

Quoting Mr Spaceman (Thread starter):
Do most airliners also have automated voice callouts for the amount of runway remaining after landing?

Not the ones I've flown up front in, but that's not a great enough number for me to make a general ruling.

Quoting Mr Spaceman (Thread starter):
I though that could be because the airliners usually exit the runway far before the end (but not always), thus maybe the warning system wasn't activated yet.

Obviously you haven't been to some of our airports! Big grin

Quoting Mr Spaceman (Thread starter):
How does this Remaining Runway warning system work? Is it based on GPS signals

Most likely, I happen to prefer eyes.
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avioniker
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RE: Automated Cockpit Voice Callouts?

Thu Jul 14, 2005 4:04 am

On HUD equipped aircraft there is an option for a remaining runway readout. An audio callout is in development and testing. I have no idea when it'll be in common use.
Currently you know how much runway is left by looking out the window and reading the white number on the big black sign, adding two zeros and deciding how much brake/reverse you need.
The altitude callouts are programmed by strapping or software (depending on the manufacturer of your GPWS box) to give you the desired information. As Ralgha said the input comes from the Rad Alt because you need above ground not above sea level. Current GPS isn't fast enough to feed the data to the system reliably.
One may educate the ignorance from the unknowing but stupid is forever. Boswell; ca: 1533
 
Mr Spaceman
Topic Author
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RE: Automated Cockpit Voice Callouts?

Thu Jul 14, 2005 5:14 am

Hi guys.

>> Ralgha & Avioniker.

Thanks for your answers.

Quoting Ralgha (Reply 1):
Most likely, I happen to prefer eyes.



Quoting Avioniker (Reply 2):
Currently you know how much runway is left by looking out the window and reading the white number on the big black sign, adding two zeros and deciding how much brake/reverse you need.

I would prefer to be able to see the end of the runway during rollout too if I were a pilot landing an airliner or bizjet (or anything for that matter!). The signs that Avioniker mentioned must work fine for flight crews, but I suspect airline pilots that are doing a CAT III landing in foggy conditions onto a runway that's not the longest wouldn't mind having those remaining runway callouts though.

Quoting Avioniker (Reply 2):
As Ralgha said the input comes from the Rad Alt because you need above ground not above sea level.

Well, that makes perfect sense .... which is probably why I didn't think of it!  Silly

Quoting Avioniker (Reply 2):
On HUD equipped aircraft there is an option for a remaining runway readout. An audio callout is in development and testing.

I wonder if the 737-8's that AAR90 flies for AA are equipped with HUDs that have the runway readout option?


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Photo © Bryan Weber
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Photo © Denis Roschlau



You can see the Remaining Runway signs in these shots at La Guardia, NY (KLGA) where I'm sure the pilots really keep an eye on them!


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Photo © Phil Derner Jr.
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Photo © Phil Derner Jr.



Chris  Smile
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Woodreau
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RE: Automated Cockpit Voice Callouts?

Thu Jul 14, 2005 7:27 am

Well if you can't see the runway remaining signs, you can use the centerline lights, if they switch to red and which you know you've got 3000 feet of runway left.  Smile (If you're doing a CAT III landing, those centerline lights better be there)
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vikkyvik
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RE: Automated Cockpit Voice Callouts?

Thu Jul 14, 2005 7:42 am

Couple of nitpicky things (I have nothing better to do).

Make sure to add THREE zeros to the distance remaining signs (at least everywhere I've seen). 10 = 10,000 feet, 3 = 3,000 feet etc.

Also, the centerline lights switch to alternating white and red at 3,000 feet remaining. The runway edge lights switch to all red (or amber i guess, I've heard both) at 2,000 feet remaining. The centerline lights switch to all red at 1,000 feet remaining.

There are also the touchdown zone markers, which on precision runways generally extend to 3,000 feet from the threshold (depending on runway length), spaced every 500 feet. These are the large white marks extending down the runway in the LGA photos. Though even though your approach end of the runway may have these, the opposite end might not.

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AAR90
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RE: Automated Cockpit Voice Callouts?

Thu Jul 14, 2005 7:14 pm

Quoting Mr Spaceman (Reply 3):
I wonder if the 737-8's that AAR90 flies for AA are equipped with HUDs that have the runway readout option?

Yes!
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Tornado82
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RE: Automated Cockpit Voice Callouts?

Fri Jul 15, 2005 12:50 am

Quoting AAR90 (Reply 6):
Quoting Mr Spaceman (Reply 3):
I wonder if the 737-8's that AAR90 flies for AA are equipped with HUDs that have the runway readout option?

Yes!

AAR90: Do those call outs work on all runways @ all airports then, or only CatII/III equipped?? If they work on all r/w's, I assume they must be GPS? Also, do you guys use the HUDs only in CatII/III conditions or are they used more often?

Thanks!! Always good to hear answers from the guys who know first hand and want to spread their knowledge with those of us here!
 
barney captain
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RE: Automated Cockpit Voice Callouts?

Fri Jul 15, 2005 2:54 am

I can't speak for the Marconi HUD that AAR90 uses, but here at WN, the new Flight Dynamics 4000 (N200WN and later) requires an input to tell the HUD computer total runway length. It uses a combination of inputs to determine touchdown point and then displays remaining rnwy length, so yes it will work on most runways (CATIII or not).

As far as use of the HUD goes, it varies greatly between crews. I personally only use it when shooting (or staying current on) an actual approach. There is a lot of good information on it, but I've found it to be a little distracting if not needed.
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avioniker
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RE: Automated Cockpit Voice Callouts?

Fri Jul 15, 2005 3:00 am

OW! OW! OW! OW! OW!
sorry for the loss of the zero

The AA 37's use the BAE HUD which is identical to the units installed in the F-16's and C-17's with some small customization of the installation to make it work and provide meaningful symbology to the AA pilots. (You could have knocked me over with a feather when I saw my old "buddy" from my AF days being installed and tested in the AA aircraft.) Same computer, same projector, about the only thing different in the hardware is the glass which has to be movable for commercial applications.
The runway remaining is a function of inertial measurements compared to a database, or pilot pre-landing input, and known position at touchdown. It isn't foolproof but it's better than what we had before. I don't believe that AA is using the database interface. It's actually pretty old technology compared to the NG aircraft.
There are two other HUD systems that are light years ahead (technologically speaking) of the BAE system. They can be interfaced via 429 databus with any position source and provide accuracy limited to the capabilities of the input source.
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AAR90
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RE: Automated Cockpit Voice Callouts?

Fri Jul 15, 2005 6:07 am

Quoting Tornado82 (Reply 7):
AAR90: Do those call outs work on all runways @ all airports then, or only CatII/III equipped?? If they work on all r/w's, I assume they must be GPS? Also, do you guys use the HUDs only in CatII/III conditions or are they used more often?

Radio Altimeter based callouts so they'll "speak" during all landings.
HUD use is required for all takeoffs and landings if it is working. Primarily to reduce tailstrike potential. When I really want to practice non-HUD flying and I'm having trouble "looking past" (ignoring the symbology) I simply turn down the intensity.  Wink

Quoting Avioniker (Reply 9):
I don't believe that AA is using the database interface.

Yes we do. Input the approach or just the runway from the FMS database and everything becomes available.  Smile
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