November 2007 Issue

Cockpit Traps

Knowing more about how some of the things in your cockpit work and to what they’re connected can help diagnose and resolve in-flight problems.

Until you strive for the airline transport pilot (ATP) certificate or an aircraft type rating, there is very little emphasis on airplane systems in most training curricula. Those pilots and aircraft owners who have amassed an intimate knowledge of their steeds’ inner workings have come to that knowledge by choice, or through efforts of one or more mentors who—rightly—believe it necessary. And yet, knowing how the systems in your cockpit work and how they connect to other parts of the airframe can help you diagnose and sometimes even resolve preflight and in-flight problems. What systems in the cockpit should you need to know more about? How can you find more information on these cockpit traps?

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