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On the Typography of Flight-Deck Documentation

Many types of paper documentation are employed on the flight-deck. They range from a simple checklist card to a bulky Aircraft Flight Manual (AFM). Some of these documentation have typographical and graphical deficien- cies; yet, many cockpit tasks such as conducting checklists, way-point entry, limitations and performance calculations, and many more, require the use of these documents. Moreover, during emergency and abnormal situations, the flight crews’ effectiveness in combating the situation… ( Mehr...

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canuck44 3
This paper is over 20 years old since first publication and much of the information within has been applied subsequently. Now however with electronic flight books, it is no longer necessary to have a one size fits all solution, but we can adjust the readability to the individual pilot. Fonts can be altered, contrast adjusted, backlight dimmed or brightened, colors changed and accommodation made for diminished night vision. Pull down menus can be used instead of following lines across the screen. Additionally it is possible to provide audio output or feed information onto heads up displays as that technology becomes widely available where again adjustments can be made to improve individualized readability.
klimchuk 0
While EFBs allow some UI customization I don't think it's good to vary font or color.
canuck44 1
I would disagree with you on color as aging alters night vision and the perception of color and needing additional contrast. EFB now bring the luxury of altering this for the individual's needs. Font is probably less critical although font size is more important again with aging. Personally at my age Arial Black is my font of choice moving from 10 pt to 14 pt.

Unfortunately life is a downward slope from birth and I am getting near the bottom. We do have to rejoice however that the EFB like computers now give old guys like me and Wayne a chance to stay even with the least for this facet of life.
blueashflyer 1
Interesting reading. I'll make the switch to Gill-Medium. You can only look at so much Helvetica...
Bob Green 1
Interestingly, in this 1992 document, they included a forecast the paper-free cockpit a decade or two in the future.(way before the iPad!)
pg 30 :
"It will probably take a decade or two until most commercial airplanes in the
U.S. will fall into the category of “paper-less cockpits.” These future cockpits
will have electronic checklists and electronic libraries containing most of the
information that is now in print (O’Lone, 1990, November 5; Riley, 1990)."
ken young 1
I find it amazing how certain agencies seem to deliberately complicate things whenever possible.
amello -1
It's called a cockpit. A flight-deck is on a boat.


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