The increasing sophistication of modern digital avionics could conceivably overload the system management capabilities of the tactical aircraft pilot. Indeed, field interviews have verified that the operational pilot's role includes significant time in managing complex electronics systems. Often the pilot must decide which systems to trust both mission success and personal survival to with only a rudimentary comprehension of the system components and their behavior. The Al field of expert systems could make a substantial contribution toward improving both aircraft mission effectiveness and the pilot's sense of situation awareness. To meet this challenge, however, the research and development community must resolve a number of signficant technical issues which could otherwise limit the capability and acceptability of expert systems for coping with mission-critical flight situations. This paper provides a perspective on a set of technical issues which, if unresolved, could limit the capability and acceptability of expert systems decisionmaking for avionics applications. Examples from on-going expert system development programs are used to illustrate likely architectures and applications of future intelligent avionic systems.