Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Rumours & News
Reload this Page >

Don Bateman - EGPWS Inventor Retires

Rumours & News Reporting Points that may affect our jobs or lives as professional pilots. Also, items that may be of interest to professional pilots.

Don Bateman - EGPWS Inventor Retires

Old 10th Aug 2016, 16:14
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Toronto
Posts: 2,564
Received 42 Likes on 21 Posts
Don Bateman - EGPWS Inventor Retires

Some of us wouldn't be here if not for his efforts

https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2...safety-device/
RatherBeFlying is offline  
Old 10th Aug 2016, 20:54
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Too far North
Posts: 11
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Than you Don.

Most will never know.
SunnyUpHere is offline  
Old 10th Aug 2016, 21:05
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: surfing, watching for sharks
Posts: 4,097
Received 62 Likes on 40 Posts
To paraphrase RR...

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. Don doesn't have that problem.”

Fair winds and a following sea, enjoy retirement, you've earned it.
West Coast is offline  
Old 10th Aug 2016, 23:39
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: down under
Posts: 464
Received 10 Likes on 5 Posts
it would be interesting to read about the purchase of data from the former Soviet Union. I think a book could be written about that aspect alone of his extraordinary work.
cooperplace is offline  
Old 11th Aug 2016, 01:28
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: 41S174E
Age: 57
Posts: 3,139
Received 538 Likes on 151 Posts
Both Bateman and Daly wonder whether the decades-long effort to develop and improve the warning system would be possible in today’s risk-averse corporate world.

“Today new projects need to be blessed by many people,” Daly said. “You need to have hard evidence. They just would not speculatively fund something like this, especially when we were being resisted by the aircraft manufacturers, the airlines.

“But Don’s faith, the genius of his team and a little support from the company -- and it happened.”
That is an interesting point. At some stages his ideas were considered "crazy" , ( ie getting the terrain data from Russia). If it was all happening now I imagine he would have been stone-walled at several different stages along the way. Progress?
framer is offline  
Old 11th Aug 2016, 01:35
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Earth
Posts: 101
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If you do not have a billionaire like Elon Musk or private investors willing to take losses for an eventual pay-off you have many government programs which are today very underfunded because of budget cuts. This is what happens when taxes on those that can pay them, are so very low.
413X3 is offline  
Old 11th Aug 2016, 02:36
  #7 (permalink)  
Paxing All Over The World
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Hertfordshire, UK.
Age: 67
Posts: 10,214
Received 72 Likes on 58 Posts
... especially when we were being resisted by the aircraft manufacturers, the airlines.
Ah yes, the aircraft manufacturers and the airlines: The Tombstone Imperative: The Truth about Air SafetyBook by Andrew Weir. Yet this invention has saved them countless millions of dollars and prevented some from going out of business! But when everyone tells you are crazy - you must be on to something.
PAXboy is offline  
Old 11th Aug 2016, 03:43
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: 500 miles from Chaikhosi, Yogistan
Posts: 4,324
Received 157 Likes on 74 Posts
I think what makes this more remarkable is the persistence and resolution he showed to solve a problem that the industry hadn't started looking for a solution to yet. He was working against the industry status quo. A much greater achievement than had there been a grant and competitive processes to find the solution.
compressor stall is online now  
Old 11th Aug 2016, 05:35
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Accruing MilliSiverts
Posts: 562
Received 20 Likes on 8 Posts
Only retired that's great, thought you were going to say he'd died.

Obviously a smart cookie that man.

When he does finally pass away and they lower him into the grave, it'd be rather wonderful if within the casket they had a device which halfway down blurted out "Too Low Terrain Too Low Terrain"
Al E. Vator is offline  
Old 11th Aug 2016, 11:44
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Den Haag
Age: 57
Posts: 6,381
Received 384 Likes on 221 Posts
Pretty sure he's been retired (he's 84) for all intents and purposes for a while, having handed the 'baton' to Yasuo Ishihari.
212man is online now  
Old 11th Aug 2016, 13:29
  #11 (permalink)  
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: On the Beach
Posts: 3,336
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
framer:

That is an interesting point. At some stages his ideas were considered "crazy" , ( ie getting the terrain data from Russia). If it was all happening now I imagine he would have been stone-walled at several different stages along the way. Progress?
Government fiat moved first GPWS and subsequently EGPWS. Don was always ahead of the "power curve" but the airlines wanted no part of GPWS. (pretty much the same inertia then as today.)

Then TWA 514 plowed into a speck of a hill west of Dulles on December 1, 1974. Within a short period of time then-FAA Administrator Butterfield (of Nixon fame) mandated GPWS. (Most airlines went for GPS, however.)

But, GPWS didn't save AAL 965 from plowing into the mountains north of Cali, Colombia. Some thought if could have, had the crew retracted the speed brakes. But, they didn't so they just missed clearing a ridge line. By the time of this crash (12-20-1995) GPS was operational and Don already had a working model of his EGPWS.

Having worked with Don on TWA 514 I was invited to see the beta model of the EGPWS in his unit's King Air. I was impressed. So were the regulatory movers and shakers.

Unbelievable at the time, the FAA didn't mandate GPS be used as the positioning engine for EGPWS because some airlines complained (whined) that their airplanes were IRU/DME/DME RNAV and they didn't want to shell out an additional $1,500 per old RNAV airplane. So the FAA let them use IRU/DME/DME as the positioning engine.
aterpster is offline  
Old 11th Aug 2016, 13:31
  #12 (permalink)  
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: On the Beach
Posts: 3,336
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
212man:

Pretty sure he's been retired (he's 84) for all intents and purposes for a while, having handed the 'baton' to Yasuo Ishihari.
He went to work for a normal work day right up to the announcement.
aterpster is offline  
Old 12th Aug 2016, 09:35
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: An Island Province
Posts: 1,257
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Don will never retire because he has a passion for saving life. He takes every CFIT accident personally, like it was his fault, not as a failure but a challenge to do even better.
I have had the honour to have known Don as a professional and friend, and in a very very small way within industry to have worked with him.
As a systems designer Don's great attributes revolve around openness and listening; to pilots, operators, and engineers, all based on an endless desire to do better. New ideas and equipment first sought operational assessment and comment. He sponsored local demonstrations, regional meetings, safety forums, and reinforced a vast list of individual contacts.

Every CFIT accident was a personal challenge to learn everything that could be discovered about it to prevent similar events. Even after the successes of EGPWS, every CFIT incident or near miss was used an opportunity to learn and improve the systems; a fantastic role model for aviation safety.

In engineering, Don did not take 'no', or 'unable' lightly, and revelled in the challenge of FAA certification (he didn't suffer 'these' fools gladly).

Although it's some years since we met, the memory of his drive, energy, and passion will remain for ever.
alf5071h is offline  
Old 12th Aug 2016, 17:06
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Balmullo,Scotland
Posts: 933
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Alf I was just about to say the same thing in that He will never retire.
matkat is offline  
Old 15th Aug 2016, 13:38
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Dortmund
Age: 55
Posts: 63
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I remember a 2011 conference paper, "Some Thoughts on Reducing the Risk of Aircraft Loss of Control", where Bateman described some of his ideas for further improving flight safety. I'd say that on a "revolutionary" (or "controversial") scale from 1 to 10, he covered the whole range. Examples include:
  • Use GPS data to detect when the aircraft is lining up for takeoff, then warn about flaps if necessary.
  • Improved guidance for upset recovery: In an unusual attitude a big curved arrow appears on the PFD, meaning "roll this way to level wings".
  • The speed tape on today's EFIS is wrong, it should be flipped upside down, to prevent pilots from intuitively pitching down in an overspeed situation. [1]
  • Let EGPWS overrule the pilot (a bit like Airbus normal law already does for AoA protection), so that the plane cannot make ground contact anywhere except on a runway included in the database. [2]
http://www.skybrary.aero/bookshelf/books/1372.pdf

[1] To be fair, he admits that this design detail has been discussed and settled back in the 1980s, and changing it might cause confusion of its own.
[2] No, I'm not making this up. It's there, on page 13 in the conference paper. And Honeywell has already demonstrated, in a real airplane, automatic recoveries from near-CFIT situations.
noske is offline  
Old 15th Aug 2016, 15:12
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: An Island Province
Posts: 1,257
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
noske, all correct. I was at that meeting or similar, and was able to discussed some of the issues with Don.
  • GPS is implemented, as and when fitted as a nav position sensor, or with the option of GPS within EGPWS.
  • Upset recovery was progressed, but AFAIR the manufactures/operators did not not want to pay without a mandate; they and the regulators believed (still do) that pilots can be trained for the unexpected.
  • Speed Tape, so right as ever. There was a reluctance to change after Gulfstream and Airbus has designs approved, even though the option to 'invert' the tape was available in several other types (737 / Avro RJ).
  • Auto pull-up was flown and tested as part of the US mil programme post 9/11. The civil development suffered 'lawyer fright', the risk of being sued in the event of a malfunction and hurting unrestrained passengers. The latter, in comparison with other risks and that of EGPWS reliability, has been shown to be unfounded. A FD version was considered, but again manufactures/operators were reluctance to invest in safety without a mandate.
alf5071h is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.