Questions tagged [commercial-operations]

Questions pertaining to the operation of aircraft for commercial purposes.

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28
votes
1answer
22k views

How does a commercial airliner measure its weight/mass?

Other questions currently being answered cover situations regarding planes near, at or even above their MTOW. It raises a more basic question: how is the exact "ramp weight" of an airliner measured or ...
26
votes
1answer
16k views

Why open up the window shades before takeoff and landing?

On commercial airlines, I've noticed that the flight attendants always ask everyone to open up their window shades before landing or takeoff. I've always wondered why this is. Is it something to do ...
19
votes
3answers
50k views

What do the terms 'holding out' and 'common carriage' mean?

A pilot with a new commercial certificate is excited at the new world of getting-paid-to-fly they have opened up. That is, until their instructor or good friend reminds them of 14 CFR 119 and the ...
29
votes
5answers
38k views

Is passenger weight distribution important on a commercial flight?

This is something I've wondered about for a long time. On really large airplanes, like a 747-400 or A380 for example, I would assume that the weight of the passengers on board is a significant to the ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

If both pilots are incapacitated, what happens?

How do the airlines prepare for a situation where for some reason both PIC and SIC are incapacitated for the remainder of the flight?
12
votes
1answer
2k views

How are conflicts between pilot flying and pilot not-flying over aircraft control resolved?

A question about the "my aircraft" protocol led to several answers that explain how the pilot flying (PF) can delegate control to the pilot not flying (PNF). It also seems that a pilot (e.g. ...
17
votes
3answers
22k views

In an airliner, does the Captain or the First Officer fly the airplane?

If there is such a thing as a 'normal' flight (in a commercial airliner), who flies the plane? Is it usually the Captain, the First Officer, or whomever needs the hours?
12
votes
1answer
3k views

What are the regulations involved in aerial advertising?

I often see small aircraft flying at a low altitude around beaches and the like with banner advertisements trailing behind them on a rope sort of structure. I have a few questions about them: What ...
13
votes
1answer
761 views

Why might a passenger jet fly at altitudes in a strong headwind when the winds are more favorable at a different altitude?

I was a passenger on an east to west flight recently. During the flight I was playing with Garmin Pilot's new "Flight profile" feature that nicely shows the wind speeds at various altitudes, and I ...
11
votes
2answers
29k views

How many active large commercial airplanes are there?

For example, the 747 Wikipedia page says that 1500 747s were produced (that number seems quite low!). Any indication of how many large, commercial aircraft there are, and what the breakdown between ...
11
votes
2answers
16k views

What is the ratio between time in the air and time on ground for an aircraft?

I suppose it may be different from an airline to another. Given the maintenance, the time to load/unload the aircraft, the time the aircraft is grounded because there is no flight scheduled (e.g. at ...
19
votes
3answers
5k views

How is the pressure difference in passenger plane toilets generated?

The toilets on passenger planes flush with an impressive amount of force - Is the negative pressure inside the tanks generated by a pump or are the tanks connected to the outside air pressure? ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

When is the descent clearance requested from ATC?

Is there a rule / Standard Operating Procedure as to when request the descent clearance during cruise flight? Something like one minute before reaching the Top of Descent point?
22
votes
4answers
5k views

Why are Low Cost Carriers ordering several hundred aircraft?

Indigo is a low cost carrier, which already has 99 A-320s in its fleet has ordered 431 more. This airline currently covers 35 routes, while the full service carrier Emirates has 221 planes, and ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Why don't large commercial airplanes have electric motors in the wheels? [duplicate]

The cost of jet fuel during taxiing can be a pain. Concorde in particular had very large fuel expenditure for taxiing. So why not put electric motors in at least 2 wheels to drive the plane that way? ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Why do commercial pilots always engage reverse thrust even if it is not necessary?

Most of the time the usage of reverse thrust is not needed. I wonder if it's an authority (e.g. FAA) requirement to land safely. Obviously, in bad weather conditions or when the runway is ...
-2
votes
4answers
2k views

Could ejector seats save lives in commercial aircraft? [duplicate]

If cost were no issue (it could be done cheaply), would installing ejection seats for passengers possibly save lives? There are certain scenarios (albeit extremely rare ones), where the crew may know ...
4
votes
2answers
15k views

What are the differences in door types in a commercial airliner?

I was looking on YouTube at crew training videos. One door caught my attention for a Qantas 767. This door was completely electric and slid up and into the fuselage above, instead of out and to the ...
1
vote
1answer
259 views

What steps do I need to follow to use my PPL for income?

So I am currently taking my PPL because flying was always a passion. But, as I am sure all who do such can relate, it is an expensive license to hold on to. None the less we go through simply for the ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

What's the shortest amount of time a commercial airplane will be on the ground in between flights?

What's the shortest amount of time a commercial airplane will be on the ground in between flights? After a commercial flight lands the passengers and luggage have to be unloaded, the airplane needs ...
5
votes
1answer
553 views

May airlines cancel unprofitable flights?

If a given flight is unprofitable for an airline (occupancy ratio or – more precisely – revenue from ticket fares and cargo below the break even point) and if operating this flight incurred a bigger ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

At what minimum occupancy ratio can airlines operate profitably?

Often, airlines are unable to sell all the seats of a flight and some seats go unsold. So, with what occupancy ratio is it usually profitable for an airline to operate? For example, Recently, a ...
5
votes
2answers
398 views

Could improper deplaning of a flight with full fuel tanks cause the plane to tip?

Reading this article regarding an Alaska Airlines 737 Flight that had to turn around back to the gate. There was a following statement: At the gate, passengers were unloaded five rows at a time, to ...
52
votes
2answers
8k views

How are banners kept upright?

Banners are towed with a single line trailing from the plane. source: © Raimond Spekking / CC BY-SA 4.0 (via Wikimedia Commons) How can they guarantee the banner is vertical and not upside down?
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it possible and effective to perform a forward slip in a large commercial jet?

I'm wondering if it's possible to forward slip a large commercial aircraft, like the A320 or even B777, and if so: is effective or useful, since most small aircraft which I gather do it have no ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the process to disconnect ground electric power before pushback?

While commercial airliner are parked at the gate, they have electrical power connected to the aircraft (if available at the airport). This needs to be disconnected before pushback - what is the ...
5
votes
1answer
799 views

What is the business purpose of scheduling two separate flights on the very same route with 5-10 minutes separation?

As in question. I have noticed, for example, that Berlin-Tegel has TXL-CDG route served by both AirBerlin and AirFrance with exactly five minutes separation. First plane takes off at 09:50 and second ...
5
votes
1answer
147 views

What operational aspects of Alphabet's Wing drone delivery service will be the same as that of an airline?

The NPR News article and podcast FAA Certifies Google's Wing Drone Delivery Company To Operate As An Airline begins with: The Federal Aviation Administration has certified Alphabet's Wing Aviation to ...
5
votes
2answers
164 views

Does the FAA consider flights that generate content for profitable YouTube channels displaying airborne video to be commercial operations?

Is there any guidance from the FAA such as an Advisory Circular, Letter of Interpretation, or other document that directly clarifies the scenario below? If a pilot creates aerial video content while ...
5
votes
2answers
6k views

Does the pilot in command always sit on the left seat?

Are there any rules (i.e. airline-specific) or regulations (laws) that state that the pilot in command (PIC) must sit on the left seat in commercial airliners? This question specifically asks for ...
3
votes
0answers
197 views

Possible reason for diverting domestic flight to a distant country [closed]

I have just spotted something weird (at least to me) on Flightradar24. A Lufthansa domestic flight from Munich to Frankfurt flying toward... Warsaw in Poland: My first, and quite obvious conclusion ...
2
votes
1answer
402 views

What is the shortest regularly scheduled commercial flight?

Interesting to know is this flight profitable or not. Why this route exist? Maybe train or car will be cheaper?
1
vote
7answers
1k views

Why are there full-fledged entertainment systems on aircraft when today everyone has a smart phone?

Today, many large commercial aircraft have full-fledged entertainment systems, sometimes going as far as putting a personal LED screen in every seat. Let's just consider the costs of this for a ...
-3
votes
3answers
640 views

Would building an airport at 30,000 ft save money?

So... this would obviously cost a ton of money initially, but long-term, I believe the savings both environmentally and financially would be returned many times over. If a building can already be ...