Questions tagged [airline-operations]

Refers to questions asking about airline practices, procedures, and processes both in the employment arena and in flight.

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24
votes
6answers
25k views

How much does it cost to give an airliner a fresh coat of paint?

Just a random thought I had: the weather gives a jet's paint job a battering; meaning they need to be resprayed approximately once every 5-10 years. (See How often is a passenger jet aircraft painted?)...
22
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3answers
6k views

Why does the headset man not get on the tractor?

As far as I can see, the pushback operation of a passenger aircraft is carried out by a similar application at many airports. It's a towbarless tractor and driver who pushes the aircraft together with ...
22
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5answers
3k views

Are children safe when seated in lap during a flight?

We would never consider putting an infant or toddler into a car without a carseat, but we don't hesitate to do exactly this when getting onto a large airplane. If you aren't aware of the concept of a ...
22
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5answers
24k views

How long does it take to refuel a big jumbo jet?

How long does it take to refuel a big jumbo jet? And what about a smaller A320. I'm talking in terms of time.
21
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5answers
3k views

Under what conditions do airliners retire aircraft and sell them to other airlines?

How often (and under what conditions) are airliners resold to another organization with...less stringent qualifications? Is there a certain number of hours after which an airliner has to be retired ...
21
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3answers
5k views

Who decides how fast commercial aircraft fly: the pilots or ATC?

Once a commercial aircraft is in the cruise phase, who determines the speed of the aircraft? Do pilots have the authority to fly at up to the maximum permissible speed of that plane, or does ATC ...
20
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5answers
5k views

Why do full service airlines prefer to run a separate low-cost carrier?

There are various full service carriers (FSCs) who have a separate low-cost carrier (LCC) subsidiary. For example: Germanwings by Lufthansa Air India Express by Air India JetKonnect by Jet Airways ...
20
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10answers
6k views

Why 1st and 2nd class but not fast or slow airplanes?

Why do airlines separate passengers into 1st and 2nd class but do not offer fast or slow connections? Isn't the biggest cost the kerosene? And isn't the cost directly proportional to speed?
20
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2answers
8k views

Why pilots would leave the cockpit in a short flight?

I've occasionally read about pilots being locked out of the cockpit in flight, and was wondering: Why might a pilot leave the cockpit during a short flight (1-2 hours)?
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7answers
4k views

Is there any airline company owner who also works as a pilot?

Do you know any airline company owner who holds ATPL licence and flies one of the company's aircraft occasionally in normal operations just because (s)he likes to do it?
20
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4answers
5k views

Why didn't Air India always fly DEL-SFO over the Pacific?

I read a 2016 article that said Air India broke a record for the longest flight (distance) by flying from New Delhi to San Francisco over the Pacific rather than a polar/Atlantic route. The total ...
20
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4answers
8k views

Are two people required in cockpit at all times on large commercial aircraft?

It would seem reasonable on large commercial airlines to require that there be two people in the cockpit at all times. For example when the pilot goes to the toilet a member of the cabin crew must ...
20
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2answers
4k views

What work besides flying planes does an airline pilot regularly do?

What are the typical non-aircraft duties for an airline pilot? By non-aircraft, I'm asking about time spent in the office, in meetings, training (whether in a simulator, class or other non-aircraft ...
19
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3answers
10k views

Are runways booked by airlines to land their planes?

Suppose Indigo lands at Indira Gandhi international airport and the arrival is schedule at 5:30 a.m. Is the runway to land on fixed by the airline. If not please explain reason behind not to schedule ...
19
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5answers
4k views

Can commercial air traffic operate from uncontrolled airport, airspace?

Are there any airports with scheduled services where big jets (say 737 or A320) or wide bodies regularly operate without control tower? Are there any rules (EASA FAA) for this? If controllers go ...
19
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1answer
3k views

What can be expected in an airline interview?

So after the long wait, when someone finally gets that phone call for an interview at an airline, what do they need to study? What kinds of questions will they ask during the interview? How many ...
19
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3answers
2k views

Was smoking banned because of passenger safety or occupational safety?

Federal regulation CFR 252.3 notes that: Air carriers shall prohibit smoking on all scheduled passenger flights. Was this because of: 1) passenger safety concerns (the airplane may catch on fire ...
19
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3answers
2k views

How unique are waypoint names supposed to be?

I had thought that someone such as ICAO was coordinating the assignment of five-letter waypoint names such that they were globally unique. Now I notice that OpenNav knows three different waypoints ...
19
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1answer
3k views

How do airline pilots contact their company while in the air?

Sometimes airline pilots need to get in touch with their company while in the air, for example diagnosing cautionary messages or reporting a diversion. By what means is the communication channel ...
19
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1answer
794 views

Should a pre-flight inspection spot snakes on a plane?

In January 2013, a python hitched a ride on plane, unfortunately exposed on the wing after getting sucked out of its hiding place. Qantas 191 is a Cairns → Port Moresby flight on a DHC-8-400, ...
18
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4answers
36k views

Is flying during the day safer than flying at night?

Is there any correlation between night or day flight time and rate of accidents? To me it seems that there should not be a difference. If an airplane needs to execute an emergency landing, it has to ...
18
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1answer
3k views

How frequent is the use of spoilers during descent?

Having flown a number of flights as a passenger recently, I observed that: Roughly 50% of pilots used spoilers above FL180 Almost everybody used spoilers to pass the 10,000 feet / 250 knots mark ...
18
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1answer
16k views

Why do entertainment system headphones on aircraft have two pins?

In most commercial flights where headphones are provided for inflight entertainment they have two pins, unlike single pin connections which we use on the ground (e.g. for mobile phones). Is there a ...
17
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3answers
5k views

Why don't American passenger airlines operate dedicated cargo flights any more?

I was reading recently that Northwest Airlines was the last American passenger carrier to operate dedicated Cargo aircraft. Why do none of the large US airlines operate dedicated cargo flights anymore?...
17
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2answers
22k views

What exactly is a QRH?

In this question about aircraft dumping fuel I was told that there may possible be guidance in the QRH. I know that there are a lot of guidelines given to pilots, but I've never heard of this one. ...
17
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1answer
2k views

What happens if a passenger dies mid-flight?

Last month (December 2014), there were news that a passenger passed away during a flight. As mentioned in this answer, it appears that it is not a very uncommon scenario. In an unfortunate incident ...
17
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3answers
2k views

Why does the co-pilot sometimes keep a hand on the throttle as well as the pilot?

In this YouTube video of a takeoff and landing in a Dash-8, you can see the pilot, while landing, keeps his right hand on the throttle levers. The co-pilot keeps his left hand at the base of the ...
17
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1answer
2k views

Is there any limit to how many times an aircraft evacuation slide may be deployed?

I've seen multiple videos online of evacuation slide tests and they all tend to be almost violent as they are very fast and loud, but I can't help thinking that it must put a lot of force on those ...
17
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1answer
3k views

Are rolling takeoffs now more common than powering up while holding on the brakes?

I remember back in the 90's that commercial planes would line up on the runway, stop, apply full power and then release the brake to take off. Now I've been on flight where they've literally rolled ...
16
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4answers
3k views

Why did air traffic levels decrease dramatically in the US through the 2000s?

In 2015, the FAA stated that System-wide, air traffic has declined by 24 percent since peak year 2000. The chart in Figure 1.1 shows that air traffic volume is not expected to return to peak ...
16
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2answers
33k views

What are the basics of flying non-revenue?

I've never worked for an airline, but I know that one of the benefits of working in the industry is that you can fly for free or almost free on a space-available basis. I realize that every airline ...
16
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4answers
4k views

What are the benefits of long-haul airplanes servicing regional routes?

Following this answer. This is actually a set of three different questions: How often airlines "wastes" money, by putting long-hauls (widebody aircrafts) on regional or domestic routes? Are there any ...
16
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2answers
6k views

What do airline pilots eat on a flight, and when?

Do airline pilots eat while flying or do they wait until they are back on the ground? If they do eat, do they get the same food that is served to the passengers or do they bring their own meal?
16
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2answers
2k views

What happens when an airline pilot decides not to fly at the last minute?

What happens when a commercial airline pilot wants to remove himself from a flight a short time before takeoff (say an hour or less)? He obviously can't be forced to fly, and there may be very good ...
16
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1answer
2k views

Is « Shepherd One » really used internationally by air traffic control for Pope's flight?

CNN: The President flies on Air Force One. The Pope flies on "Shepherd One." That's the Federal Aviation-approved call sign for the Boeing 777 in which he'll be traveling around the United ...
16
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1answer
2k views

When buying airliners what is the difference between “orders”, “options” and “purchase rights”?

I've often seen announcements by aircraft manufacturers or operators along these lines "Qantas announced today that they will buy 10 A380's and have taken options on another 10". What does it mean to ...
15
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3answers
11k views

Why aren't there direct flights connecting Honolulu, Hawaii and London, UK?

London is by far my favorite city, and many people in Honolulu apparently feel the same. An old poll (5-6 years ago) said that 50% of polled people would go to London on that flight if it existed. The ...
15
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1answer
3k views

Why can't Norwegian's Boeing 787 operate from Vegas during hot weather?

In a German news article it was stated that the additional weight (Norwegian puts 291 passengers on their 787-8) leads to operations restrictions in Las Vegas when temperature conditions exceed 40°C. ...
15
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2answers
9k views

Is it allowed to listen to music while piloting a plane?

When I'm driving my car, I almost always put some music on. It's really relaxing for me. I know that piloting a plane is nothing like driving a car, but it would be great, at least for me, to listen ...
15
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1answer
4k views

When do commercial flights turn off the APU?

On commercial flights do the pilots ever turn off the APU? Is it needed when flying?
15
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2answers
4k views

How far ahead does an airline know which aircraft you will be flying on?

My favorite features of the United Airlines app are: you are able to see what specific aircraft will be operating your flight you are able to trace that aircraft back indefinitely via the "Where is ...
15
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3answers
2k views

Why fewer operations on weekends?

Why are there fewer air carrier operations on weekends? Looking at PHX data, we have the following annual trend that clearly shows a weekly drop of about 8% on weekends: and when I average the data a ...
15
votes
2answers
423 views

On commercial jets, is asymmetric thrust used as part of normal operations?

I know that when manoeuvring on the ground, asymmetric thrust is often used, for example to assist in turns when taxiing. Are there other circumstances in normal operations which might call for the ...
15
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1answer
2k views

How are airlines able to work out gate allocations so far in advance?

When flying on a long-haul flight, you can often see gate allocations for when you land a hour or two before actually arriving at the airport, including transfer information and connecting flights. ...
15
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3answers
3k views

Why have different flights with the same flight number?

It's not uncommon for two distinct flights to have the same number. For example, DL10 consists of a narrow-bodied jet flying from Denver to Minneapolis–St Paul and then, two to three hours ...
15
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3answers
693 views

Did Pacific Southwest Airlines ever operate flights under VFR?

Does anyone know if Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) ever flew certain routes under VFR? I've read this question and I understand that Part 121 does allow for VFR flight, but my question is specific ...
14
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4answers
5k views

When can a pilot disobey ATC commands? [duplicate]

The title really asks it all: When can a pilot disobey ATC commands?. Of course, the pilot has the final decision, but when would the pilot really disobey someone in ATC with much more knowledge of ...
14
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3answers
107k views

Are air marshals on every flight?

These guys say (in the discussion) that they were the only three passengers on board. Does that mean that there was no Air Marshal on board (or one of them was?). Aren't air marshals present on ...
14
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3answers
4k views

How does an airline open a new route?

How do they manage to open a new route? For example Dubai-Panama. Do they have to open new airways?
14
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5answers
3k views

How do larger aircraft compensate for reduced visibility from the cockpit, e.g. less visibility of the rear of the aircraft?

In smaller planes, pilots has apparently great visibility in front, on the sides and a good portion of the rear of the plane. But as the plane's size is increased, the visibility is also reduced. One ...

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