Home' RTCA Documents for Review : Addressing Human Factors/Pilot Interface Issues Contents 53
© 2017 RTCA, Inc.
FLIGHT DECK ARRANGEMENT
This category refers to the physical components in the flight deck and their arrangement.
Examples include the location of displays, yokes, side sticks, keyboards, cursor control
devices, wires, cables, and lighting. Modern flight decks have moved from analog electro-
mechanical gauges, dials, and tapes to electronic multi-function displays (MFDs),
interactive display control (e.g., cursor controls and touch screens) compatibility, and head-
up displays (HUDs). This section will discuss various issues including visibility,
readability, and reach accessibility.
The limited viewable area available on flight deck instrument panels (taking sunlight
effects into account) has forced some compromises when integrating and installing new
systems. In some cases, displays that present flight critical information have been placed
in locations outside of the pilot's forward view of the flight instrument panel. This can
significantly affect ease of information retrieval and readability. Cockpits in rotorcraft are
more limited than flight decks in fixed wing aircraft in order to allow for viewability during
low level flight operations. Applicants installing equipment and displays in a previously
certified aircraft cockpit can face additional challenges when locating controls and displays
for their installation relative to existing controls and displays.
Visibility and Readability
Space limitation is a common issue when adding new systems to an existing flight deck.
For critical monitoring or high gain piloting tasks where the pilot is tightly coupled with
the flight controls (during IMC conditions, on final approach, or close to terrain), excessive
head movement has been implicated in the pilot missing critical information, or in the worst
cases, physiological issues such as spatial disorientation. Primary field of view guidelines
for eye and head movement have been defined for optimum visual scan to mitigate this
occurrence during critical flight tasks (for example, AC 23.1311-1(), AC 25-11(), AC
25.773-1 Pilot Compartment View Design Considerations, AC 27-1() Certification of
Normal Category Rotorcraft Section AC 27.773, and AC 29-2() Certification of Transport
Category Rotorcraft Section AC 29.773). In addition to reducing visual scan during critical
or higher gain tasks, every attempt should be made to simplify pilot actions to the minimum
necessary during these tasks to allow full concentration on flight path control.
System limitations may restrict system feedback options (audio and/or visual), forcing the
installation of separate annunciators and display devices, or tailoring messages to match
system capabilities. Also space limitations may require more modification to the aircraft in
order to place feedback mechanisms in discernible locations. As more complex and
sophisticated systems are developed and integrated into older flight decks, the need for
validating the user interface has become more essential.
Reflections and/or glare are caused by light from external sources, reflected off the display
surface. The location of the display relative to the viewer and other items on the flight deck
can significantly affect the presence and obtrusiveness of reflections and/or glare. This
topic is covered further in Section 3.2.2.
Compared to mechanical controls and indications (such as a push button or needle-style
mechanical airspeed indicator), digital presentations of controls and indications may be
more susceptible to glare produced by certain sun angles.
Regulatory requirements regarding visibility and readability are found in 14 CFR 2X.773.
Specific Certification Issues
In some flight decks, master warning / master caution (MW/MC) indicators were
not located in the primary field of view. Some displays installed outside the
primary field of view had an integrated MW/MC and did not include a remotely
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