enter image description here

There is that thing I have see a few pilot using it. it can be pulled outside and then inside. what's that and what's the use of it?

  • 18
    $\begingroup$ It's where you stow the garage door remote ;) $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Commented Dec 7, 2019 at 17:45
  • $\begingroup$ Actually, it's where the bar is. $\endgroup$
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Dec 9, 2019 at 0:02
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @GdD Wow, didn't know that! I thought if you pull it it activates the ejection seat. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 9, 2019 at 14:20

1 Answer 1


That's where the analogue/backup compass is stowed. The compartment can be opened downward if you ever need to use the compass, as seen in this image:

enter image description here

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Why is it designed to be stowable? It doesn't seem to impede cockpit visibility when deployed, and surely the stowing mechanism adds at least a little bit of weight and cost. Is it just for aesthetic reasons? $\endgroup$
    – David
    Commented Dec 8, 2019 at 19:31
  • 10
    $\begingroup$ @David Just a guess, but I suspect that Airbus management was embarrassed to put such a low tech instrument into their most advanced cockpit. So they decided to hide it after pilots refused to fly without. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 8, 2019 at 21:02
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ @PeterKämpf It likely would not have passed FAA certification without one, though. It's standard equipment required on any aircraft. $\endgroup$
    – Tyzoid
    Commented Dec 8, 2019 at 21:09
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Being stow-able means less likelihood of accidental damage (which, as its probably on the MEL is quite significant), you can turn the light off unless its in its open position etc etc etc. $\endgroup$
    – Moo
    Commented Dec 9, 2019 at 0:26
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I believe the Airbus terminology for this guy is standby compass, but the description as a backup/analogue compass is accurate. $\endgroup$
    – verandaguy
    Commented Dec 9, 2019 at 15:10

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