A side-stick or sidestick controller is an aircraft control stick that is located on the side console of the pilot, usually on the righthand side, or outboard on a two-seat flightdeck. Typically this is found in aircraft that are equipped with fly-by-wire control systems. 
The throttle controls are typically located to the left of a single pilot or centrally on a two-seat flightdeck. Only one hand is required to operate it; two hand operation is neither possible nor necessary.
The side-stick is used in many modern military fighter aircraft, such as the F-16 Fighting Falcon, Mitsubishi F-2, Dassault Rafale, and F-22 Raptor, and also on civil aircraft, such as the Sukhoi Superjet 100, Airbus A320 and all subsequent Airbus aircraft,  including the largest passenger jet in service, the Airbus A380.
It is also used in new helicopter models such as the Bell 525.
This arrangement contrasts with the more conventional design where the stick is located in the centre of the cockpit between the pilot's legs, called a "centre stick".
In the centre stick design, like traditional airplane yokes, both the pilot's and co-pilot's controls are mechanically connected together so each pilot has a sense of the control inputs of the other. In typical Airbus side-stick implementations, the sticks are independent, the so-called 'passive' side-stick. The plane's computer either aggregates multiple inputs or a pilot can press a "priority button" to lock out inputs from the other side-stick.  However, if both side-sticks are moved in different directions at the same time (regardless of which pilot has priority), then both inputs are cancelled out and an aural "dual input" warning sounds. Examples of this occurring include the 2009 crash of Air France Flight 447 (an Airbus A330 flying from Rio de Janeiro to Paris), the 2010 crash of Afriqiyah Airways Flight 771 an Airbus A330 from flying Johannesburg to Tripoli   and the 2014 crash of Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501 (an Airbus A320 flying from Surabaya to Singapore).   The "dual input" warning will not activate at very low levels if the EGPWS activates due to its lower priority compared to EGPWS. 
However a later, significant, development is the 'active' side-stick,  which is in the new Gulfstream G500/G600 series business jet aircraft. In this system, movements in one side-stick produce the same actions in the other side-stick and therefore provides valuable feedback to the other pilot. This addresses the earlier criticisms of the 'passive' side-stick. The 'active' side-stick also provides tactile feedback  to the pilot during manual flight. In fact the three largest avionics manufacturers, Honeywell, Rockwell Collins and Thales,  believe it will become the standard for all new fly-by-wire aircraft. In 2015 Ratier-Figeac as a subsidiary of UTC Aerospace Systems, and supplier of ‘passive’ side-sticks to Airbus since the 1980s  became the supplier of ‘active’ side-sticks for the Irkut MC-21.  This is the first airliner to use them.
Such an 'active' side-stick can also be used to increase adherence to a safe flight envelope by applying a force feedback when the pilot makes a control input that would bring the aircraft closer to (or beyond) the borders of the safe flight envelope. This reduces the risk of pilots entering dangerous states of flights outside the operational borders while maintaining the pilots' final authority and increasing their situation awareness. 
Fly-by-wire (FBW) is a system that replaces the conventional manual flight controls of an aircraft with an electronic interface. The movements of flight controls are converted to electronic signals transmitted by wires, and flight control computers determine how to move the actuators at each control surface to provide the ordered response. It can use mechanical flight control backup systems or use fully fly-by-wire controls.
A cockpit or flight deck is the area, usually near the front of an aircraft or spacecraft, from which a pilot controls the aircraft.
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A ground proximity warning system (GPWS) is a system designed to alert pilots if their aircraft is in immediate danger of flying into the ground or an obstacle. The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) defines GPWS as a type of terrain awareness warning system (TAWS). More advanced systems, introduced in 1996, are known as enhanced ground proximity warning systems (EGPWS), a modern type of TAWS.
A conventional fixed-wing aircraft flight control system (AFCS) consists of flight control surfaces, the respective cockpit controls, connecting linkages, and the necessary operating mechanisms to control an aircraft's direction in flight. Aircraft engine controls are also considered as flight controls as they change speed.
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A yoke, alternatively known as a control wheel or a control column, is a device used for piloting some fixed-wing aircraft.
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Airbus Industrie Flight 129 was an Airbus Industrie A330-321 test flight that ended in a crash on 30 June 1994 at Toulouse-Blagnac Airport, killing all seven people aboard. The last test flown was to certify the plane's takeoff capability with a single engine failure. It was the first fatal accident involving an Airbus A330 as well as the first hull loss of the type. It remained the only fatal accident involving an A330 until the crash of Air France Flight 447 on 1 June 2009.
Bernard Ziegler was a French pilot and engineer, who served in Airbus as senior vice president for engineering, well known for his evangelical zeal for the application of the fly-by-wire system in the Airbuses. He was the son of Airbus founder Henri Ziegler.
A centre stick, or simply control stick is an aircraft cockpit arrangement where the control column is located in the center of the cockpit between the pilots or between the pilot's legs. Since the throttle controls are typically located to the left of the pilot, the right hand is used for the stick, although left-hand or both-hands operation is possible if required.
Flight envelope protection is a human machine interface extension of an aircraft's control system that prevents the pilot of an aircraft from making control commands that would force the aircraft to exceed its structural and aerodynamic operating limits. It is used in some form in all modern commercial fly-by-wire aircraft. The professed advantage of flight envelope protection systems is that they restrict a pilot's excessive control inputs, whether in surprise reaction to emergencies or otherwise, from translating into excessive flight control surface movements. Notionally, this allows pilots to react quickly to an emergency while blunting the effect of an excessive control input resulting from "startle," by electronically limiting excessive control surface movements that could over-stress the airframe and endanger the safety of the aircraft.
Air France Flight 447 was a scheduled international passenger flight from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to Paris, France. On 1 June 2009, inconsistent airspeed indications led to the pilots inadvertently stalling the Airbus A330 serving the flight, failing to recover from it and eventually crashing into the Atlantic Ocean at 02:14 UTC, killing all 228 passengers and crew on board.
A flight control mode or flight control law is a computer software algorithm that transforms the movement of the yoke or joystick, made by an aircraft pilot, into movements of the aircraft control surfaces. The control surface movements depend on which of several modes the flight computer is in. In aircraft in which the flight control system is fly-by-wire, the movements the pilot makes to the yoke or joystick in the cockpit, to control the flight, are converted to electronic signals, which are transmitted to the flight control computers that determine how to move each control surface to provide the aircraft movement the pilot ordered.
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A rudder travel limiter, or rudder limiter, is a controlling device in an aircraft used to mechanically limit the maximum rudder deflection.
It seems surprising that Airbus has conceived a system preventing one pilot from easily assessing the actions of the colleague beside him. And yet that is how their latest generations of aircraft are designed. The reason is that, for the vast majority of the time, side-sticks are superb.