82

Right instrument face colors are inverted. Black and white are perfect complementary colors, meaning: When placed next to each other, they create the strongest contrast for those particular two colors. But for instruments if they were inverted, strong daylight shadows will make the numbers and hands harder to read, while at night with the white ...


69

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. Without looking, we only have a very vague idea where our hand is due to muscle tone sensing, but we don't need to look at our hand to know exactly how hard it is pushing at an object. For ...


41

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 with limited tooling. When they were installed in aircraft, this cost-efficient convention was followed. This pattern is not exclusive to gauges: historically, in ...


39

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. While lighting levels could be turned down on the black on white displays the contrast would suffer. With white on black the lighting levels can be left ...


34

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 proper lift. Once the airplane is near or at terminal velocity in a stall it will feel no different from regular straight and level flight. The onset of the ...


26

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 acceleration from a stall type maneuver does not result in 0 or negative G, just less than 1. You'll feel getting light in the seat, you won't lift right out and ...


25

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-shapes you have with upper and lower case text, which is only a significant benefit when words are strung into sentences that you scan.


24

From what I know, airline transport pilots do not get large chunks of free time on a typical long-haul flight which you described. They may get small intervals of free time (e.g. 10-20 minutes), but for sure, not hours. They do need to constantly monitor if the airplane is flying on the correct course, on the assigned altitude, remaining fuel amounts and ...


23

The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum says: By the early 1930s, airlines were introducing distinctive uniforms for their employees, and women were entering the ranks of flight attendants. Pilots were given military-style uniforms to reflect their status. Pan American emulated luxurious ocean liner service by calling its flying boats "...


23

The Airbus is actually configured the same as the vast majority of other General Aviation and Civil Aviation aircraft. The key factor is that the throttle is almost always the middle - meaning that as pilots get used to sitting in the left seat early on in their training, they become accustomed to using the throttle with their right hand and the control ...


23

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 illuminate when commanded by crew. Granted this only can serve as an indication that the switch was engaged. Indicator lights eg landing gear position lights, etc -...


19

So if you are well rested and not ill, but still feeling tired, there has to be something else wrong. From your description, it appears to be fatigue. The common signs for fatigue are: Falling asleep Yawning Poor visual acuity Feeling "sluggish" or "drowsy" Decreased reaction time Decreased concentration Although, the most commonly known reason for fatigue ...


18

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 due to cloud. The pilots were manually flying in a busy phase of flight. And the captain was probably adversely influenced by a medication/opioid. Even ...


17

It is true that the body can withstand higher g-forces in the prone position. The reason is that in the prone position, g-forces don't pull blood down to the lower body and away from the brain, as happens in the seated position. The concept was explored for combat aircraft with the Italian Savoia-Marchetti SM.93 and the British Gloster Meteor F8. These ...


16

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 during certification it's only logical to build it that way. 5.4.2 Regardless of the font type, size, color, and background, text should be readable in all ...


15

First, even if the aircraft is controlled using a yoke, the pilot is still controlling using his left hand (left hand on column, right hand on throttles/PCL). This is not much different and almost all pilots switch from controlling using their right hand to left hand pretty easily (they'll usually do this while training itself as they switch seats). The ...


13

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 fraction of a second can be a significant delay, especially in a fly-by-wire aircraft with powerful, fast-acting actuators. With a force-sensing stick, that delay ...


12

First, for most long-haul flights, the total flight time is beyond one crew's daily maximum allowance (which is usually 8 hours in any 24-hour period; a flight from Sydney to DFW can exceed 16 hours so two crews and additional compensatory rest periods for all crewmen are required during and after an ultra-long-haul). These flights carry two flight crews; ...


12

The prone position was researched a lot in Germany before anti-g suits were invented. The human body can tolerate g loads a lot better lying than sitting. Martin Eiband collected a lot of data on this, if you want to know more, google for "Eiband diagrams". If you want the full picture, read the Army Aircraft Crash Survival Guide. It comes in five volumes, ...


11

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 when activated, and the mode is shown on the FMA. Other systems, like pumps, generators etc. have pushbuttons that are lit when activated (or deactivated, ...


9

What improvements did Airbus make as a result of the Air France 447 accident? The official report has a section headed 5 - CHANGES MADE FOLLOWING THE ACCIDENT ... 5.2 Airbus Review of the “Unreliable speed indication” procedure Flight Operations Telex (FOT) of 9 September 2009 recommending, at the next recurrent training course, a ...


9

Just adding few more points to already existing answers. I agree with previous commenters - some understanding of pilot perception and context is needed. @Claudix, the image used in your original question can be misleading for 2 reasons: 1) Both instruments are tilted to the right side on your original image. This is, however, not how pilots would see the ...


9

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) will cause you to still experience the acceleration due to gravity. It's when you're accelerating that you feel different. Think of it this way - imagine ...


9

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 other USN vessels operating in the vicinity at the same time contradict both the official US report as well as statements made by Vincennes commanding officer. ...


8

"So, does a pilot go to the doctor and say "I'm tired today, I can't work"?" Simply put, "Yes. Say you cannot work.". If a surgeon cannot operate with full facilities, he doesn't operate. The patient can have surgery tomorrow (in most cases). If a pilot cannot be assured that he can perform, regardless of weather, mechanical issues, ATC delays, whatever, ...


8

It's been a while since I worked the 727. It was a very forgiving airplane, so you had to do a lot to make a critical safety error from a maintenance perspective. However, I do remember elevator position transmitters being a major pain to adjust. Although the manual wasn't necessarily bad, I never felt comfortable with the adjustments because of how ...


8

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 factors are covered by Hofstead's theory of Cultural dimensions. Specifically the Cultural factors of Power Distance, Individualism and Uncertainty Avoidance. I ...


7

The commercial aviation world today emphasizes crew resource management (CRM) as an integral part of flying. The premise of effective CRM lies in the principle that any member of the flight crew, whether it's the captain or the first officer, is able to, and should express honest and valid concerns during the flight without worrying about being marginalized ...


7

"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 the only standard left is simple alphabetic. Another thing to consider is that the QWERTY-types of layout were chosen to deliberately slow down typists on ...


7

Bear in mind that YOU may be comfortable with lower-case letters, but there are other cultures in the world that have different symbols for their alphabets, and they have to learn the Latin alphabet as something new. So having only upper-case letters makes it easier for non-Latin users. Note that this idea of all upper-case also applies to the QRH. For ...


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