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I was reading this article about EICAS:

Engine-indicating and crew-alerting system (EICAS) includes instrumentation of various engine parameters, including for example revolutions per minute, temperature values, fuel flow and quantity, oil pressure etc. Typical other aircraft systems monitored by EICAS are for example hydraulic, pneumatic, electrical, deicing, environmental and control surface systems. EICAS has high connectivity & provides data acquisition and routing.(source: Wikipedia)

Wikipedia article doesn't explain EICAS functionality very well, specially on the matter of the Crew-alerting System.

I'm interested to know more about this system... So here is my questions:

  • I'm correct to assume that EICAS is a vital instrument for glass cockpits?
  • Is every fault displayed there? (ie. Radio failure, air packs malfunctioning, etc...)
  • What is the difference between red messages and yellow messages?
  • How much detail can a pilot get from its messages?
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The EICAS will have the engine instruments and the crew alerting system in one display. It is a vital instrument because it displays engine parameters, fuel, the crew alert system and other systems information depending on the specific airplane.

The CAS (crew alerting) functionality of the EICAS replaces the illuminated fault buttons in older airplanes.

enter image description here
YSSYguy CC-BY-SA 3.0

The electronic CAS that is part of an EICAS display is a superset of these old panels and can display a much bigger set of alerts. The specific alerts that can be shown will cover most error and failure modes the airplane systems can reasonably encounter. Cautions are yellow in color and will illuminate the master caution and sound an audible chime. Warnings are red in color and will illuminate the master warning and sound the triple chime (and the fire bell for certain conditions). There may also be advisory messages displayed in another color, e.g. cyan, on the EICAS.

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EMB-145 EICAS. The CAS is the upper right portion of the display

The messages themselves are terse and not detailed, though detail can be inferred from the pre-defined message text. Warnings and cautions that are displayed can be addressed with memory immediate action items (memorized checklists) and/or the QRH (quick reference handbook) which defines the procedures for dealing with problems in a verbose checklist flowchart. The QRH will be indexed by the messages on the CAS so they can be easily found and referenced.

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  • $\begingroup$ Is there any difference between EICAS and ECAM? $\endgroup$ – Gabriel Brito Feb 10 '16 at 16:58
  • $\begingroup$ ECAM - Electronic Centralized Aircraft Monitor - is the Airbus system that provides Engine/Warning Display (E/WD) and System Display (SD). Different names, slightly different system architecture, same basic function. $\endgroup$ – Gerry May 25 '17 at 12:06
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As far as I know EICAS is used in Boeing aircraft. The wiki page you provided has a link to Airbus system as well which is much more complex and detailed. Not every fault is displayed there. Detailed list is available in Boeing manuals. For example 737NG: http://www.smartcockpit.com/plane/boeing/b737ng.html Look under Engines. Interestingly nowhere in manuals it's referenced by EICAS. Maybe because it's really basic for 737NG. Usually red is critical and yellow or amber is caution. And yes it's important and critical engine parameters are shown there.

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  • $\begingroup$ Airbus calls their system [en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…. While they aren't exactly the same, my understanding is that they are fairly similar when it comes to comparing the most recent models of aircraft. $\endgroup$ – Zach Lipton Feb 3 '16 at 2:08

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