|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||airport : gva|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 7100|
msl bound upper : 7100
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : gva|
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||Large Transport, Low Wing, 2 Turbojet Eng|
|Navigation In Use||Other |
|Flight Phase||descent other|
|Route In Use||enroute : on vectors|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 100|
flight time total : 15000
flight time type : 115
|Function||flight crew : first officer|
|Qualification||pilot : commercial|
pilot : instrument
|Anomaly||other spatial deviation|
|Independent Detector||aircraft equipment other aircraft equipment : unspecified|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : took evasive action|
|Consequence||faa : investigated|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
We were on descent to gva for runway 23. Before spr (arrival from northwest, cdg gva), runway changed to 05. Vectors to downwind (after initial direct pas). Descend to 9000 then 7000'. After programming FMC for new approach, I tried to contact company on new frequency with no luck. Noticed copilot over 250 KTS below 10000' but was slowing. Approaching 7000' (about 7100'), GPWS activated with 'terrain, terrain,' then 'whoop whoop pull up.' we were at a very low sink rate and 250 KTS approaching 7000' when it activated. We were in WX, no visibility. Copilot reached for autoflt panel to climb (we were on autoplt). I yelled, 'climb now,' very forcefully. When there was no immediate response, I hit autoplt disconnect and pulled up. GPWS stopped and we leveled about 9200'. I explained our climb to gva approach. He said we had had sufficient terrain clearance. Further approach was uneventful. Our approach chart shows a 5575' point north of pas. The departure chart shows a 5637' point in general area. I don't know what is just beyond expanded area. Our area chart shows an 8000' minimum area but no terrain. One cabin attendant was slightly injured on pull up (bruised rear). Observations: copilot admits he froze in automatic mode. This really upset him passenger reacted well after I promptly explained situation on P/a. I have no reason to believe GPWS warning valid, but I still don't know. Both copilot and I thought we had climbed aircraft. We must have both pulled up at once. Initial climb was crisp but not violent. I think copilot's reaction was not that unusual in super automatic type airplanes. GPWS terrain warning is useless unless crew reacts instantly. A surprise GPWS activation should be included in simulator training when crew is in autoflt mode. I don't think it's reasonable to expect instant transition to manual climb unless it is practiced, especially in the newer planes where autoflt is emphasized. I asked company to investigate the actual terrain at the point of our GPWS warning. I know you would like the altimeter setting, but I turned in paperwork and forgot it. If I get further information that would interest you (actual terrain conflict), I will send another report. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following: this has happened before in this location. A foreign carrier has conducted extensive research. There is a 5637' hill in the area that shows on the departure chart, but it is not depicted on the approach chart. The chart publisher has been contacted and they said they would include this hill on further approach charts. Reporter was particularly disturbed by the fact that his skilled and competent first officer froze in the machine mode and tried to comply with the GPWS instructions with the autoplt controls rather than executing an immediate pullup manually.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: DURING VECTORS TO A FOREIGN ARPT, LGT HAD TERRAIN WARNING FOLLOWED BY GPWS PULL UP WARNING.
Narrative: WE WERE ON DSCNT TO GVA FOR RWY 23. BEFORE SPR (ARR FROM NW, CDG GVA), RWY CHANGED TO 05. VECTORS TO DOWNWIND (AFTER INITIAL DIRECT PAS). DSND TO 9000 THEN 7000'. AFTER PROGRAMMING FMC FOR NEW APCH, I TRIED TO CONTACT COMPANY ON NEW FREQ WITH NO LUCK. NOTICED COPLT OVER 250 KTS BELOW 10000' BUT WAS SLOWING. APCHING 7000' (ABOUT 7100'), GPWS ACTIVATED WITH 'TERRAIN, TERRAIN,' THEN 'WHOOP WHOOP PULL UP.' WE WERE AT A VERY LOW SINK RATE AND 250 KTS APCHING 7000' WHEN IT ACTIVATED. WE WERE IN WX, NO VIS. COPLT REACHED FOR AUTOFLT PANEL TO CLB (WE WERE ON AUTOPLT). I YELLED, 'CLB NOW,' VERY FORCEFULLY. WHEN THERE WAS NO IMMEDIATE RESPONSE, I HIT AUTOPLT DISCONNECT AND PULLED UP. GPWS STOPPED AND WE LEVELED ABOUT 9200'. I EXPLAINED OUR CLB TO GVA APCH. HE SAID WE HAD HAD SUFFICIENT TERRAIN CLRNC. FURTHER APCH WAS UNEVENTFUL. OUR APCH CHART SHOWS A 5575' POINT NORTH OF PAS. THE DEP CHART SHOWS A 5637' POINT IN GENERAL AREA. I DON'T KNOW WHAT IS JUST BEYOND EXPANDED AREA. OUR AREA CHART SHOWS AN 8000' MINIMUM AREA BUT NO TERRAIN. ONE CABIN ATTENDANT WAS SLIGHTLY INJURED ON PULL UP (BRUISED REAR). OBSERVATIONS: COPLT ADMITS HE FROZE IN AUTO MODE. THIS REALLY UPSET HIM PAX REACTED WELL AFTER I PROMPTLY EXPLAINED SITUATION ON P/A. I HAVE NO REASON TO BELIEVE GPWS WARNING VALID, BUT I STILL DON'T KNOW. BOTH COPLT AND I THOUGHT WE HAD CLIMBED ACFT. WE MUST HAVE BOTH PULLED UP AT ONCE. INITIAL CLB WAS CRISP BUT NOT VIOLENT. I THINK COPLT'S REACTION WAS NOT THAT UNUSUAL IN SUPER AUTO TYPE AIRPLANES. GPWS TERRAIN WARNING IS USELESS UNLESS CREW REACTS INSTANTLY. A SURPRISE GPWS ACTIVATION SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN SIMULATOR TRNING WHEN CREW IS IN AUTOFLT MODE. I DON'T THINK IT'S REASONABLE TO EXPECT INSTANT TRANSITION TO MANUAL CLB UNLESS IT IS PRACTICED, ESPECIALLY IN THE NEWER PLANES WHERE AUTOFLT IS EMPHASIZED. I ASKED COMPANY TO INVESTIGATE THE ACTUAL TERRAIN AT THE POINT OF OUR GPWS WARNING. I KNOW YOU WOULD LIKE THE ALTIMETER SETTING, BUT I TURNED IN PAPERWORK AND FORGOT IT. IF I GET FURTHER INFO THAT WOULD INTEREST YOU (ACTUAL TERRAIN CONFLICT), I WILL SEND ANOTHER RPT. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING: THIS HAS HAPPENED BEFORE IN THIS LOCATION. A FOREIGN CARRIER HAS CONDUCTED EXTENSIVE RESEARCH. THERE IS A 5637' HILL IN THE AREA THAT SHOWS ON THE DEP CHART, BUT IT IS NOT DEPICTED ON THE APCH CHART. THE CHART PUBLISHER HAS BEEN CONTACTED AND THEY SAID THEY WOULD INCLUDE THIS HILL ON FURTHER APCH CHARTS. RPTR WAS PARTICULARLY DISTURBED BY THE FACT THAT HIS SKILLED AND COMPETENT F/O FROZE IN THE MACHINE MODE AND TRIED TO COMPLY WITH THE GPWS INSTRUCTIONS WITH THE AUTOPLT CTLS RATHER THAN EXECUTING AN IMMEDIATE PULLUP MANUALLY.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of August 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.