Airborne Express to Test Terrain Awareness System

WILMINGTON, OHIO - Feb. 24, 2003 - During the week of Feb. 24, Airborne Express will be conducting flight tests involving a Terrain Awareness Warning System (TAWS) recently installed on one of its DC-9 aircraft. The tests will involve several low approaches to the airport in Wilmington as well as approaches below the usual pattern altitude.

"Residents may notice the aircraft much closer to the ground than they usually see it while it is in the approach pattern - as much as 10 miles out from the airport," according to Senior Vice President of Flight Operations Bob Morgenfeld. "We need to make these approaches to ensure the system is installed properly and that it interfaces properly with the aircraft."

TAWS, manufactured by Universal Avionics Systems Corp. and distributed by DAC International, has a database of terrain or geographic information for every airport in the world with a runway longer than 2,000 feet. This ground collision avoidance system will help pilots be aware of the terrain as they approach the airport - even if they have flown into that airport before. TAWS replaces a system currently in use (Ground Proximity Warning System - GPWS) on Airborne Express aircraft.

In 2001, Airborne Express tested and installed this system on its DC-8 fleet. The FAA is requiring terrain awareness systems for all aircraft by March 30, 2005. Following successful testing of this system, Airborne Express will install it on all of its DC-9 aircraft with the last installation expected by December of 2004.

For more information, contact ABX Air