Questions tagged [equipment]

For questions about miscellaneous aviation equipment

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86 votes
11 answers
48k views

Do pilots really wear "pilot's watches"?

High-end mechanical wristwatches from Swiss and German manufacturers (e.g. Breitling, Rolex etc.) are often marketed as "pilot's watches", and have chronometer features to supposedly help pilots ...
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  • 729
56 votes
3 answers
25k views

What does it mean for a door to be armed?

What does "arming a door" mean? Is the orange tape that's applied over a window related, perhaps as an indicator to people outside that the door is armed?
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31 votes
2 answers
7k views

What is the purpose of the glazed round area atop the Ju 87 Stuka G?

I haven't been able to find any pictures of this feature aside from models, nor any reference to what it is. I'm going to make a complete guess and suggest it's a searchlight for night-fighting to ...
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  • 9,461
29 votes
2 answers
6k views

What are the "spur" devices on this U2 pilot's boots?

From this video on YouTube: What are those devices and what is their purpose?
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  • 2,386
28 votes
2 answers
7k views

What is that device on an Su-27 pilot's helmet?

While watching a YouTube video (2.5hrs), I noticed this device on the top of most Russian Su-27 combat pilot's helmet. A google search only shows it for a Su-27 and MiG-29, but apparently no other ...
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  • 11.3k
21 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is this orange container labeled "Flight kit wheel"?

What is this orange container for? It reads Flight kit wheel. Do not remove. What's a "flight kit wheel"?
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  • 1,811
21 votes
3 answers
8k views

Do pilots using an electronic flight bag need to carry paper charts?

If a pilot uses an electronic flight bag (say, an iPad with ForeFlight or WingX), are they required to carry paper charts as a backup? Do different rules apply to operations under Parts 91, 121, and ...
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  • 23.1k
17 votes
4 answers
3k views

How does the Guardian counter-MANPADS system work?

I came across this picture of a FedEx McDonnell Douglas DC-10 equipped with an anti-missile defense system. (wikimedia.org) According to the picture description: FedEx became the first U.S. ...
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  • 3,956
17 votes
1 answer
3k views

What is the belly pod on this Beech A200 Super King Air?

In this photo of N46L, a Beech A200 Super King Air owned by Dynamic Aviation, there is a large pod attached to the belly with what looks like two largish ports or windows on the underside. What is it,...
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  • 1,675
16 votes
3 answers
7k views

Why don't airlines provide smoke hoods?

In Fire-involved Accidents and Incidents Reviewed , Rudolf Kapustin stated in 1993 that Nearly all aircraft accident fatalities that are not the result of crash/impact injuries are the result of ...
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  • 2,406
16 votes
2 answers
1k views

Do flying boats carry anchors?

Inspired by the first comment here, and considering they are called "boats", do flying boats (or seaplanes) carry anchors?
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16 votes
2 answers
1k views

How do they quickly replace the pylons after a hit during the Red Bull Air Races?

My 3 years old was watching the movie Planes (Dusty Crop hopper one) and when he saw one airplane hit a pylon and puncture it he asked: How will they fix it? I told him it was air filled and they ...
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15 votes
1 answer
18k views

Which aircraft are required to have a black box?

When is an aircraft required to have a Cockpit Voice Recorder or a Flight Data Recorder?
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  • 57.8k
15 votes
1 answer
970 views

Why is the Antonov 225 (almost) always chocked at the third wheel?

Recently I was looking over pictures where the An-225 is parked (because that's a normal thing for a normal person to spend their time doing). I noticed that the chocks are almost always placed around ...
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  • 242
14 votes
2 answers
7k views

What is required for transatlantic flight in a private plane?

What equipment is required to fly a small plane across the Atlantic via Canada, Greenland, and Iceland? Is any additional training required beyond an ordinary pilot certificate? Can it be done in VFR ...
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  • 5,600
13 votes
5 answers
8k views

What is this ring-shaped device behind this DC-8's jet engine?

What is this ring-shaped device behind this Douglas DC-8's jet engine? (YouTube)
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13 votes
3 answers
4k views

Which wheel or wheels get the chocks?

As a quick follow-up question to my earlier one about the retail cost of chocks, which wheel(s) typically get the chocks on a GA tricycle-gear plane? Do you buy one roped pair for the nose wheel (make ...
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  • 22.3k
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is this hole on the tail of an MD-88?

There's a little hole on the leading edge of the vertical stabilizer of this plane: What is that? What is its purpose? Thanks Source: Airliners.net
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  • 11.3k
11 votes
1 answer
2k views

Which gas is used to fill the evacuation slides of modern aircraft?

We have seen that after an emergency landing when the airplane needs to be evacuated promptly, evacuation slides get deployed immediately. I am not sure if normal air is being inflated in those slides ...
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  • 6,819
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

For supplemental oxygen, what is preferred between masks and cannulas?

There are two main types of supplemental oxygen devices in light aircraft: Cannula: Oxygen mask: What are the major differences between these two devices? Is one more suitable for specific ...
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11 votes
1 answer
1k views

Chocks - why the wide variances in price?

In a comment to a question about setting the parking brake, @rbp said to just get a set of wheel chocks and use those instead. I was piqued - it never occurred to me you'd need your own, I thought ...
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  • 22.3k
10 votes
1 answer
2k views

Was John F. Kennedy Jr.’s accident airplane equipped with an autopilot?

JFK Jr.’s crash was attributed to failure to maintain control due to spatial disorientation. Could this be explained by his Piper Saratoga N9253N having no autopilot?
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  • 5,646
10 votes
2 answers
1k views

Are there any safety mechanisms to prevent emergency slides deploying inside an aircraft?

Does this kind of situation happen, or is this a test situation? Are there mechanisms to prevent inward deployment of emergency slides?
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  • 9,039
9 votes
3 answers
7k views

What is that black pod on the left wing of a TBM?

What is the black pod on the left wing of a TBM? (Source)
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  • 6,467
9 votes
3 answers
9k views

What can trigger the ELT on GA aircraft?

Does the Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) on smaller aircraft activate automatically in case of an accident? If so, what triggers it? Is it a certain amount of G's that triggers it or are there ...
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  • 2,154
9 votes
1 answer
20k views

How do you know what equipment code to put on a flight plan?

Every time I have flown and filed flight plans the CFI or the person I have rented the plane from has told me what equipment code to put on the flight plan. I am curious how you would figure out on ...
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  • 3,719
8 votes
1 answer
2k views

What was in the noses of airliners before the weather radar?

At the time of the first Lockheed Constellations, airliners fitted with a weather radar were not common, and the navigator was not placed in the airplane nose. Thus, the nose seems to be mostly dead ...
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  • 16.2k
8 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is a "Lifeline Extension Belt"?

I was recently flying on an United Airlines A320 and noticed a narrow section between the overhead storage bins with a placard labeled "Lifeline Extension Belt" on it. It was over the wing exit row. ...
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  • 1,715
8 votes
3 answers
3k views

Are passive or active headsets preferable in an open cockpit?

My first headset used passive noise reduction (i.e. padding) and when I - very quickly - upgraded to an ANR headset, my instructor recommended keeping the passive one "in case you ever fly something ...
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  • 70.4k
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is a civilian pilot allowed to fly under part 91 rules with Night Vision Goggles?

I asked a related question: How hard is it to fly with night vision goggles? It appears from the answers so far that there are differing opinions, and I guess it might depend on the quality/age/...
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  • 8,185
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

Can I use radar service instead of DME or GPS for this ILS approach?

At the top of this approach chart for KDNN in the briefing section, it is stated that "Simultaneous operation of I-DNN and GQO DME required." If my aircraft is not RNAV/GPS or DME equipped can I fly ...
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  • 19.9k
7 votes
3 answers
1k views

Do ANR headsets affect pilots' perception of engine problems?

ANR (Active Noise Reduction) headsets reduce the sound level to a pilot's ears by creating an interference wave that cancels out some of the environmental noise in the cabin. Some say that this ...
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  • 6,004
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

How do aisle lights show the direction to exits?

Lights in the aisle will guide you towards an exit. I've sat through a lot of safety briefings (for commercial scheduled passenger flights) and always found this sentence especially uninformative. ...
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7 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why are W, S, N, E highlighted on a flight management computer?

Why are W, S, N, E highlighted on a flight management computer (FMC)? My assumption that they represent West, South, North, and East. Here is a Boeing FMC: And here is one from Airbus:
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  • 6,467
6 votes
3 answers
1k views

What is this weapon spotted at an airshow in South Africa?

I was at an airshow in South Africa, and they had this trailer sitting about. No one knew what it is. Those little red plates all say "warning, high voltage". Those buckets are open at the bottom, ...
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  • 171
5 votes
4 answers
6k views

How are pitch angle and pitch rate measured in an airplane?

What equipment or method is used to obtain measurements of the pitch angle (θ) and pitch rate (q) during flight? Edit: I am asking about how the aircraft systems sense these quantities
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5 votes
2 answers
809 views

What is this equipment under nose of aircraft?

From the news of Singapore Airline A330 nose gear collapse at Changi, I notice an equipment is under the nose part of aircraft and somewhat damage the radome when nose gear collapse. It looks like ...
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  • 7,968
5 votes
3 answers
24k views

What is the MEL (minimum equipment list)?

What is a minimum equipment list for an aircraft? How are MEL and MMEL related? Who creates the list, and how do they decide what is on it?
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  • 69.8k
5 votes
1 answer
281 views

Is it normal that an ELT activates during a strong up draft in flight?

I was flying a PA 28 181 Archer on a nice clear day at cruise speed level flight 3000ft. Suddenly, from nowhere it was hit by an up draft that lasted I would say less than a second. I got pain in my ...
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5 votes
1 answer
39k views

What is the difference between a MEL, MMEL, KOEL and Equipment List?

When we are determining what equipment must be operational for an aircraft to be considered airworthy we are presented with different kinds of equipment that could be installed on the airplane. What ...
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  • 11.2k
5 votes
1 answer
220 views

Is special equipment required to perform high-voltage line inspections?

I was watching a youtube video about high voltage cable inspections performed with helicopters. It can be seen how the helicopter has to reach the same electric potential as the wire, something that ...
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  • 31.6k
5 votes
2 answers
3k views

What, exactly is "on the MEL"?

The MEL, minimum equipment list, defines whether fault of some equipment on the aircraft prevents it from being dispatched for flight or not. However, sometimes (e.g. in comments to this question) ...
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  • 54.2k
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

Are directional instruments like an HSI or AHRS immune to magnetic compass error?

Pilot educational curriculum includes learning about magnetic compass errors intrinsic to their construction. A standard magnetic compass in an airplane erroneously shows turns when accelerating or ...
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  • 14.4k
5 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is there a way to prevent (not relieve) the hotspot caused by wearing a headset for long periods of time?

About a year ago, I bought myself a Bose A20. Within two weeks, I had returned it. I will be the first to say that the noise reduction for the A20 was fantastic. The headset was amazingly light, ...
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  • 22.3k
5 votes
1 answer
470 views

How can a crew be warned of "Clear Air Turbulence" during the flight?

Is there any piece of equipment, on board, to assist the crew to identify and avoid clear air turbulence (CAT)?
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4 votes
2 answers
2k views

Do pilots have separate volume knobs on the radio panel?

I have about two hours in a Cessna 172 so my instructor always managed the radio for me. I found it too loud at some times and too quiet at others. Can I tweak mine without bothering him? I forgot to ...
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4 votes
1 answer
557 views

What are the different ways my alternator is failing?

I am a student pilot training to get my PPL. My CFI asked me the following: How can you know your alternator stopped working? My first response was annunciator lights. Then the instructor said, what ...
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  • 1,107
4 votes
1 answer
483 views

What are the defining characteristics of aviator glasses?

The title pretty much says it all. It's easy to find pages for resellers of aviator glasses or aviator sunglasses, but what are the defining characteristics of these as compared to ordinary glasses ...
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  • 6,924
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

If a shoulder harness becomes INOP in an aircraft certified before 1978, is it still required equipment?

So we fly a 1973 Piper Archer, with shoulder harnesses installed from the factory. The question is: Would the shoulder harness becoming INOP (jamming & not coming loose) ground this airplane or ...
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  • 79
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

What iPad for the cockpit? [closed]

I am planning to pass my PPL and I am trying to buy everything I can before starting the flight lessons to spread the expenses. Most of the private pilots I have met told me that an iPad is almost ...
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