What is the Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System?

Posted on August 16, 2022 linda strong aviation

Aircraft are highly advanced flying machines, and they feature a wide variety of technology and systems that make them one of the safest ways to travel by far. With large, complex aircraft like Boeing and Airbus wide-body airliners, there are many systems spread across assemblies that are crucial for flight, and having the ability to monitor their health and respond to issues is paramount to avoid any hazards. Generally, pilots and crew members will rely on altering systems such as the EICAS to maintain awareness and safety, and having a general understanding of such systems can be beneficial for anyone involved in the industry or those who hold an interest in aviation.

The acronym EICAS stands for Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System, and it generally comes in the form of a system display that conveys various engine parameters that are being monitored while providing alerts to the crew when a system failure or similar issue arises. It is important that one does not confuse the EICAS with the electronic centralized aircraft monitor (ECAM), that of which has some overlapping functionalities. 

EICAS systems are regularly found in aircraft manufactured by Boeing, Embraer, and Airbus, and each variation may differ in how it presents information, as well as what information is provided. Nevertheless, the most common engine parameters provided by an EICAS include oil pressure, temperature values, rotational speed, fuel flow, and fuel quantity. Other common systems that may be monitored include environmental and control surface systems, electrical systems, and hydraulic systems. With these various parameters under constant watch, crew members can rapidly identify any potential damage or failure that may occur so that safety can be upheld. 

Regardless of the type of EICAS that is featured and the parameters it serves to monitor, information is typically provided in three modes, those of which include operational, status, and maintenance modes. The operation mode of an EICAS is important to see if the engine is working normally as intended, and any alerts will be displayed on the crew alerting system. If there are two displays present, the bottom will usually be reserved for secondary information that is only needed when necessary, such as the status of certain systems. 

Status mode is the second mode for an EICAS, and it can be selected to display a status page. Having the status page is very important when determining whether or not an aircraft is fit for dispatch, and it will usually contain information that is related to the Quick Reference Handbook checklist so that crew members know what actions they will need to carry out. When status mode is activated, the abbreviation “STS” will be displayed in white, and screens will show the positions of flight control surfaces, sub-system parameters, and equipment status messages alike. The status mode is often utilized while the aircraft is on the ground for the means of carrying out pre-flight checks or checks prior to shutting down electrical power. 

The last mode is the maintenance mode, and it is used on the ground. With the maintenance mode, engineers can better work on systems to determine whether or not there are system faults. Oftentimes, the maintenance mode will provide up to five different display formats to assist in identifying system failures and testing major subsystems. 

To effectively understand the various information provided by the EICAS, it is first beneficial to have a general understanding of the color coding system. An EICAS will utilize a 6-color code, each color representing the severity of an issue and how it should be handled. Red indications mean a failure has occurred and immediate action is required, while yellow means that no immediate action is required, but awareness is needed. With green colors, systems are operating normally, and white colors are simply to distinguish titles and remarks. Blue color indicators are to identify actions that need to be carried out, and magenta is the final color that offers indications for specific equipment types or situations. Once any necessary actions have been carried out, master caution or warning reset switches can be used to turn the indication off. 

With the importance that EICAS technology poses for aviation safety, it is crucial that such systems are well maintained and cared for. Whether you need replacement parts for your EICAS or are looking to implement one for the first time, we at Aviation Sourcing Solutions are unmatched in our ability to fulfill all your operational needs with time savings and competitive pricing. Explore our massive set of offerings as you see fit, and our team is always on standby 24/7x365 to assist customers through the purchasing process however necessary. If you have any questions regarding our offered services or simply wish to begin the purchasing process for items of interest, give us a call or email at any time, and we would be more than happy to assist you!

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