The control system consists of the two pedals for the rudder and the HOTAS system.
HOTAS is the abbreviation for Hands On Throttle And Stick and describes a control concept for modern fighter aircraft. The pilot should be able to perform as many actions as possible without having to take his hands off the control stick or the thrust lever. This way he has the aircraft under his control at all times. This is made possible on the F/A-18C by many buttons, switches, four-way coolie hats, etc. on the control stick and thrust lever.
The stick (abbreviation HOTAS-J) is used to control the elevator and rudder. The thrust of the two engines is controlled with the two throttle levers (abbreviated as HOTAS-S). When the throttle lever is released by the finger lifts and pushed forward, the engines are ignited.
For the basic course we only need some of the buttons and switches that are attached to the HOTAS. The positions are shown on the two pictures below. You can ignore elements labeled in gray for the basic course. They will be used in later courses.