560. Pounds, Procedures and Perspiration


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R B McCormack: 560. Pounds, Procedures and Perspiration. 1966.



As transport airplanes grow in size and weight there is a tendency for the number of cockpit controls and indicators to increase in proportion. If this trend is projected into the future with still bigger and faster airplanes, then cockpit inventory will reach a point of saturation.
Together with the increase in cockpit clutter, some operating procedures are imposed on flight crews which seem to be compromises for system shortcomings or political discretion. This fact in itself does not render the operation unsafe, but could be construed as reducing the margin of safety.
If less clutter in the cockpit is a step toward safety then efforts should be made to reduce it or at least prevent it from increasing. It might help if all members of the industry (particularly those who influence design, specifications and procedures for airplanes and systems) were to generate more interest in the cockpit viewpoint. If they would consider the effect of their decisions on the overall operation of the airplane it might relieve some of the pressure on the pilot and contribute to safety.


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