in the cockpit
first sight, the array of dials and switches in an
aircraft cockpit can be rather daunting. Unlike
automobile drivers, pilots do not have the benefit of
direction signs affixed to the sky! As a result,
aircraft carry with them some sophisticated navigation
equipment that will permit operations even in thick
cloud and at night. In addition, as there are no parking
areas in the sky, the engine is much better monitored
than the average car. Because an aircraft is travelling
in three dimensions, additional instruments are required
for altitude, and rate of climb and descent.
pilots need to communicate with airfields and air
traffic control. Usually, two radio sets are fitted, (in
case of failure) and also a transponder, which is an
instrument that transmits to air traffic control so that
they can identify you and know your altitude.
aircraft have far fewer instrument generally because
daylight fine weather operations are all that can be
undertaken. Microlights use a simplified cockpit
arrangement too, as they also only fly in visual
Nowadays, aircraft panels are rather
standardised, so that it is relatively easy for a pilot
to make the transition from one aircraft to another.