Seattle Royal Aeronautical Society

Lecture at the Museum of Flight
6:00 p.m., Tuesday, 17 May 2005

C. Don Bateman
   C. Don Bateman

"Overcoming Flight Safety Barriers", given by Mr. C. Don Bateman, Chief Engineer and Technologist for Honeywell's Flight Safety Systems and Technology Group based in Redmond.

Don is the recipient of the prestigious GAPAN (Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators) Cumberbatch Trophy in 1996.  The Cumberbatch Trophy is awarded to a person or persons outstanding contributions to air safety, whether by the development of techniques contribution to safer flight, by improvements in ground equipment and services, or by improvements in aircraft and component design.

On 14 May 2005, Don was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron, Ohio, for his invention of the Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS) and the Enhanced GPWS. 

Don and his small engineering team have focused through the years on cockpit tools to help reduce the risk of flight.  Various instruments that have evolved have been stall prevention systems, head up displays, wind shear detection and annunciation systems, runway awareness and advisories, and Ground Proximity Warning systems.  The Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System developed by his team over the last 12 years is now installed on more than 33,000 fixed wing and helicopters.


The risks of flight have been greatly reduced over aviationís first hundred years.  Today, flight in a commercial transport aircraft is one of the safest means of transportation.  Last year over 1.8 billion people flew with the loss of less than 1,000 lives.  Many technological advances and their application have driven these improvements.  These will be briefly reviewed, but the lecture will focus on where flight safety needs further improvements, the challenges and barriers that need to be overcome—and will eventually be overcome.