Cockpit Overview

1. Division into Sections

The cockpit is divided into 6 approximate areas.  We have decided to us the designations in the aircraft manual so that you can read them in parallel and avoid confusion.

  1. Forward Panel (FP)
  2. Left Panel (LP)
  3. Right Panel (RP)
  4. Wall Panel (WP)

Cockpit overview, Picture from Freddo, Public Domain

5. Overhead Panel (OP)

Overhead-Panel, Bild von kaltokri, Gemeinfrei

6. Rear Auxiliary Panel (AP) and Left Aft Panel (LA) (not shown)

Rear Panel, Picture from Freddo, Public Domain

9. Head Up Display (HUD) (Not Shown)

Cockpit Location Terminology

With these terms it is possible to specify the rough position of a switch or a display instrument.  However, this is usually not sufficient.  With the front panel the horizontal position is indicated quite simply by Left / Center / Right and the vertical position by Top / Middle / Bottom. To describe the position of the Fuel Gauge, for example, use the Front Panel - Bottom Right, or the short form FP-BR in tables.

The Left and Right Panels are divided into Fore / Mid / Aft.  The Front part of the console is closest to the nose of the helicopter, while the Aft end of the console is closest to the tail.  Here too, you can use a short form in checklists.  For example, the position of the K-41 switch is described as a Left Panel - Fore or LP-F for short.

In the following we will name the instruments and switches that are important for this course and explain them separately.  

For beginners this can be an intimidating and a very dry subject.  Please read the pages carefully anyway.  Nobody expects you to memorize all instruments and switches with positions and meaning immediately after this lesson.  These will only be remembered in the practical exercises when you use the individual elements for real.  But the following pages also serve as a reference to which you can return to read the use of a particular switch or instrument.  

For pilots experienced with other aircraft, this information is extremely important for orientation.