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  • Pilots have emergency procedures manuals for every kind of aircraft and equipment malfunction. The manual is categorized into the various aircraft systems, hydraulic, electrical, flight controls, etc., for quick reference to the, sometimes extensive, troubleshooting steps that must be followed. Some of the emergencies are so critical (e.g., catastrophic engine failure) they are placed in a red-outlined frame, called a "red box" and pilots are required to commit these procedural steps to memory. During the occasion of a pilot's training and/or checkride in "the box" s/he is given a "mini-oral" designed to evaluate his/her knowledge of aircraft systems and always includes a recitation of these red box items. As the flight industry, both military and civilian has evolved over the years, the trend has been to limit the number and complexity of red box items due to the frailty of human memory. Increasingly, improvements in technology facilitate this trend. Nowadays emergency procedures are available on aircraft-provided computer-analysis and recommended actions are printed on flight deck instrument display screens. Often, many critical actions are automatically initiated by the computer brain of the affected system. It's a safe bet however, that red box items will never go away completely. See also, boldface procedure.

    November 4, 2008