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79 votes

What is the motivation behind designing a control stick that does not move?

The stick does not need to move in order for the pilots to sense their inputs! Humans have very accurate force sensors in their fingers, and no direct position sensors. Proprioception provides ...
Koyovis's user avatar
  • 61.7k
45 votes

Is the cabin pressure "worse" at the back of the cabin than in front?

As stated in other answers, in steady flight there is no pressure difference along the length of the cabin, and only a miniscule one during lognitudinal acceleration. What your mother might be ...
Jpe61's user avatar
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41 votes

Why do aircraft cockpit displays use uppercase fonts?

The specific reason all-uppercase was adopted is just historical. Traditional steam gauge faces use capital lettering exclusively. The reason for that is that capital letters are easier to produce ...
Therac's user avatar
  • 27k
39 votes

Why are cockpit instruments white on black dials?

For night flying the white on black scheme emits probably 1 or 2% of the light that a black on white display does. This will make a very significant difference in cockpit light levels and night vision....
Transistor's user avatar
  • 1,246
36 votes

People in a rollercoaster or falling elevator feel the rapid descent, so why don't pilots in the cockpit?

You only feel the acceleration downward. In roller-coaster this sensation is maximized for maximum thrill. A stall isn't instant: some parts of the wing can be stalled while the rest still provides ...
ratchet freak's user avatar
32 votes
Accepted

How is a confusion possible between Western and Russian Attitude Indicators?

It's so easy to sit in our comfy lounge chairs and wonder how on Earth pilots get things wrong. The error didn't happen without context. It was dark. There was little to no external visual reference ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 14.3k
30 votes

People in a rollercoaster or falling elevator feel the rapid descent, so why don't pilots in the cockpit?

You only feel the plunging sensation during the initial downward acceleration. Once stabilized at a constant rate of descent, things feel normal again. The other thing is, the amount of vertical ...
John K's user avatar
  • 131k
27 votes

Why do aircraft cockpit displays use uppercase fonts?

In low light or with vision partially obscured (like, say, smoke), all caps can be seen from farther away and/or with greater clarity. This is more important than the easier to follow at a glance word-...
John K's user avatar
  • 131k
25 votes

Effective eating habits as a student pilot

A lot of new pilots get motion sickness starting out in light aircraft, and it goes away with repeated exposure. So, it's just a matter of toughing it out until you get used to it, or if you're ...
John K's user avatar
  • 131k
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
18 votes

Is the cabin pressure "worse" at the back of the cabin than in front?

That is not possible. The front and back of the cabin are not isolated by any means - so if there was a pressure difference, air will instantly start flowing from high pressure to low pressure in ...
Aditya Sharma's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

Why do aircraft cockpit displays use uppercase fonts?

For at least certification under the FAA via AC 25-11B all upper case is acceptable but not explicitly required. If you're building an instrument and you know that all upper case will be accepted ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
16 votes

Is it possible to avoid vomiting while practicing stall?

Practice. That sounds dumb, but is true. The more you practice this, the more you get accustomed to this motion. Some scientific backup: The most motion sickness inducing motion is a vertical ...
U_flow's user avatar
  • 3,655
15 votes

How is a confusion possible between Western and Russian Attitude Indicators?

The basic premise has been mentioned by everyone above: the basic instinct is to 'right the wrong', and if we see some indication tilted left, we instinctively want to move it right. It's possible to ...
Zeus's user avatar
  • 9,063
15 votes

What is the motivation behind designing a control stick that does not move?

With a deflection-sensing (conventional) stick, it takes a certain time to move the stick. If you're trying to do quick manoeuvres going from (say) full nose-up to full nose-down deflection, that ...
Dan Hulme's user avatar
  • 12.7k
15 votes

Is the cabin pressure "worse" at the back of the cabin than in front?

There may be other factors than a pressure differential as the cause of ear irritation, such as greater pitching accelerations, because the rear of the plane is farther from the center of gravity. ...
Robert DiGiovanni's user avatar
13 votes

How is a confusion possible between Western and Russian Attitude Indicators?

Just adding few more points to the already existing answers. I agree with previous commenters - some understanding of pilot perception and context is needed. @Claudix, the image used in your original ...
Electric Pilot's user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

Effective eating habits as a student pilot

I've experienced motion sickness a over the years both on boats and in planes that I've been at the helm of. I can offer some general points that I try to follow to mitigate this with diet. If you ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
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
10 votes

People in a rollercoaster or falling elevator feel the rapid descent, so why don't pilots in the cockpit?

You are forgetting one large difference between an aircraft moving through the air (still generating some lift), and an object in free-fall. Constant velocity in a gravity well (such as on the Earth) ...
Tyzoid's user avatar
  • 215
9 votes

What is the motivation behind designing a control stick that does not move?

The motivation is the same, albeit for stronger reasons, as that for the 1960's Citroën DS's brake button or frein champignon, which responded to foot pressure rather than foot travel. Namely, faster ...
Camille Goudeseune's user avatar
9 votes

How did the USS Vincennes misidentify an Airbus aircraft?

tl;dr We don't know. The US Government has not made enough information available to answer this question. The official Iranian and US reports contradict each other. Inofficial accounts of sailors on ...
Jörg W Mittag's user avatar
9 votes

Is it possible to avoid vomiting while practicing stall?

I don’t want to be discouraging or negative, but some people are just not aeronautically adaptable. I’m not saying you are or are not, just that while it is possible to lessen the discomfort with ...
Michael Hall's user avatar
  • 26.1k
9 votes

Is it possible to avoid vomiting while practicing stall?

It goes away after enough time. It's the same thing as acquiring "sea legs", getting over sea sickness on board a ship. What can help is go ride on a park swing which, being repeated 0G ...
John K's user avatar
  • 131k
8 votes

How does cultural difference impinge upon human factors in aviation industry safety?

What you are asking looks like a university assignment on Interface design and sociology. It is a very complex area and your question does not suggest a simple answer but here goes: These cultural ...
AndyW's user avatar
  • 1,171
8 votes
Accepted

How does a PFD handle unphysically abrupt changes in the parameters it's displaying?

Generally, PFD will smoothen the indication for most of the indicated data. I don't know any 'legal' requirements for it, but as you mention, basic ergonomics require it. I have first hand ...
Zeus's user avatar
  • 9,063
7 votes

Why are the character keys on the Flight Management Computer in alphabetical order?

"we are all used to the QWERTY or QWERTZ layout..." or AZERTY. But which one? Universally there is no one standard, so whichever of these 3 (and others) is chosen, it will be wrong for some users. So ...
RAC's user avatar
  • 4,616

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