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My name is Buck Edwards. I'm in a dream. The dream. It's happening again. I've had it so many times now I can remember every detail of it, the swinging oxygen masks, the flashing control panel, the ground coming ever closer... expanding to fill my vision... so close now you can see the individual trees and bushes... and then...

I always wake up then. That's the worst part of it. The fear of the hitting the ground and then never knowing what happens. I'm stuck in an endless loop of the last moments of my dream self's life. With no way of escaping....

It's destroying me. I need to get out of that plane. It's the only way to stop the dream. But I don't know how...

Maybe you can help me escape...


Cockpit

The dream is so vivid that I can remember everything in incredible detail... Perhaps the following enhanced images on the different cockpit components will give some clue as to how I can escape?

Here are zoomed in images of the clock in the top right, the different clocks above the windscreen, the dials, the knobs, the buttons on the control panel and the incoming message (click for better quality):

Clock Set of clocks Dials Knobs Buttons Incoming message

Here is a google sheet of the incoming message.

The grid on the left of the control panel changes in each dream. It is usually one of these:

enter image description here enter image description here

I hope that gives you enough information to find how I can escape the plane...

And escape this dream...

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Greatly inspired by The Guides Axiom - a fantastic puzzle/cipher game i recommend to anyone who enjoys puzzles such as these. $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Oct 26 '17 at 20:48
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Dials

If we

rotate them by 180 degrees (see DqwertyC's answer for why) and match with the knobs as Dqwerty tried before, we get RPIXELS.

Incoming message

If we then

extract the pixels of the "incoming message" that have nontrivial red components

we get this:

enter image description here

where

I have brightened the levels a bit. We see BINARY at left and right, and some other stuff elsewhere that may be susceptible of binary interpretation. (Is it plausible that the exact R-levels of these pixels have detailed info in? It doesn't make much sense in the context of the story, but maybe. Anyway, I haven't extracted those.)

Incidentally,

there is nothing so obvious in the G and B components of those pixels, though that's perfectly compatible with something being non-obviously encoded in them.

If we then

take that central block and interpret it as 4 8-bit ASCII letters per row, we read off: PARACHUTE UNDERNEATH PILOT CHAIR.

Perhaps that's the final answer.

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Clocks

I was right, the clocks point to letters. With letters starting at the top, going clockwise, each clock shows part of a message.

The big clock has Hours pointing to K, Minutes pointing to E, and Seconds pointing to Y, "KEY", meaning that's how we should interpret the rest of the clocks.

Clocks with letters

Doing so, reading Hours-Minutes-Seconds for the clocks from left to right, we get "OVERLAY THE TWO GRIDS".

I assume this means we're supposed to overlay the two grids that change back and forth between dreams.

System Controls

Interpreting black dials as 1 and white as 0, the top row is ASCII for 'n', and the bottom is ASCII for 'o', probably indicating a red herring.

Matching the unlabeled dials with the labeled ones facing the same direction, we get the message "UGOBACK". Adding spaces this becomes U GO BACK.

This probably means that some part of the puzzle needs to be reversed before it can be interpreted correctly, but I'm not sure where.

Grids

As Gareth McCaughan pointed out, overlaying the grid gives another binary-ascii message, "ROTATE DIALS 180"

Overlayed Grids

Other than that, nothing yet

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  • $\begingroup$ good observations, all correct. I recommend you explore your idea about the clock in more detail... $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Oct 26 '17 at 16:41
  • $\begingroup$ Well done! You've solved the first step. See if you can keep going now... (PS I edited your answer to make it a bit more readable if that OK?) $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil Oct 26 '17 at 17:05
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    $\begingroup$ Overlaying the grids and interpreting as ASCII yields ROTATE DIALS 180 $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Oct 26 '17 at 17:06
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Complete Community Wiki from OP

This is a complete community wiki written by Beastly Gerbil. The puzzle was mostly solved by DqwertyC and Gareth McCaughan. Please upvote their answers too!


Final answer

There is a parachute under the pilots chair

Step 1

The clock in the top right has 26 segments. Starting at the top and working clockwise, the segments can be labeled A-Z:

clock explained
The main clock's hands then point to the letters K, E and Y - indicating that this clock is the key.

Step 2

If we apply this clock to the clocks above the windscreen, and then read the letters the hands give us in hour-minute-second order, from right to left, we get the message OVERLAY THE TWO GRIDS.

Clocks with letters - Image from DqwertyC

Step 3

Next, overlaying the two grids gives the following:

Overlayed Grids

Taking a black square as a 1, and a white square as a 0, the grid says ROTATE DIALS 180 in binary ASCII

Step 4

Matching the dials to the knobs on the system controls panel, we get the message U GO BACK. Clearly, we aren't looking in the right place. However, if we rotate the dials 180 degrees and then match the dials to the knobs we get the message RPIXELS

Step 5

Taking just the pixels in the incoming message which contain red (red, yellow or purple) we get the following:

enter image description here

We have

The word BINARY and a lot of dots. If we take the dots in the following places:

enter image description here

And take a red pixel as 1, white as 0, then we get a set of binary messages.

The single lines highlighted in blue say SAFE, JUMP, LIVE and MOVE. The main bit in yellow gives the final answer:

PARACHUTE UNDERNEATH PILOT CHAIR

Extras

1. 'WELCOME ABOARD FLIGHT 5932' is a reference to another question by Beastly Gerbil
2. The buttons on the control panel say ACT FAST in binary
3. The system controls black/white dials gives binary for NO 4. The system controls say STOP RELAXING BUCK

Note from OP - Inspiration:

This puzzle was greatly inspired by the puzzle/cipher game The Guides Axiom (in particular level 16) - an awesome game which I recommend to anyone who enjoys puzzles such as this.

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