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JAGflyer
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Manual timers in the flight deck

Thu Feb 09, 2017 2:49 am

I've seen several aircraft (primarily European operators) with mechanical/rotary "egg timers" in the flight deck. These timers can be set for up to an hour time and presumably buzz or ding when the time has elapsed. Can anyone tell me the purpose of why an airline would go about installing these in their aircraft? They are no common and most flight decks I've seen do not have them. I can only guess that it's perhaps used a reminder to check or do something at certain intervals throughout a flight? For example speaking to the FA, making a progress report, etc.

You can see them on the overheads below (round dial with a small knob you can turn to set for a certain amount of minutes). I've also seen a few installed on the center panel near the radios.
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Classa64
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Re: Manual timers in the flight deck

Thu Feb 09, 2017 3:18 am

Does it have something to do with or used when making turns maybe, not sure why I am thinking that.
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richcam427
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Re: Manual timers in the flight deck

Thu Feb 09, 2017 6:06 am

They're just timers used for general reminders like position reports or fuel re-balancing. Some pilots liked to use them for certain procedures that required timing. They weren't very popular catalog options, however.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Manual timers in the flight deck

Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:39 am

On the 'bus there's a timer button for each pilot on the glareshield. The time shows on the ND. Very useful for things like time after engine start or "how long have the seat belts signs been on".

Can be used for holds, though with the FMS flying the hold it's a bit redundant.

Some people use them for things like remembering if we got a landing clearance. If you see the seconds ticking by on final, you started the timer once you got clearance. If there's no time displayed, call and make sure.
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Balerit
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Re: Manual timers in the flight deck

Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:42 am

Have they done away with analogue clocks? I remember a time when they were mandatory like the standby compass.
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Starlionblue
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Re: Manual timers in the flight deck

Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:35 am

Balerit wrote:
Have they done away with analogue clocks? I remember a time when they were mandatory like the standby compass.


Still mandatory, but the requirement is not for an analogue display clock specifically. It is for an independent clock with a backup power supply. On our older 330s there's an analog clock with embedded digital displays for UTC/Chrono/Date. The newer ones have a clock with a fully digital display.
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Natflyer
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Re: Manual timers in the flight deck

Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:23 pm

Egg timers were great for reminding one to pickup Volmet reports at certain times. Also when one pilot took a nap, set the timer at 20-30 min.
 
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fortytwoeyes
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Re: Manual timers in the flight deck

Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:56 pm

There's a Pilotseye film where a Swiss crew uses it to keep track of time limits while having an engine issue.
 
B777LRF
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Re: Manual timers in the flight deck

Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:03 am

We didn't have eggtimers in our 757s. Various other methods of remembering stuff were invented, some more creative than others. I flew with a skipper who clipped his tie to the card holder on the yoke, whenever we flew long enough to load fuel in the centre tank. This reminded him to switch the pumps off when fuel got down to 200kg in the centre tank. Others brought their own eggtimers into the cockpit, whilst other still (the more creative ones) told their FOs (e.g. me) to remind them of something in xx minutes. I used to set the alarm on my mobile phone, especially if we were doing controlled naps.

The best one I saw, however, was a skipper who would light up a cigarette and place it between two of his fingers as he drifted off to sleep. When the cigarette started to burn him, he woke up and the nap was over. It took around 15 minutes, which is perfect for a controlled nap.
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Apprentice
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Re: Manual timers in the flight deck

Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:50 pm

Hello: This timers, with an old fashioned bell sound when their come back to "0", are used by pilots in the more conventional way.
For instance, when crossing Atlantic Ocean, after they had contacted "Santa María" they select a remainder time just before they should do next contact with ground to report position. In a long flight, it's easy to miss contact points..
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