The term sidestick [ saɪdstɪk ] German side stick, called a joystick -like control stick that replaces the conventional control column and the control column of an aircraft.

In contrast to the control horn that is positioned in front of the pilot, the sidestick is located next to the pilot. It is operated with only one hand.

In commercial aviation will find electronic sidestick particularly in the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus aircraft use. Here the electrical control signals of the sidestick run together in a computer, and there is the fly- by-wire technology used. The next in Airbus aircraft for use sidesticks are equipped with a so-called " sidestick priority pushbutton ". This can be turned off by briefly pressing the autopilot. If the button for longer than 30 seconds, the second sidestick is deactivated. This is necessary because there have been near misses when the pilot and co-pilot serve at the same time and possibly contrary to their side stick, which is not provided.

There are also newer fighter aircraft with electronic sidestick. Mechanical sidesticks come, for example, in the Speed ​​Canard used.

In a classic joystick design, the forces acting on the aircraft during flight, are transmitted in the form of resistance and a rash on the control unit. In electronic sidestick this feedback is eliminated. Recently, so-called "active" sidesticks used to realize the electronically controlled force feedback.


Incidents that are causally attributed to the sidestick technology, few are known. So 2001 was an Airbus 320-200 were exchanged during the maintenance of the aileron control wires when changing a plug on the left side-stick, so that the aileron opposite ausschlugen to enter on the left side stick. The second pilot immediately took over the control, corrected the transverse position of the aircraft with the right side stick and was able to land safely. Since in modern aircraft fly-by -wire technology is also used in the control horn design, the error would be just as possible there. According to Chesley B. Sullenberger, expert on aviation accidents, the aviation accident of Air France flight 447 in June 2009 with a Boeing, using classical control horns, less likely would have happened, because they are mechanically coupled and each control input of a pilot thus, for the other pilots is clearly visible.