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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.

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54
votes
6answers
10k 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 ...
52
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 ...
51
votes
8answers
25k 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 ...
50
votes
10answers
36k 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 ...
49
votes
5answers
10k views

Can a door be shut while in flight?

What is the best way to shut a door that has popped open in flight? I had a door on a Cessna 172 pop open shortly after takeoff and was unable to get it closed, but I was fortunate enough to be able ...
47
votes
1answer
6k 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 ...
44
votes
6answers
9k views

Is a weak battery a valid reason to reject a rented aircraft?

Today I had rented a Piper Archer III for a local flight. After taxing to the fuel and filling up, I went to start the plane again and it did not want to turn over. This particular plane is somewhat ...
42
votes
8answers
21k 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.
37
votes
2answers
70k 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 ...
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 ...
33
votes
10answers
13k views

What would be the safest way to drop thousands of small, hard objects from a typical, high wing, GA airplane?

The subject pretty much states my question, now I will provide a bit of background. A family member, who lived on the west coast of Florida Manasota Key, collected tens of thousands of fossilized ...
29
votes
5answers
6k views

What is the proper procedure after a bird strike in a single engine plane during takeoff?

First, let me set this up and then ask a general question. I'm just trying to give some context as to why I'm asking. I'm working on my private pilot license and was practicing with my PC simulator (...
29
votes
1answer
16k 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 ...
28
votes
6answers
4k views

Why don't we treat all takeoffs as short field in GA?

Depending on the airframe, there are a number of techniques to reduce the Take Off Distance required. For example, deploying flaps. What advantage is there to NOT using short field take offs, even ...
28
votes
10answers
16k views

Can a civilian aircraft pilot see a missile coming?

Can a civilian aircraft pilot see a missile coming? By "civilian aircraft," I mean planes that were not equipped with flares that fire when rockets approach or any similar anti-missile systems. If ...
27
votes
2answers
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 ...
25
votes
1answer
8k views

Callsign includes the term 'with Kilo' ; What does that signify?

In FS-X I sometimes see with Kilo at the end of a Call-sign. For example the one from last night had Mike Sierra Alpha Bravo with Kilo What does With Kilo mean?
25
votes
1answer
3k views

What to do if carbon monoxide is present?

Most small, single engine aircraft are fitted with non audible carbon monoxide detectors that turn black if it is present. Carbon monoxide can incapacitate in mere seconds (and kill in minutes) ...
24
votes
6answers
6k views

Is it difficult for a GA aircraft to escape a thunderstorm?

I live in the midwest, and I'm getting ready to start working on my PPL. For some reason I find myself really nervous about getting into the air and suddenly seeing a line of thunderstorms rolling in ...
24
votes
1answer
3k views

Do Air Traffic Controllers have to remember stall speeds for different aircraft?

While dealing with Takeoffs and Landings controllers provide speeds to pilots for different phases of the flight, specially during a landing approach. How do they know which speeds are safe for all ...
23
votes
2answers
3k views

Are all flights planned?

Do (GA) pilots necessarily have to plan every flight, or can someone just go up and fly? Please note I don't mean actually 'filing a flight plan', but does every flight need to be carefully plotted ...
23
votes
1answer
3k views

What are the accident rates for kit built aircraft vs. normal aircraft of the same model?

I know that some manufacturers both sell kit and finished version of their aircraft. For a fair comparison of accident rates, i was wondering: What are the accident rates for kit built aircraft vs. ...
22
votes
5answers
4k views

What should a pilot do when flying in the vicinity of parachute jumpers?

There are several airfields nearby where parachuting activities routinely take place. How far away is considered to be a safe distance from the airfield when flying past it en-route to another ...
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 ...
21
votes
5answers
20k views

Is there a website similar to FlightRadar24, but showing general aviation?

As far as I am concerned, FlightRadar24 reads out transponder responses. As most engine driven aircrafts have at least a mode C transponder, is there a site that displays such traffic as well?
20
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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. ...
20
votes
1answer
17k 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 ...
19
votes
5answers
27k 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)...
19
votes
3answers
4k views

What plane is this?

This aircraft was parked at the very back of the McCarran airport, and I was absolutely fascinated by it. It has a propeller on the back of the fuselage as well, though not very well shown in the ...
19
votes
2answers
17k 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 ...
19
votes
2answers
585 views

What are the rules in the UK about attaching a GoPro camera to the outside of an aircraft?

Is it fully legal to have a GoPro attached to the outside of the aircraft during flight, in the UK? I've heard mixed answers, but I don't want to try it until I've got confirmation.
18
votes
7answers
6k views

What is wrong with a high-speed landing for an ultralight or GA aircraft?

Is it okay to land an ultralight or a general aviation plane at a speed higher than the recommended landing speed for such plane? Will there be any damage if the descent rate is very low?
17
votes
3answers
4k views

On an engine failure, can I contact the tower instead of 121.5?

Let's say I am cruising at a very high altitude with my Cessna, like at 5000ft+ AGL, and I got an engine failure. After going through the checklist, my engine is still not working, but I realized ...
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 ...
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 ...
17
votes
7answers
10k 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
5k views

How is engine fuel kept from freezing? [duplicate]

The following table shows the operating temperature of Jet fuels (Source http://www.skybrary.aero/) I know a lot of flights will be cancelled during bad weather conditions including the cold. How is ...
16
votes
1answer
3k views

What happens to Cessna electric flaps that are moving when power is lost?

On final in a C182T you move the flap control arm from 20 to FULL, and when halfway there, the breaker pops (or BUS1 fails, a wire falls off, etc.) Does the flap stay where it is, slide back to 20°, ...
16
votes
1answer
3k views

Why do helicopters and airplanes use different headset plugs?

If the headsets and microphones for general aviation have the same impedance for helicopters and airplanes, then why do they have different connectors on them? Is it simply to make more money from ...
16
votes
2answers
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 ...
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 ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

How to secure an aircraft at a transient parking space?

I've noticed that at many airports, the transient GA parking spaces often don't have tie-down anchors (e.g. bolts drilled into the pavement; heavy steel cables, etc.) or tie-down ropes. They simply ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the purpose of the hole in the Cirrus SR22's parachute?

Watching this video I notice there is a big hole in the middle of the parachute, at its top when deployed. This feature seems to exist in other smaller parachutes. For me, it seems that air can ...
15
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
15
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
19k views

Why does a plane shake while passing through clouds? [duplicate]

Why does a plane shake while passing through the clouds? During my last journey all the other passengers started shouting when the plane was passing through clouds. It was the third time I was ...
15
votes
1answer
4k views

What is this aircraft seen at Peachtree City, GA?

Sorry for the poor quality, but this jet was taking off from Peachtree City Regional on Sunday 13 May. Anyone know the aircraft?
15
votes
3answers
4k views

Is it legal to fly under the Golden Gate Bridge? [duplicate]

I recently had the opportunity to rent a plane and fly in the San Francisco Bay Area. While flying in the HWD/OAK/SFO area is challenging enough, when I spoke of my adventures of flying above ...
15
votes
4answers
8k views

Where can I find GA VFR maps for Australia?

Are there any sites similar to SkyVector (US-based) for GA aviation maps in Australia? I understand that Air Services Australia has miscellaneous single-purposes maps available, but they seem to be ...
15
votes
1answer
429 views

Why is the weather radar mounted on the left wing of the TBM?

Weather radar is mounted starboard on the Pilatus PC12 or in the Piper Meridian/M600/M500. It adds drag to the right wing, thus a right yawing moment, and helps to counteract the slipstream effect ...