Questions tagged [commercial-operations]

Questions pertaining to the operation of aircraft for commercial purposes.

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50
votes
2answers
7k 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?
32
votes
1answer
7k views

What is the purpose of a walled area in the vicinity of Heathrow Airport?

Looking at a satellite map to the East of Heathrow Airport, there is a small passenger jet parked in a walled off area. Looking at the aerodrome chart the entire area is listed as Bealine Base, which ...
29
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5answers
35k 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 ...
28
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1answer
19k 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
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5answers
9k views

Why are pilots asked to provide a reason for a go-around?

Why does the tower ask pilots what the reason is for a go-around? This seems to be standard for commercial flights.
25
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3answers
7k views

Why are the call signs of some airlines completely different than their name?

The call sign of U.S. Airways is "Cactus", and that of British Airways is "Speedbird"; while for Malaysia Airlines is "Malaysia", Qantas is just simple "Qantas". Why is it that the call signs of some ...
24
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1answer
3k views

How much leverage do commerial pilots have on cruise speed?

If you fly frequently there are chances you have seen some delays in departure where you end up waiting in the aircraft sometimes for multiple hours. Almost every time that happened I remember the ...
21
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1answer
14k 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 ...
21
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3answers
4k 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 ...
20
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3answers
10k views

What aircraft could make non-stop transatlantic flights in 1958?

According to Wikipedia: TWA flew to Europe nonstop from O'Hare starting in 1958 The Great Circle Route distance from ORD/KORD to LHR/EGLL is 3953 miles. Other major European airports would have ...
19
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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? ...
19
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3answers
42k 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 ...
19
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1answer
2k views

What are the printouts/paperwork a captain does at the check-in desk?

While flying American out of Chicago yesterday I noticed that when the captain arrived he went to the check-in desk and first read the monitor of a computer there for a minute or two, then he printed ...
16
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2answers
3k views

Who operates delivery flights for commercial airlines?

Seeing an A220 flying to Atlanta for delivery to Delta made me wonder: Which crew operates a delivery flight? The manufacturer’s pilots? Or the airline’s crew?
16
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1answer
663 views

What is the usage ratio of the An-225 Mriya?

Does anyone have data on how much time the An-225 (only one was produced; it is currently the largest aircraft in the world) spends flying/on missions and how much it waits for customers? This is a ...
15
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7answers
5k views

How dangerous can it be if something falls from a flying aircraft?

How dangerous can it be if something falls from a flying aircraft?
15
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2answers
2k views

Does the co-pilot still remain in control of the plane if an engine fails during takeoff?

If an engine fails after $V_1$, how long does the copilot remain in control if he was the pilot flying? What is prioritized before the captain taking control of the aircraft?
14
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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 ...
13
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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 ...
13
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1answer
684 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 ...
12
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3answers
1k views

During the holding procedure is it required that the pax must have the seat belt on?

Imagine to have to hold at a busy airport before landing for a quite long time (let's say 20 plus minutes), does it requires that the pax must have the seat belt on during the whole holding procedure? ...
12
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4answers
1k views

What was the commercial speed of Concorde?

I work on time-space cartography in a historical perspective and need to establish a commercial speed of Concorde aircraft flights based on timetable data. This issue differs from the issue of the ...
12
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1answer
3k views

Why are only captains allowed to taxi the aircraft?

At most airlines, only the captains are allowed to taxi the aircraft (i.e. Lufthansa). Even if the copilot is pilot flying, the captain will taxi the aircraft to the runway, and later from the runway ...
12
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1answer
2k 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 ...
12
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1answer
469 views

Why did flight NH175 divert back to Los Angeles?

In the news recently is All Nippon Airways flight NH175, which returned to LAX after four hours towards NRT when it was discovered that a passenger aboard did not have the correct ticket, although his ...
11
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2answers
2k views

During single-engine taxi, how is the asymmetric power compensated for?

For various reasons (e.g. noise, fuel savings), some airlines allow single engine taxiing. Obviously, this produces an asymmetric thrust during the taxi. If the left engine is used, the aircraft ...
11
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2answers
28k 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
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2answers
14k 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 ...
10
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2answers
1k views

Did these pilots break any regulations by hand-flying an A320 for most of the cruise?

A couple of days ago, I flew with a popular budget airline within Europe. The aircraft was an A320. It was also a brand new one (only in service since June 2018 and produces 15% less noise and fuel ...
10
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2answers
3k 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 ...
10
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2answers
1k views

Are airport employees security checked?

Is your average ramp or store employee at an international airport security checked before they are allowed to enter the gate side area or apron?
10
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5answers
2k views

How has weight been reduced in commercial aircraft design and how will this trend continue?

Reducing weight of aircraft has become a priority as the aviation industry seeks greater fuel efficiency and commits to strict emissions targets. How much weight has been cut from single and twin ...
9
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3answers
4k views

Why was this commercial plane highly delayed mid-flight?

What could be the main reasons for a short-haul flight to be delayed over an hour in-flight? Recent Lufthansa LH 2227 CDG-MUC flight took off only half an hour after scheduled time, but landed at ...
9
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2answers
3k views

What is the role of the flight dispatcher? How do the dispatcher and the flight crew interact?

The flight dispatcher is known as the ground pilot. Air Canada flight dispatcher (source: On the job: Flight Dispatch) It's not clear to me what is their role related to a given flight, or where are ...
9
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3answers
1k views

When are ATC frequencies preset in the radios?

I've noticed that sometimes pilots tend to present the next ATC frequency in the standby radio, and when required to switch frequencies, they can just push the frequency transfer switch to switch the ...
9
votes
2answers
552 views

Does operation under ETOPS rules require additional procedures in flight during the ETOPS segment?

During Extended-range Twin-engine Operations (ETOPS), are there any special procedures pilots have to follow? I am asking for specific procedures / tasks during the ETOPS segment of a flight, not what ...
8
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3answers
3k 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?
8
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1answer
2k 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 ...
8
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2answers
2k 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? ...
8
votes
1answer
795 views

Why is the V1-speed callout automated in modern commercial aircraft while VR is not?

In some modern aircraft such as the Airbus A380 or Boeing B787, the callout of the V1 speed is automated through a synthetic voice, based on the V-speeds entered into the flight management system. ...
8
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1answer
266 views

How are businesses able to use experimental aircraft?

I saw businesses like this using military jets to sell rides to civilians. Since warbirds are considered experimental aircraft, does the FAA issue special certs to fly them commercially? According ...
7
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2answers
528 views

Why is the Beluga chartered out for oddball missions, but not the Dreamlifter?

Both Airbus and Boeing have special outsize-cargo freighters for transporting large pieces of airliner; Airbus has five Belugas (derived from the A300), while Boeing uses four Dreamlifters (...
7
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1answer
451 views

Most time-consuming tasks while a plane is on the ground

How long should commercial planes stay on the ground after landing before they can take off again? What is the most time-consuming thing/task/operation that happens during this time? Is downloading ...
7
votes
1answer
429 views

Which incidents did not result in accidents because of the actions of the second pilot on board?

In accordance with 14 CFR §25.1523 and §121.385c3, commercial airline aircraft must be operated by at least two pilots. This provision mainly bases on workload and pilot incapacitation considerations (...
7
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2answers
24k views

Can a commercial pilot fly passengers for hire without an air carrier certificate? [duplicate]

I have my private multi instrument and almost done with my commercial multi. A collegiate school's football team has requested that I fly the coaches (2-4) to their away games and other travel events ...
7
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1answer
232 views

Can I use a rental airplane to conduct air tours?

Can a commercial pilot perform non-stop air tour operations under part 91 within 25SM of the airport using a rental airplane from the FBO? I noticed that in the LOA application, the operation needs ...
7
votes
1answer
170 views

How can I find out if the FAA has ever sanctioned a pilot?

Is there any easy way to check to see if a CFI or commercial pilot has had past problems with the FAA? The question came to me after an old thread in one of the aviation forums pointed me to this ...
7
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1answer
308 views

What could cause a rear twin-jet's throttle to oscillate on descent?

I rode a smaller twin-tail-engined jetliner for a few short hops last month, and I noticed that their airport approaches are much rougher than the widebody airliners I am used to. I believe that it ...
6
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2answers
3k 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?
6
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3answers
373 views

Was a 7300-mile non-stop flight possible in 1979?

I'm listening to the On Wings of Eagles audiobook by Ken Follett and found some information about a non-stop transatlantic flight between Teheran (IKA) and Dallas (DFW). GCM says that this is 7,300 ...