PHOENIX, March 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Don Bateman, corporate fellow and chief engineer technologist for Flight Safety Systems and Technology at Honeywell Aerospace (NYSE: HON), has been recognized with the 2013 Elmer A. Sperry Award for Enhancing the Art of Transportation by developing life-saving technology that has eliminated accidents and saved thousands of lives.
The Elmer A. Sperry board recognized Bateman for his development of Honeywell's Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS), a terrain awareness and warning system, which has been responsible for reducing Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) accident risk. Bateman and his team continued to develop GPWS, which evolved into Honeywell's Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS) that has reduced CFIT accidents from about one in every 3 million flights to less than one in every 20 million flights. Bateman received the award on March 3, 2014, at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Aerospace Conference in Big Sky, Mont.
"Growing up, I learned the stories of Lawrence Sperry and his father, Elmer A. Sperry, whose genius changed aviation forever," Bateman said. "The Sperry message was simple to me: Elegant technology can grow into businesses small and large, and that motivated me to use my love of engineering and technology to advance aviation safety."
CFIT accidents happen when pilots who have aircraft in their control inadvertently fly into unseen terrain, such as a mountain or body of water. Motivated to eliminate these types of accidents, Bateman began his initial work on the technology that would become GPWS in the late 1960s. In 1974, the FAA mandated that all large jet aircraft have GPWS installed, and CFIT accidents have dramatically reduced since then.