Why Do Aircraft Have Redundant Systems?

Discover the significance of redundant aircraft systems and pilots' expertise in aviation safety.

Why Do Aircraft Have Redundant Systems?
Photo by National Cancer Institute / Unsplash

When you turn the key to start a car, it automatically activates several critical systems.
First, it powers the electrical system to many essential components.
- Fuel pump.
- Engine control unit.
- Ignition system.

Then, if you continue twisting the key, it engages the starter motor and starts the engine.

You release the key, and all of the systems keep the engine running.

In an aircraft, all of these critical flight systems are isolated on different switches and often have multiple backups like fuel pumps, ignition systems, hydraulics, air pressure, different sources of power for the electrical system, and totally separate electrical systems.

This redundancy and level of safety enable pilots to troubleshoot and select or de-power systems individually in the event of a failure while in flight.

Redundancy in Aircraft Systems

The design of aircraft systems prioritizes redundancy, ensuring that critical functions have multiple layers of backup systems to ensure safety in the event of a malfunction.

Pilots can isolate and troubleshoot specific issues by utilizing separate switches for different systems, crucial for ensuring the safety of the aircraft and its passengers.

Safety and Risk Mitigation

Every button on an aircraft's control panel plays a crucial role in ensuring safety and mitigating the risks associated with complex flight operations.

Having separate controls for various systems enables pilots to address potential failures efficiently and methodically, enhancing the overall safety and reliability of the aircraft's operation.

Engineering and Control Precision

The separate buttons and switches for different aircraft systems reflect the precision and engineering that goes into ensuring the safe and efficient operation of a plane.

Each individual control serves a specific function, and the intricate process of starting the plane reflects the meticulous design and focus on safety inherent in aviation engineering.

Pilot Training and Expertise

The multifaceted process of starting a plane through a sequence of buttons and switches underscores the level of training, expertise, and skill that pilots possess.

The ability to navigate and manage the various controls demonstrates the rigorous training and proficiency required to operate an aircraft effectively.


The complexity of starting a plane through multiple buttons and switches serves as a testament to the emphasis on safety, precision engineering, and the sophisticated operational requirements of modern aircraft.

While pressing numerous buttons may seem intricate, it underscores the meticulous attention to detail and safety measures that define aviation.