Questions tagged [general-aviation]

General aviation (GA) includes all civil aviation activities except scheduled, commercial passenger flights. GA covers private recreational flying, corporate jet flights, flight training, crop dusting, aerial photography, and other activities.

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How does a constant-speed propeller work?

My explanation of how a constant speed propeller works has always been a little shaky. I know about the "speeder spring," "counter-weights," and how it utilizes the engine oil pressure, but I'd love ...
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21 votes
6 answers
43k views

What is the difference between Best Rate of Climb and Maximum Rate of Climb?

Is there a difference between Best Rate of Climb and Maximum Rate of Climb? From my research, best rate of climb trades ground distance for altitude (i.e. steeper climb, more altitude per unit time)...
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56 votes
10 answers
46k views

Can you fly a light GA airplane into a major hub? What operational considerations are there if you do?

I did my training around the Seattle area, and was told that landing at SeaTac Airport (the region's major International/Commercial airport), while not strictly forbidden, was definitely frowned upon ...
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20 votes
5 answers
5k views

How are GA aircraft ferried from factories?

It's relatively easy to transport jet aircraft like Airbus and Boeing: most of them have a long range, and a few hops at most would get them to the owner. But how would a Cessna manufactured in U.S. ...
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56 votes
6 answers
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What energy density is required for the batteries in order to make an all-electric analogue of the Cessna 150 or similar plane?

I think I have some general understanding that at the present moment even with the best possible batteries, a 2 seater training aircraft (like the C-150) would be very impractical. I'm not even ...
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16 votes
1 answer
3k views

Airbags in aircraft - is that just a military thing?

The Bell OH-58D (a military helicopter used by the USA) has an airbag to make life better in the event of a crash. I had never heard of such a thing in an aircraft before and I wondered if this ...
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10 votes
2 answers
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why are there no production canard GA aircraft?

You see a lot of experimental canard GA aircraft, and their performance characteristics seem great. Why don't we see any production canard designs? EDIT For clarification. I'm asking about small ...
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8 votes
3 answers
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Is the low air pressure on top of the wing the major contributor to lift?

I am kind of old time flyer. Started to fly with those primitive hang-glides with titanium frame and the yoke control, around 1966 and then after a few close calls and getting older I switched to ...
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21 votes
2 answers
26k views

What are the consequences of flying GA without a license (certificate)?

As far as I can tell, in the U.S., 49 USC 46317(a) makes flying without a proper certificate a crime punishable by fine and/or imprisonment. However, the FAA is a regulatory agency, which means it ...
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42 votes
2 answers
106k views

If I own land, can I create a private runway on my property for my own use?

In the United States, if I own land that has an area suitable for landing a small general aviation airplane, can I just create a private runway, or do I have to officially be registered with the FAA ...
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5 votes
4 answers
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What's the rule of thumb for power and rpm in a constant speed prop?

I think I understand the relationship between the power lever and the RPM lever in an aircraft with a constant speed prop thanks to this question. However, what'd be a general rule of thumb for flying ...
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18 votes
7 answers
11k views

Why have cargo hybrid airships not succeeded in the market?

Using a Lighter Than Air (LTA) Hybrid Airship to efficiently transport cargo to remote areas seems like an idea that should flourish. It allows access to remote places in the world that have no ...
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26 votes
5 answers
2k views

Piloting as a perishable skill - what skills go first and how to self-assess and mitigate skill loss?

I know that in accident reports they will typically say the total number of hours the pilot had, but also the total hours in type and total hours in the last 90 days. I know from personal experience ...
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11 votes
3 answers
13k views

When is a fuel pump needed on GA aircraft?

When is a fuel pump needed on GA aircraft? I am a flight simmer and have noticed that you can leave the fuel pump off and start/fly the aircraft. When would you use the fuel pump?
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2 votes
2 answers
393 views

How much lift is lost by wing dihedral, and can it be fixed?

The loss of lift, though negligible, was mentioned in another thread regarding the angle of dihedral wings. Not knowing the coreect name but will external "ribs" on the wing surface reduce that loss? ...
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21 votes
1 answer
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Accelerated Stall, what is it, how do you prevent it?

I've read a lot of NTSB crash reports regarding small, GA aircraft (just trying to figure out what went wrong and what to avoid.) There seem to be a lot of reports that talk about "low altitude high ...
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14 votes
6 answers
3k views

Can a small plane be floated off of an aircraft carrier?

Would it be possible to float a small plane (say a Cessna 150) off of the deck of an aircraft carrier without the Cessna achieving any forward motion with respect to the aircraft carrier? If not a ...
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8 votes
1 answer
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Does the Piper PA-28 Cherokee wing have laminar flow behavior?

I've heard (and read) that the PA-28 series has a laminar flow wing: The Piper had a very thick airfoil that used laminar flow to assure that lift would be lost very slowly up to the stall. ...
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13 votes
2 answers
615 views

What do solo pilots do between reporting points on longer flights?

On some IFR flights, it can be a long time between waypoints. Obviously you must continue monitoring ATC for instructions, but during the rest of the "idle" time, what tasks do pilots have that keep ...
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8 votes
2 answers
959 views

What are the properties of a good general aviation training aircraft?

I've been told that the best kinds of planes to train in are very small ones, like Cessna 150s and 152s. But I've never been clear as to why. I know they are cheaper to operate, so is operation cost ...
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3 votes
1 answer
5k views

What is the maximum legal flight time for single pilots under Part 91/135 operations?

I'm referring to FAA Part 91 and 135 operations (or similar, EASA) and the maximum duration of one single flight (not the maximum duty time per day / week / month). If any, what are the legal flight ...
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54 votes
9 answers
38k views

Why don't pilots parachute from small planes that are in distress?

There was another question that asked why commercial flights don't have parachutes. The almost ubiquitous response was that the parachutes would be useless because: Most accidents with commercial ...
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54 votes
4 answers
11k views

Why do many GA aircraft not have a "Both" fuel selector?

I've been trying to rack my brain around this and asked a few CFI's who couldn't give me more than "because that is how it was done", but a good number of GA aircraft save for Cessna and maybe a few ...
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22 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is it allowed to mount fake missiles on a civilian aircraft?

In this answer to a question asking to identify an aircraft, we can see a picture of a Aero L-39 Albatros with some missiles hanging from the wings: (flickr.com) N915WE. Supposedly, this is a ...
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14 votes
3 answers
3k views

What are the major non-pilot causes of GA accidents?

I'm considering getting a private pilot license. From what I've read, pilot error is the leading cause of major airline crashes -- such as on this page, but that's for major commercial carriers. As ...
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12 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is there a good source for estimating the per unit cost breakdown for a classic GA plane like the Cessna 172?

For instance, on a Cessna 172 what percent is spent on: Raw materials Labor actually manufacturing the plane Testing the completed individual planes R&D Making the plane (at this point, very ...
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11 votes
4 answers
9k views

Can normal PC headsets replace 'aviation' headsets?

Aviation headsets have noise reduction and a larger jack (1/4") than most PC headset counterparts (1/8"). But there are many excellent quality PC headsets with sound-proofing materials which ...
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18 votes
3 answers
4k views

Would this "being paid while flying" scenario be considered "flying for compensation"?

The difference between a private and commercial pilot's license hinges on this critical ability to expressly receive pay for flying; a PPL is allowed to fly "in furtherance of a business" but cannot ...
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14 votes
4 answers
1k views

How do I remind myself to run in-flight checklists?

When flying a basic light aircraft with no "modern" instrument the pilot needs to remember to do various checks on a regular basis (FREDA every x minutes, change fuel tank every Y minutes etc.). Just ...
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11 votes
4 answers
3k views

Is it legal for an SEP airplane to fly above its service ceiling?

Let's take a Cessna 172R for example. According to the POH this airplane has a service ceiling of 13,500 ft. I know that the service ceiling is the maximum altitude where a 100 foot per minute climb ...
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10 votes
4 answers
3k views

How well can an airplane which is tied down be protected from a blizzard?

I've been in the very early stages of shopping for my first single engine plane. That has made me more thoughtful about the environment in which a given plane is stored. So the recent blizzard in the ...
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4 votes
2 answers
853 views

What modifications are required for automotive fuel STC?

What actual engine modifications are required to allow certificated piston engined general aviation aircraft to run automotive fuel under an FAA Supplemental Type Certificate (STC)?
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16 votes
3 answers
4k views

May an uncertificated pilot log non-PIC flight time for future certification?

Let’s suppose I as a PIC take a friend up flying with me and this friend does not have a pilots license. Now let’s suppose I teach him how to control the airplane and let him fly for a while. I even ...
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11 votes
5 answers
1k views

How often do people fly SVFR?

I was going over Special Visual Flight Rules (SVFR) with my instructor recently and he told me that he has only requested it a few times, and that it is mainly used if you are flying from ...
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9 votes
2 answers
26k views

Can a pilot fly through a restricted area while flying on a Victor Airway?

For example if you look at V 23-165-597, from Seal Beach CA to Ocean Side CA, you will notice that it goes through restricted area for Camp Pendleton (R-2503A & D): I was trying to understand ...
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  • 1,957
9 votes
1 answer
26k views

How do aircraft rental companies charge while the plane is not flying?

I am looking for some general advice - this is specific to the UK but may be similar else where. I know it is possible to hire a private aircraft, I see comments like this on club/rental sites all ...
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  • 193
8 votes
3 answers
10k views

Is an ultralight aircraft allowed to fly near Class B airspace?

May an ultralight vehicle operating under FAR part 103 operate within Class G and E airspace while within the mode C veil surrounding a Class B airport? Quoting directly from Title 14 CFR 91.1 ...
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7 votes
2 answers
2k views

First actual flight lesson, what to keep in mind?

With any luck, I'll soon be going into the air for my first actual flight lesson. Short of the obvious (get a good night's sleep before; eat appropriately; try to not stress out; etc.), what should ...
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6 votes
1 answer
2k views

Where to find Tach hour and clock hour equivalence rpm?

There is a revolution counter built into the face of the Tachometer in most piston powered GA planes. This counter is calibrated in hours. Most planes also have a Hobbs meter, which is a clock. ...
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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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3 votes
4 answers
4k views

What is the flight trajectory of a commercial airplane in regards to altitude v/s distance?

So, my friend and I got into an argument regarding the flight trajectory of a plane. He said that for half the journey the plane is ascending and for the rest, it is descending and hence making a ...
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3 votes
3 answers
2k views

Are GA airports typically accessible 24/7?

Is access to GA airports 24/7? I always thought it was. Every airport I've visited had gate-codes to open gates after hours. But I recently started planning a flight to Salina, KS (KSLN), and the ...
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1 vote
2 answers
1k views

Is it okay to purposely stall a small single-engine aircraft just before touch down to get a good flare?

I'm still learning ground theory and have only flown in simulators (P3D v3 Academic). For a long time, I've been trying to properly flare single engine aircraft but have mostly failed. I even watched ...
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1 vote
1 answer
468 views

Best Glide with Flaps T/O in DA20-A1

The Diamond Katana DA20-A1 Manual says that the best glide angle can be achieved with flaps in the t/o position at 72kn at maximum weight. My naive understanding would be that a flaps up position ...
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0 votes
2 answers
5k views

I want to become a commercial pilot, can you do that through the RAF?

I want to become a commercial pilot, can you do that through the RAF?
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52 votes
9 answers
12k views

Pilot passed out in a small GA plane. What can a passenger do?

There is another question about airliners and if someone not qualified could land them. My question is about the steps I should take to stay alive in a small GA plane. Let say a friend of mine ...
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10 votes
2 answers
10k views

How to programmatically access AIP data, METAR, TAF, NOTAMs?

I'm looking at developing an app where one of the functions I would like to implement needs to use data which is normally available in AIP, like: Aerodrome names, ICAO codes, GPS location, elevation ...
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43 votes
8 answers
34k views

Since there are no toilets on smaller aircraft, how do you deal with the inevitable?

How do you handle business on a small plane on long flights? For example a cross country in a C-172.
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  • 6,467
29 votes
2 answers
4k views

What are the legal issues for an Uber or Lyft type model for ride share on General Aviation aircraft in the United States?

Is it possible for an Uber or Lyft type service to operate that allows pilots with small aircraft to share a ride under current FAA regulations? I personally don't see how this could operate under 14 ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
16k views

What aviation-related TV shows are there? [closed]

This question aims to serve as a Community Wiki resource. Feel free to edit the list of aviation-related TV shows below! Related: What aviation-related movies are there?
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