Shutting up the TAWS

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BlueYonder
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Shutting up the TAWS

Postby BlueYonder » Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:53 pm

How do y'all get the TAWS to shut the &*#%$ up?

I'm in the pattern at a towered airport with a CFI in the right seat and six other planes in the pattern. The headset chatter is filling my head. There's ATC, talking fast as they juggle the traffic. There's the instructor, giving the directions that will shave a few more feet off my short-field landing. And then there's the TAWS, breaking in constantly and senselessly to bray at me about the location of every one of the other planes. It's just more than I can process all at one time. (That fourth voice you hear? That would be me, yelling at the TAWS to STFU. It doesn't make her stop, of course, but it does blow off some of my building frustration. More than once, my otherwise calm CFI has been driven to howl right along with me.)

I've found the INHIBIT button, which at least slows her down a bit. But is there a way to just turn the dang thing off entirely when it's more of a hindrance than a help? In a busy pattern, ATC's already got the other traffic in hand, so she adds absolutely nothing useful to the proceedings -- and, in fact, I've missed important tower instructions because she stepped on them.

It's also not always as helpful as it's intended to be in hilly or low-elevation flying environments. Between my own eyes and the MFD's heat map, I'm well aware that there's TERRAIN TERRAIN TERRAIN a few hundred feet under my wing, thanks. If I've chosen to be right where I am and intend to stay this course, it would be nice not to have the plane nagging me about it constantly for the next several minutes.

What are my options here? Mostly, I really appreciate this feature -- but there are times when it's more hindrance than help.
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Re: Shutting up the TAWS

Postby dgger » Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:11 pm

Not sure what you mean with the Inhibit Button.

I can disable the aural terrain warnings in the menu on the "heat map" page. The first item in the menu reads "inhibit terrain" and does just that.

EDIT: typo
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Re: Shutting up the TAWS

Postby waynemcc999 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:24 pm

In my 2008 XLS G1000W... I (oddly enough) disable the "DME" button on the com panel. There's a note on my panel that indicates "Select DME for traffic audio".
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Re: Shutting up the TAWS

Postby Rick » Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:48 pm

Sara,

I'm confused. Are you wanting to stop the Traffic callouts, or the Terrain alerts? At first, I just thought you were confusing TAWS with Traffic alerts, but after re-reading your post, it sounds like you are complaining about both kinds of alerts?

Anyhow, on the MFD, in the first group of pages, you can turn off one or both of these warnings. On the "TRAFFIC MAP" page (the second page in the first group), there is "MUTE" button that will stop the traffic callouts until you turn them back on, or reboot the G1000. On the "TAWS" page (the 4th page in the first group, I think) there is an INHIBIT button that stops the terrain callouts.

I hope that helps!
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Re: Shutting up the TAWS

Postby BlueYonder » Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:21 pm

Actually, it may be that I'm the one who's confused. I assumed (since it was the same voice) that TAWS was doing both the traffic and terrain warnings. If they're separate, that's actually great, because I find the in-pattern traffic warnings far more annoying (and on occasion, dangerous!) than the occasional terrain warnings when I'm out in the middle of nowhere in cruise.

The best practice would probably be to add "turn off traffic alerts" to the pre-takeoff and pattern re-entry checklists (when at towered airports only); and a second checklist item to turn them back on when leaving the pattern and setting up for cruise. Once I leave the pattern, I really want that function active.

INHIBIT doesn't seem to actually stop the terrain callouts. It just makes her a bit less sensitive about what she calls out. You're still going to get "sink rate" and "PULL UP PULL UP" if she gets nervous enough. That's probably not a bad thing.
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Re: Shutting up the TAWS

Postby ThomasD » Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:11 pm

Actually, as others have said, it is the TCAS that you need to make quiet (the TAWS will not enunciate when you are within an ATZ)
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Re: Shutting up the TAWS

Postby Antoine » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:51 pm

Lol Sara, I can relate to that.
I once took off in difficult weather in a mountainous area and the TAWS literally crippled my communication with ATC while I was trying to negotiate my IFR join...
Reminds me of the crazy PDC in "smart" cars. You know when you're trying to shoehorn it in a tight place and this thing beeps the hell out of your ears?
Sadly, I believe that the purpose of these assistance systems is severely distorted by the "liability" aspect. They are designed to satisfy the lawyers - they could be much leaner/less invasive if this aspect were not present.
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Re: Shutting up the TAWS

Postby BlueYonder » Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:17 pm

Thomas, thanks for clarifying. Will play with the TCAS settings and see if I can make things better.

Antoine, I've heard from fighter pilots that their planes come loaded with these kinds of audio warnings -- and the first thing most of them do upon takeoff is shut all or most of them down. They find that the chatter seriously interferes with their very tight (and very high-stakes) OODA loops, and makes them significantly less effective at their jobs. In the combat environment, this kind of "protection" -- which looks great to engineers and lawyers on the ground -- just becomes too risky to accept.

And agreed: I liked cars a lot better when they didn't beep at you constantly. The only vehicle where this seems like it's worth the trouble is my husband's MB Sprinter campervan conversion (he has his toys, I have mine), which is nimble for its size -- but still big enough that having some extra electronic "eyes" around the blind spots and back end is usually appreciated.
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Re: Shutting up the TAWS

Postby Antoine » Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:14 am

Well I'm glad I am not the only one here thinking that something is seriously wrong. Makes me kind of sway towards the "6-pack" camp...
It would be so easy to add a feature to TAWS that allows the pilot to say "VMC, all well leave me alone" and to TCAS saying "now warnings until landing".
1% design and development, 99% write-up of legal disclaimer that the user must approve at every occurence...
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Re: Shutting up the TAWS

Postby CFIDave » Sat Mar 18, 2017 8:54 pm

As noted, there are two separate inhibit soft keys associated with the two different MFD pages for traffic (TIS or TAS) vs. for terrain (TAWS). You can shut each of them up as desired.

It's unusual to be bothered by TAWS alerts, however. When in the vicinity of an airport, the only TAWS alert you should be hearing in a DA40 is a single "FIVE HUNDRED" alert (telling that you're now within 500 feet from the ground), usually heard about mid-base leg when flying the pattern. (DA42s and DA62s don't have a TAWS option.)

An exception is if you're landing at a private airport that's not known to the G1000, then the G1000 "freaks out" giving you way too many TERRAIN, TERRAIN, PULL UP! audio warnings that drive the pilot crazy. The first time I encountered this was landing a DA40 at the private Nemacolin mountain resort in western Pennsylvania -- which at the time was not included in the G1000's Navdata database. The incessant alerts were really obnoxious, and I was too busy landing the plane via a narrow opening thru the trees to remember where to find the inhibit softkey on the G1000.
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