View Full Version : Colored Manuals

22nd Mar 2009, 15:29
Curious as to how many operators have colored manuals, and if they believe their use contributes to better training and lower training costs. Thx

22nd Mar 2009, 15:33
Curious as to how many operators have colored manuals, and if they believe their use contributes to better training and lower training costs.

To be politically correct they should be referred to as "manuals of color".

29th Mar 2009, 08:36
Apart from schematics.....Black & white is adequate.
Which aircraft manuals are you reffering to?

29th Mar 2009, 15:34
Airbus, I know the manufacture's manuals are in black and white...however since color is critical to the understanding and interpertation of numerous systems etc...I would think that manuals with the true and correct colors would provide better understanding...and quite possibly lower training costs. Especially for pilots transitioning from non Airbus. Even auto manuals come in color.

Old Smokey
2nd Apr 2009, 10:08
Black and White, being high contrast, are definately the best. In fairly dimly lit cockpits, some colours/colors make for more difficult reading. Yellow is probably the worst (why did Airbus have to have a Yellow Hydraulic system for heaven's sake, why not Red?).

Coloured pages can be beneficial to safety in a well lit cockpit environment, e.g. pre-flight. Our Airport Analysis pages have different colours for Dry/Wet/Contaminated Runways etc., which helps to avoid choosing the wrong data.

Of interest, a crash investigation in Australia some years ago cited type font as a possible cause for confusion. Courier was the "suspect" font, and investigation suggested that Arial is the font of choice in preparing Operations Manuals.


Old Smokey

3rd Apr 2009, 06:29
We studied this in our outfit. Systems diagrams are easier to digest when hue is the identifier instead of dots, hash marks, diagonals etc.

Not exactly on subject, but I recall the old method of updating the official aircraft gospel. Blue, yellow or green paper was used for supplementary data, revisions or to indicate differing sub-types in the fleet.

I'd be willing to bet Old Smokey remembers when the books were all printed in "Courier". :ok:

4th Apr 2009, 05:58
manuals used by engineers like AMM(aircraft maintenance manuals), MEL,IPC,SSM(system schematic manuals),WDM(Wiring diagram manuals) are in black and white only.There is no special benefit in printing them in color.What is important is printed data should be easily readable and easily accessible.

5th Apr 2009, 02:09
I'm talking about manuals that pilots use to fly the aircraft and understand the systems...since Airbus is very "color" oriented, I would think that the use of color in these manuals enhances the training and understanding. When you can see the LOC in blue rather than black and white you do not have to use descriptive language. Or the flap/slat indicators...when they appear in amber or green or blue, whats the saying...a picture is worth a thousand words.

5th Apr 2009, 02:23
The first airline I flew for had colored manuals. I can't remember the actual details but I seem to remember the Ops manual had a blue cover, the Vol 1 was a green cover, the SEP/Emergency manual had a red cover, not unnaturally. I seem to remember a brown one somewhere!
In my engineering training days of Technical drawing, we used nice colored pencils to enhance the look of the work. I'm sure that if you have a drawing of several systems on one page then color is indeed a great benefit.

FE Hoppy
5th Apr 2009, 02:55
We issue AOM vol 2 in colour to our E-Jet students. As the EDS has a colour philosophy it makes sense to have the illustrations in colour too.

5th Apr 2009, 08:18
We used to have a common manual (OMB 1 or FCOM) for 737 classics and NGs, where information that was only variant specific was color coded, one color for the classic, another for the NG, however the 757 information that was curiously included was just in normal black and white. Dunno if that is in use still as the last classics have left us.

5th Apr 2009, 15:54
Good info regarding the use of colors in checklists can be found in the UK CAA publication CAP676 - "Guidelines for the Design and Presentation of Emergency and Abnormal Checklists"...

V1... Ooops
5th Apr 2009, 20:38

Thank you very much for posting the above information about the UK CAA publication. I am just finishing up a major AFM revision for a Canadian built aircraft, and I was not aware of that CAA publication. I've had a look at it, and it contains some good points.

Some other documents that relate to checklist design (perhaps more to AFM design than specifically to checklists) are:

GAMA Specification 1 for POH (http://www.gama.aero/files/gama_specification_1_october_1996_pdf_498ca05388.pdf)

FAA AC 25-1581-1, Aircraft Flight Manual (http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_Guidance_Library/rgAdvisoryCircular.nsf/0/cb7efbdd420bd265862569b3005479d7/$FILE/AC25-1581-1.pdf)

I'm having a difficult time deciding whether to use colour in the AFM or not. There are some advantages, and there are disadvantages. Now that colour printing is becoming more common (and certainly less expensive than it once was), it would be nice to see some guidance material that specifically addresses how to take advantage of the benefits of using colour without also encountering the problems that can arise.