Questions tagged [safety]

Safety includes all aspects of protecting aircraft, passengers and crew from accidents, mistakes and other potentially dangerous situations.

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18
votes
4answers
36k views

Is flying during the day safer than flying at night?

Is there any correlation between night or day flight time and rate of accidents? To me it seems that there should not be a difference. If an airplane needs to execute an emergency landing, it has to ...
41
votes
7answers
32k views

Do lights on aircraft flash in a specific pattern?

On a clear night, everyone can spot planes quite easily: they have flashing lights. I have noticed that the pattern seems different for different planes, and tried to find a meaning. What I saw so ...
4
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1answer
200 views

Do headrests considerably increase safety on aircraft?

When looking at newer GA aircraft, for example, Cessna 172s it is very obvious that the seat design has changed quite a lot over time. With the older ones having very short backrests and the newer ...
32
votes
9answers
6k views

What things can a passenger look out for, to indicate an emergency?

As a passenger with a keen interest in aviation, I'd like to think I'd be eagle-eyed enough to spot a problem that the pilots mightn't be able to see, from where they're sitting (for example, an ...
21
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4answers
9k views

Why can't aircraft be cleared to land before the preceding aircraft turns off the runway?

For example, let's say we have an Airbus A330 in front, which has just landed, well past the threshold and looks like it's going to be alright. Next in line to land is a small general aviation ...
3
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4answers
13k views

Under what conditions would a helicopter be allowed to fly at low altitude over populated areas?

Yesterday, the Department of Energy was flying a military helicopter at low altitudes over Boston and the surrounding area as part of an experiment of some type to measure radiation. I saw one of ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

What happened with flight AC692 to St John's?

Yesterday, 2nd of March 2020, I was on board of Air Canada flight AC692 from Toronto (YYZ) to St. Johns (YYT). 40 minutes before landing, the plane turned around and flew back to Toronto. The flight ...
1
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1answer
113 views

Does the FAA have risk targets for specific activities?

Does the FAA have or publish goal values for various risks? I'm looking for something that says (e. g.) "We rate passenger airline flights as 'safe' if there are fewer than X casualties per million ...
0
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2answers
154 views

Airliner headlights flashing alternately [duplicate]

I live in Portland,Oregon. I watched a large jetliner coming into the airspace heading to the airport. The red,green and tail lights were normal. But the headlights were blinking alternately. I ...
17
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2answers
4k views

91 year old father allowed to fly a plane again?

My 91 year old father got his private pilots license over 60 years ago. He has not flown an airplane for 35 years and is saying that he can go buy his own airplane, again, and fly it tomorrow legally. ...
2
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3answers
309 views

Is it possible to use refrigeration technology to cool the skin of supersonic aircraft?

The fastest air breathing aircraft, the Blackbird SR71 flew at speeds above Mach 3. Its engines could achieve much higher speeds but were limited by the aircraft's skin which would melt due to ...
4
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1answer
238 views

Is it allowed to start engines during push-back?

Is it allowed, considered safe, and done, to start the engines while the aircraft is moving under the push-back power? On one hand it seems like a big time saving, on the other hand the running ...
0
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1answer
104 views

How can a person receive an expired life vest? [closed]

I wonder if passengers could receive an expired life vest because who else would they give to.
11
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2answers
2k views

Does the NTSB and other investigative agencies charge airlines for investigations?

Does an airline have to pay the investigation team? For example the NTSB? And if Boeing or Airbus participate in the investigation, do they also charge the airlines?
3
votes
1answer
545 views

What happens if an aircraft tries to land at MTOW (if greater than MLW)? [duplicate]

Here's a scenario: Just after Take-Off, there's an emergency on-board and pilot wants to land immediately. But, the weight of the plane wouldn't have decreased by large margins (usually 0.02*MTOW). ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Who makes the call to start in terrible weather conditions?

I once headed to the airport during a huge thunderstorm with winds above 55 knots and massive rain and some small hail. At the airport, I saw that most flights were delayed or even canceled. To my ...
2
votes
1answer
66 views

Are there any situations where it's beneficial to disable altitude reporting in TCAS?

Having altitude reporting enabled persistently seems like a pretty common-sense thing to do -- it enables RA in addition to TA, the benefits of which are fairly obvious. That said, most of the common ...
6
votes
4answers
480 views

Why aren't angle-of-attack data sanity-checked before being fed to other aircraft systems?

For most fixed-wing aircraft, accurate angle-of-attack information is utterly essential for safe flight, due primarily to the risk of stalling the aircraft if the AoA of one or both of its wings ...
7
votes
4answers
728 views

Can you flag down / contact an airplane with a handheld radio in case of emergency?

A friend and I are going rim to rim to rim in the Grand Canyon this Wednesday. It's a 46mi, 20+hr "hike" with some very physically challenging sections. We are packing the minimal amount needed - ...
15
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6answers
8k views

What is the commercial passenger aircraft top speed record?

Aircraft manufacturers claims commercial passenger aircrafts cruise at the speed of 400-500 knots. But is the top speed of a commercial passenger aircraft recorded (while in air)? If so, what is the ...
3
votes
1answer
250 views

Does the Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS) see through clouds?

Or can it only detect terrain on a clear day or night? I’m mostly asking because of PIA268 I know GPWS is much more reliable in todays time, and I’m unsure if the accident flight even had a GPWS ...
9
votes
1answer
390 views

Why is TO/GA button disabled in 777 with weight on wheels or below 2 ft RA?

Recently a final report for accident of an Emirates B777-300 at Dubai on 3rd August 2016 was published. An important factor there was that when the pilot tried to recover from long landing by going ...
17
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3answers
6k views

Can a commercial airplane overtake another airplane going in the same direction?

If there are two commercial airplane flying towards the same destination, on the same flight path, and the second plane is being faster than the first plane, is the second plane allowed to overtake ...
1
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1answer
152 views

What would happen when the fuel tank of a Cessna 172 became (partial) vacuum during horizontal flight?

Let's say we are flying a piston engine high wing airplane (Cessna 172) that uses a carburetor. What would happen when the fuel tank of a Cessna 172 became (partial) vacuum during horizontal flight?
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Are there any aircraft that were grounded and later approved for flight?

Last year the Boeing 737 Max 8 was grounded after two fatal crashes. Historically, are there any other commercial aircraft which were grounded (due to safety issues), and later “fixed” by ...
6
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7answers
17k views

How do I determine odd or even when working with altitudes?

I am always confused about how to calculate safety altitude, especially when it comes to even heights and odd heights, e.g. is 7500ft even or odd?
13
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9answers
15k views

Can rotorcraft pick up a dangerous electric charge?

So, I was re-watching The Hunt For Red October, (in light of current Russian shenanigans with Sweden), and there was a scene in which a crew-member on the ground was electrocuted by making contact (...
9
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4answers
4k views

What should a pilot flying IFR in IMC and on final, do if the vacuum system fails?

Talking about small aircraft here, assuming the pilot is stable and ready to land, they’re flying IFR and the visibility is nonexistent, but that’s alright because he’s currently IFR! But then the ...
10
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2answers
2k views

Can the safety of the Boeing 777 be extended to other models?

It is becoming accepted that the Boeing 777 is the world's safest aircraft. There must be a reason for this of course, and aircraft designers should know it. So my question is, can't we take all the ...
10
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3answers
688 views

Has there ever been an uncommanded lowering of landing gear?

Has there ever been an uncommanded lowering of the landing gear on a large commercial jet? I could not find any instance of it in a preliminary google search. Could a simple short-circuit cause such a ...
4
votes
1answer
153 views

Just how inaccurate are (Las Vegas) VOR radials?

I was discussing VOR-based navigation with a pilot, and he mentioned that VOR doesn't provide a very high level of integrity and safety (at least, compared to GPS or DME). He explained that the FAA ...
0
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1answer
168 views

Who does ATC call when a plane disappears with no response?

Do they just call 911? Or is there some special unit that’s specifically trained around disasters and rescue?
5
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2answers
6k views

How do flight attendants know seat belts are fastened?

I'm a simple curious traveller. I always see flight attendants passing by the seats checking whether belts are fastened. They pass quickly and without looking carefully at each single person, to see ...
0
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0answers
68 views

Was the redesigned version of the One-Eleven's APU ever reapproved for inflight use?

The BAC One-Eleven, like most jetliners, has a turboshaft APU mounted in the tail section of the aircraft, which is mainly used on the ground, but, originally, could also be used during flight at ...
16
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3answers
17k views

Can the cockpit windows on commercial airliners open during flight?

I observed that the cockpit windows on the commercial airliners actually open - good for a hot day while waiting on the airfield, I suppose. Is there a mechanism which prevents the window from being ...
28
votes
3answers
9k views

Why is the most common hydraulic fluid so poisonous?

The usual hydraulic fluid, Skydrol, is poisonous. If it makes it to the air conditioning system, it causes fume events that may have adverse health effects up to and including at least one fatality. ...
22
votes
6answers
14k views

Why don't commercial aircraft adopt a slightly more seaplane-like design to allow safer ditching in case of emergency?

For example : Why don't they have a more hydrodynamically shaped fuselage underside ? Specifically for the aircraft that have their engines mounted under the wings, isn't this too dangerous for ...
0
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0answers
53 views

Why do civil aviation aircraft not routinely carry missile defense systems? [duplicate]

With all the incidents with civil aircraft and missiles, why do civil aircraft not carry flares and other defensive measures by default? If official aircraft carry them it is technically possible to ...
3
votes
2answers
626 views

Is the Airbus Beluga's safety record comparable with the record of other Airbuses?

Upon first sight, to the uneducated eye, the Airbus Beluga looks incredibly 'un-aerodynamic'. Is the Beluga just as safe as other Airbus models?
4
votes
4answers
568 views

Is it possible to hack an airplane while it's moving (in general)?

I recently searching Airbus Careers section, and I can say that I saw too many Cyber Security job positions. It was saying in the job description that there is a need of having knowledge about ...
25
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5answers
15k views

Why is “runway behind you” useless?

I was recently answering this question and for some reason it made me think of this fairly famous aviation saying The three most useless things to a pilot are the altitude above you, runway behind ...
14
votes
3answers
20k views

How are engines mounted onto wings?

I've heard that the engines on a commercial air transports are typically mounted with 2 or 3 bolts. Is this true? If so, how big are these bolts and what are they made of? I'm optimizing a bolted ...
19
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1answer
7k views

What is the difference between fail-safe and fail-soft?

I have heard the following terms related to safe system design but I cannot really see a difference between fail-safe and fail-soft (graceful degradation). To get a common understanding I will just ...
37
votes
7answers
8k views

What prevents a commercial jet from electronically “resetting” the way a computer sometimes does?

I've had a fear of flying for the past several years and one of the ways this irrational phobia manifests is concern over the airplane power-cycling in mid-air: engines cutting out, control equipment ...
19
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3answers
3k views

Why are propellers de-iced before the engines are started, and does ice on the fuselage affect the flight characteristics of the plane?

I recently flew on a flight out of Montreal on a DHC8 turboprop. The plane had been parked at the airport overnight during a winter storm, and as I walked out to the plane, there were visible icicles ...
6
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6answers
3k views

Has a commercial jet airliner ever stalled on takeoff / at low-altitude?

In general aviation, a common reason for fatalities is low altitude stalls on takeoff or practising go-arounds. Has there ever been an incident where a commercial jet airliner stalled on takeoff / ...
9
votes
1answer
321 views

What safety rule replaced the now-rescinded two-person rule (after Germanwings 9525)?

In the aftermath of Germanwings 9525 in 2015 many airlines instituted a two-person rule for the cockpit (aka "two-man rule") - with a flight-attendant replacing whichever pilot left the flight-deck. ...
0
votes
2answers
175 views

Can I fly a paramotor after learning on a paraglider?

This video has inspired me to spend next week doing a 6 day paragliding course. The only downside is the school near me don't teach paramotoring. Could I buy (and safely use/self-teach) a paramotor ...
-5
votes
1answer
142 views

What is the procedure for a fast landing that is too slow for go-around? [closed]

Say an aircraft (A320 or similar) on landing, hits the tarmac way too fast and on a short runway, less than V2 but around V1 or slightly over. This could happen if a pilot had recently moved from ...
23
votes
8answers
14k views

Where is the safest seat in the plane?

If I'm going on holiday with my family on an airliner such as one of the ones listed on this page, then where is the safest place to sit? The answers to this question seem to imply that the seats at ...

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