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51 votes
Accepted

What is the purpose of the Dash 8’s “TOUCHED RUNWAY” warning light?

The light is a tail-strike indicator. Touched Runway system The Touched Runway system provides a warning light in the flight compartment. It illuminates when the aft fuselage ...
Transistor's user avatar
  • 1,246
41 votes

Why are cockpit alarms still so distracting and unable to be silenced?

A stall condition needs to be handled now, and once it's handled, the alarm will go away. What you don't want to happen is you are in an approaching stall condition, the pilot hits a "silence&...
Ron Beyer's user avatar
  • 36.2k
24 votes

What is the purpose of the Dash 8’s “TOUCHED RUNWAY” warning light?

To supplement Transistor's answer: The reason for the light is that tailstrikes are very easy to do on the 400 due to the stretch of the rear fuse with not enough landing gear lengthening to ...
John K's user avatar
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23 votes
Accepted

How do pilots know that the switch/knob they just switched on/off actually did what it's supposed to do?

Depends on the system in question, but typically the following indications will serve as a means to verify that a system is functioning correctly. Activation lights - some cockpit switches will ...
Romeo_4808N's user avatar
  • 73.7k
19 votes
Accepted

What did the "gear warning horn" on the North American P-51 sound like?

Interesting question. Unfortunately, I couldn't locate the part in the P-51D/K parts catalog, but, if an E-bay seller is to be believed, it had an E-2 Faraday horn, which appears to be an ...
Marius's user avatar
  • 3,671
13 votes
Accepted

From a safety standpoint, which is better: voice aural alerts or tone aural alerts?

Older aircraft designed before the B787 typically had the variability in design that you refer to. When the B787 started development, the FAA issued special conditions that required Boeing to address ...
Gerry's user avatar
  • 19.8k
11 votes

How do pilots know that the switch/knob they just switched on/off actually did what it's supposed to do?

All flight guidance functions and their changes are shown on the Flight Mode Annunciator (FMA) and have corresponding switches on the Flight Control Unit (FCU). The buttons on the FCU are usually lit ...
Sami's user avatar
  • 2,164
11 votes

What’s the difference between an AIRSPEED LOW warning and a STALL warning?

Referring to one manufacturer's nomenclature and systems: The "AIRSPEED LOW" caution occurs shortly after the speed drops below the Minimum maneuver speed. The Min Maneuv spd is ~30% above ...
skipper44's user avatar
  • 1,605
9 votes

Are warnings generally "source-focused" or "effect-focused"?

They are source focused. They display precisely the condition that exists, not the follow-on effects. WARNING indications that could be dangerous if not acted on right away are Red. Indications that ...
John K's user avatar
  • 131k
9 votes

Can 737NG GPWS and other warning voice lines/sounds be played in headphones instead of cockpit speaker?

No, the pilots cannot disable audio warnings or switch them over to headphones only. They are always send to the speakers and all headphones. The pilots cannot even adjust the volume for these ...
Bianfable's user avatar
  • 55.9k
9 votes
Accepted

What does the sound and flashing button indicate during this landing?

It's the "Master Caution" indication. The sound also belongs to this. It tells you that something is not working by the books and that you should check it out immediately. There was probably ...
Patric Hartmann's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

What's the difference between the "100 above" and "100" GPWS above callout?

"100 above" refers to being 100 ft above the decision height, which is the height at which the pilot must initiate a missed approach if they do not have the required visual reference. The ...
60levelchange's user avatar
8 votes

Why does enabling engine sync on the MD-80 series trigger the "Master Caution" light?

AFAIK The reason you aren't supposed to take off/land with prop or engine sync on is because if the leader engine fails, the follower engine will reduce power to match it, and that is really not ideal,...
MD88Fan's user avatar
  • 2,484
8 votes
Accepted

Can the Master Caution illuminate without the System Annunciator Panel on the 737NG?

If everything is working as designed then the Master Caution is always accompanied by one of the 12 annunciator lights (or more than 1, depending on the situation). If things aren't working as ...
Ralph J's user avatar
  • 51.5k
7 votes

Why do some GPS receivers suppress RAIM integrity warnings after you pass the FAF?

As ymb1 commented, RAIM was introduced in TSO-C129 receivers. These were the first GPS receivers certified and they were only approved for supplemental navigation (You were required to also have an ...
Gerry's user avatar
  • 19.8k
6 votes
Accepted

Are warnings generally "source-focused" or "effect-focused"?

John K's answer is great for older designs like the Boeing 737. You specifically mentioned the 737 MAX crashes, which (despite being quite a new design) still uses the old cockpit alert philosophy ...
Bianfable's user avatar
  • 55.9k
6 votes

What is a 'Wing Loop Fault' on an A320 series Aircraft?

Wing loop fault refers to the overheat/leak detection system running along pneumatic lines in the wings and belly. Fire loops on the engines is a different matter. The loops consist of an outer and ...
Jacob's user avatar
  • 61
6 votes
Accepted

What are the Boeing 777 aural alerts indicating in this ATC recording?

I can only hear 2 distinct warning sounds in the video: There is a high-low tone audible from 0:31 to 0:35 (also heard later). This is the master warning siren. There is a low-to-high sound audible ...
Bianfable's user avatar
  • 55.9k
6 votes

From a safety standpoint, which is better: voice aural alerts or tone aural alerts?

This is only my personal experience from my initial-course CRJ simulator training, but I found that voice alerts tended to be more effective at distracting you or pulling you out of mental fog. For ...
John K's user avatar
  • 131k
5 votes

Why does Airbus suppress stall warnings in certain situations?

The stall warning needs to be an immediate attention-getting alarm that you react to promptly and accurately. If you routinely hear it on landing roll-out or during taxi, and 9,999 times out of 10,...
Ralph J's user avatar
  • 51.5k
5 votes
Accepted

Why does Airbus suppress stall warnings in certain situations?

Stall warning was inhibited below 60 knots airspeed, in order to eliminate nuisance warnings during taxi and other situations. It is well below the stall speed of an A330 in cruise configuration: ...
Koyovis's user avatar
  • 61.7k
5 votes

Does the Boeing 737 NG have "5" radar altitude callout?

The Rockwell Collins EGPWS, that is probably the most widely used system (you can tell right away by the voice that sounds exactly like the character "Data" from Star Trek - Next Generation; I'd swear ...
John K's user avatar
  • 131k
5 votes

Why don't airliners use light strips on physical controls (yoke/stick, throttle and trim) to indicate who has control - pilot or flight computer?

They do. On the 737 there is a light in the button for each autopilot and next to the autothrottle switch. As well as annunciation in green text at the top-center of the Primary Flight Display (PFD). ...
Ralph J's user avatar
  • 51.5k

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