The Pilot’s Office

“Best office view“, isn’t it? What would you feel when your office view is the ultimate sky? That place where all the magic happens.

Most aircraft consist of 5 main components:

1) Fuselage: This is the body of the plane which holds the cockpit, passengers and cargo. In addition, it connects the parts of the plane together.

2) Wings: Also known as foils, are important for flying to generate the lift to be able to fly.

3) Empennage: This is the tail end which is responsible for the stability of the plane.

4) Power Plant: This includes the engines and the propeller.

5) Landing Gear: These are the wheels in simple terms of the aircraft.

To get to the flight deck, you must get to the cockpit door in order to manage the airplane and to be able to fly. A cockpit, which is also known as the flight deck, is the area where all data about the aircraft and flight is transmitted to pilots via screens, in order to control the aircraft.

Main parts of the cockpit

First: The Door

It separates the cockpit from the aircraft cabin.

The doors are provided with a security system that is controlled from the pilot panel and can only be opened with a password.
Those doors are designed to resist any person who will be willing to enter using his/her physical force and they are required to remain locked to prevent any person to enter without the pilot’s permission.
Fortifying the cockpit doors is one of the essential points to maintain the safety of the aviation system.

Second: The glass

The glass in the cockpit’s windows is around 6 cm thick and strengthened with various chemicals. These glasses are made up of multiple layers and can endure temperatures between -60 and 40 degrees Celsius. It can crack under the most extreme circumstances, but only the first layer. Under normal circumstances, it is impossible for the glass to break completely. When the plane is on the ground, most cockpits include windows that can be opened. Almost all big planes windows include an anti-reflective coating, as well as an interior heating element to melt ice and a sun shield.

Third: The seats

There are 2 seats one for the pilot and the other for the copilot, in the modern planes seats are designed ergonomically to provide comfort during flights, especially the long ones.

There is also a third seat, the jump seat. A pilot, an observer, a third officer (TO) or an air traffic controller could use it.


Fourth: The flying deck

The primary display and further controls to fly an aircraft. It has the following components:

1) Ignition Control: It is like the key in small airplanes which is responsible for bringing the engine to life while in large aircrafts there are series of switches used. Most of the pilots use automatic starters. Most ignition switches have five positions: Off, right (R), left (L), both, and start.

2) Control column: It’s a plane’s steering wheel. In easy terms, it allows the pilot to move the plane up, down, to the left, and to the right. Roll and pitch are controlled by twisting the yoke from side to side. Pushing forward on the yoke makes the airplane’s nose to point to the ground; pulling back makes the nose to point up. Yokes are usually in the shape of a “W” or a “U.” Side sticks are found on some planes (some airbus models).

3) Throttle: It controls the airplane’s engine power. It’s equivalent to a car’s gas pedal. The throttle, which is usually black in color, is either a push-pull device or a lever. The pilot adds or subtracts power to the airplane’s engine or engines by controlling the amount of fuel/air mixture via the throttle.

4) Rudder Pedals: They are positioned in front of the pilots on the floor. The rudder directs the plane to the “left” and “right” directions, mainly during taxi.

5) Flap handle: It is placed next to the throttle, enables the pilot to increase both lift and drag. During takeoff, approach, and landing, the flap handle is mostly used.

6) Overhead panel : It has a variety of controls and functions that aren’t immediately related to flying. Such as air conditioning, anti-ice controls, cabin pressurization controls and oxygen controls.


7) Instrument panel: It contains the most critical flight displays connecting both flight performance and aircraft status. As well as providing the pilot with information about the flight, the engine, and the aircraft’s situation. It includes the:

MCP: A mode control panel, used to control heading, altitude, speed, vertical speed, vertical and lateral navigations. Also, it is used to enable or disable both the autopilot and the auto throttle.

PFD: The primary flight display includes a digital presentation of the attitude and altitude indicators, air speed and the vertical speed indicator.

ND: A navigation display shows the way and information on the next waypoint, wind speed and wind direction.

EICAS/ECAM: The Engine Indication and Crew Alerting System (used for Boeing) or Electronic Centralized Aircraft Monitor (for Airbus) will enable the pilot to keep track of N1, N2, and N3 values, fuel temperature, fuel flow, the electrical system, cockpit or cabin temperature and pressure and control surfaces.

FMS: The flight management system used to enter and check the flight plan, speed control and navigation control.

Back-up instruments: If the other instruments breakdown , a battery powered combined backup instrument system with a magnetic compass will be available , displaying important data .


To summarize, these are the primary components of the cockpit.

Do you still think it’s the coolest view a workplace could have, or do you think it’s too complicated to manage?

For B737-800 interior cockpit 360 degree navigation, you may check this link


  • Flickr, gc232 (Cover Photo)

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