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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.

28
votes
1answer
15k views

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 ...
19
votes
5answers
23k 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)...
1
vote
5answers
308 views

What produces Thrust along the line of flight in a glider?

After reviewing discussions and vector diagrams of gliders in flight, the vertical lift component and the vertical drag components seem to produce a steady state, 0 acceleration balance with gravity. ...
19
votes
5answers
4k 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. ...
16
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
46
votes
10answers
32k 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 ...
35
votes
2answers
60k 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 ...
19
votes
2answers
14k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

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. ...
13
votes
2answers
535 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 ...
12
votes
6answers
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
729 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
51
votes
8answers
22k 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 ...
54
votes
5answers
8k views

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 ...
45
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
19
votes
1answer
14k views

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 ...
17
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

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 ...
15
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
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 ...
11
votes
5answers
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
20k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
18k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
505 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
1k 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. ...
5
votes
4answers
13k views

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 ...
0
votes
2answers
2k 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?
50
votes
9answers
11k 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
11k 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?
17
votes
7answers
9k 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 ...
22
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
3k views

Is “right-of-way” based on aircraft size?

I was speaking with an ATP-rated pilot the other day, and he said something that sounded odd: basically the bigger aircraft has right of way once airborne. Can anyone shed some light on this? As far ...
3
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
34
votes
5answers
4k views

Who should handle an emergency when there's both a certificated pilot and a CFI on board?

While practicing for my commercial certificate in a T-tail Piper Arrow IV, I put the gear down on downwind, and one green light didn't come on. In the right seat was a CFII/Multi, who had over 1,000 ...
15
votes
6answers
3k views

What is a good plane for aerial photography?

I'm a bit of a photographer and I keep thinking it would be fun to try and do some shots aloft. Only trick is, I'm not sure what kind of plane I would want to use to get those pictures done. I'd ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Why isn't there a procedure for dual-engine failure in twin-engine airplanes?

I'm licensed to fly multi-engine aircraft. I currently fly the DA-42NG. However, nowhere in my training and in the official POH was I introduced to procedures for handing a dual-engine failure in-...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Can a small GA plane maintain level flight with a significant nose-down attitude?

Consider a small, one- or two-seater motor GA aircraft, something like a Cessna 152 or similar, designed for level flight at roughly neutral pitch. It's certainly possible to fly such an aircraft in ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

How to execute a gear up landing on aircraft with low propeller?

On some GA aircraft such as the Piper Malibu, the propeller would touch the ground if the gear was up. How would you land the plane when gear actuators fail? I would pull out the mixture knob and ...
12
votes
1answer
719 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Do GA pilots routinely request “flight following” from ATC, and why?

My understanding is that private pilots are able to contact air traffic control and request "flight following", as it may help them with their situational awareness. Beyond that, however, I'm curious: ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

In calm winds, which runway should I select at an untowered airport?

In calm wind situations, approaching an uncontrolled airport with no other aircraft reporting on CTAF, which runway should I select that would cause the least safety hazard? Especially at an airport ...
9
votes
2answers
834 views

What are the US flight planning regulations for an alternate airport?

As I read 14 CFR 91.169 literally, I understand an alternate airport listing waiver can be granted if the destination airport Has at least one instrument approach procedure from an authorized source. ...
8
votes
3answers
16k views

Can any aircraft take off using auto-pilot? [duplicate]

So there are some types of aircraft that can land under auto-pilot (or is that a trope?). Can those same planes go from stop (at the gate) to in-the-air flight without a pilot actually touching a ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

How do you meet pilots looking for passengers?

I enjoy being up in the air. Planes, gliders, helicopters... you name it, I like it. What is an effective way to meet pilots looking for passengers? I'm guessing that some pilots would like ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

How is risk managed in single engined piston aircraft flights?

I have already read this post: How dangerous is flying in a single-engine plane? Recently as reported in the NTSB accident database, a pilot of a light aircraft encountered engine failure after take ...
4
votes
1answer
297 views

Has anyone compiled all the NTSB accident reports and broke down the percentages for cause of accident and fatalities?

I am not talking the typical breakdown such as Pilot/Mechanical/Other, but rather, more specific things such as, engine failure, Stall/Spin on approach, controlled flight into terrain... etc