What is the Aircraft Annunciator?

In modern aircraft, there are a plethora of systems that function to aid the aircraft and pilot in producing and maintaining flight. From the engine providing propulsion to flight control surfaces governing direction, many systems must have functional and efficient operation for ensuring safety of all. With so many important systems all operating simultaneously, it is critical that the pilot is always cognisant of the conditions of components and can be immediately made aware of issues or problems that arise. The annunciator panel, or alarm annunciator, provides the pilot with information regarding the various subsystems and their statuses. As they play a vital role in ensuring safe flight, every pilot or aspiring pilot should understand them well.

            The annunciator centralized warning panel consists of lights that are tied to aircraft subsystems, and various highlighted colors provide important information regarding their current conditions. In general, a white or blue light acts as an advisory that the system is currently in use, and this covers systems such as seatbelts, anti-ice, and landing lights. Green lights are a similar advisory notification, denoting that the system is in use, or that it is ready for operation. Examples of a green light aircraft alarm include that the auxiliary power unit is running or that the landing gear is deployed.

            The alarm annunciator also provides the pilot information regarding subsystem issues that either need future maintenance or are of utmost importance to resolve immediately. When the alarm monitor displays a light that is an amber hue, a cautionary alert is being given to the pilot to relay that there is a problem that should be addressed as soon as they can, or during future inspection and maintenance. These alerts can include fuel in engines becoming imbalanced, or ice that has begun to form and is detected on/in the aircraft. The last light color, red, expresses a condition that is a critical concern for the aircraft, such as an engine catching fire or the failure of a hydraulic system. When these issues arise, the pilot or crew need to address them as soon as possible.

            When an aircraft alarm is displayed on the alarm annunciator panel, it will typically continue its alert both audibly and visually until the pilot acknowledges it. On the light itself, there may also be text that will provide information regarding the issue so that the pilot can understand the alert quickly and effortlessly so that they can work to resolve it. Acknowledgement of the alarm is typically achieved by pressing the light itself. Annunciator lights can also be tested to ascertain if they are all in working order before a scheduled flight. More often than not, a test switch will be present that can be actuated to let the pilot know if any lamps have burned out and need to be replaced.

            Due to their use for the pilot being aware of issues both big and small, ensuring that your aircraft annunciator panel is in a functional condition is very important. Annunciator panels can prevent major accidents, and thus save lives when in working order. When it comes time to procure or replace components for your aircraft annunciator panel, look no further than NSN Unlimited. NSN Unlimited is owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, and we can help you find annunciator panel components you need, new or obsolete. As a premier supplier of parts for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries, we're always available and ready to help you find all the parts and equipment you need, 24/7x365.


February 15, 2021


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