Incident: TCAS and TAWS after departure

I just read an interesting short article about an incident on a Condor A320.

The airplane was climbing out of Kavala (Greece) on August 16, 2018 when a TCAS warning was received. The pilots were instructed to climb and they followed that instruction. Shortly after, the TCAS warning changed and the pilots were instructed to descend. Again, they did as instructed.

That descend did result in a TAWS terrain warning though and the pilots were forced to initiate a terrain escape maneuver.

That must have been one hell of a confusion. First a TCAS climb, then a TCAS descend and then a TAWS. And everything shortly after departure.

Here’s the link to the article:

The incident is under investigation. I’m sure the results will be pretty interesting.


Yeah, those pilots must’ve been so confused.


Interesting. TCAS and TAWS systems are largely independent IIRC. If there weren’t any conflict in the area, there should not have been an RA, to begin with. The pilots took correct action by allowing the TAWS system to take precedence over the TCAS RA. Gremlin in the system?


TCAS isn’t supposed to continue to command a descent if in proximity to the ground. All RAs are inhibited under 1,000ft on the radio altimeter. This will be interesting to keep an eye on.


This is why they say “when all else fails simply fly the airplane”. Sounds like some bugs need worked out of that system. Probably just needs a software update right? 😉

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TCAS II had a recent (2011) update available, mostly in response to the Uberlingen disaster. One of the countermeasures includes replacing “adjust vertical speed” with a new “level off, level off” when appropriate. If indeed this incident aircraft was equipped with TCAS II 7.1, this should be the outcome, based on what is known.


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