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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19
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2answers
3k views

How much impact can be taken when flying in formation?

This recently published 360-degree video shows four F/A-18 Hornets performing impressive maneuvers what appears to be only a few inches apart. Considering the risk of impact I find it hard to ...
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2answers
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Why must some 'dangerous items' be in check-in baggage?

What is the rationale behind forcing passengers to check in dangerous items? What makes liquids and gels more dangerous in the cabin? Why would a lithium ion battery be less dangerous as check-in ...
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Why don't big commercial planes have full aircraft parachutes?

On smaller aircraft, like some Cirruses for example, they have parachutes attached to the body of the aircraft that can help the plane get to the ground safely in an emergency. I'm wondering why ...
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6answers
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What are the ways to keep the birds away from airfields?

I know bird strikes are a major issue for many airports, and that measures are taken to keep birds away. There are some obvious things airports can do like not to have any stray garbage, food, etc. in ...
19
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4answers
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How are aircraft separated in a non-radar environment?

In remote areas that have no radar (oceanic airspace, etc.) how is aircraft separation maintained so that airplanes don't get too close? What do areas that normally have radar do when there is a ...
19
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2answers
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How can pilots fly VFR over-the-top in overcast conditions?

It's apparently legal for pilots to fly over the top of clouds and fly VFR. However, I don't understand how it's possible to do so, especially since there is no visual reference to rely on to ensure ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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3answers
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Was smoking banned because of passenger safety or occupational safety?

Federal regulation CFR 252.3 notes that: Air carriers shall prohibit smoking on all scheduled passenger flights. Was this because of: 1) passenger safety concerns (the airplane may catch on fire ...
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2answers
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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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1answer
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Is a light aircraft still usable after a successful airframe parachute deployment?

Some light aircraft now have airframe parachutes. If a pilot does have to pull the chute on a Cirrus (for example), is the aircraft flyable or at least repairable after landing or is it a write-off? ...
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6answers
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Would a slower speed and lower altitude reduce fatal incidents?

If it became plausible to fly commercial aircraft much lower in the future (due to developments in technology and airway regulations permitting it), say at a standard height of 5,000ft, but with a ...
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7answers
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Are there any truly 'unrecoverable' situations? [duplicate]

I'm starting my quest to obtain a PPL this weekend. So I guess this question is contextualised around light aircraft like the Piper Tomahawk / Cessna, although it certainly would be interesting to get ...
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4answers
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Why do aircraft have two brake pedals instead of one?

Why do aircraft have two brake pedals instead of one? If each pedal controls different sets of wheels e.g. the left wheels and the right wheels of the main gear, is that not a safety flaw given that ...
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3answers
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When do flights get cancelled due to fog?

When flights get cancelled due to fog, what triggers the cancellation? Fog is too thick, too wide-spread, blocks the view of tall buildings or other landmarks? Or is the problem the type of air ...
18
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2answers
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Is it safe to wear earplugs in flight?

Speaking in terms of health for the ears and eardrums, would earplugs that form an airtight seal be dangerous to wear in flight due to cabin pressure changes? What about in the event of a rapid ...
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3answers
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Is it technically viable to reintroduce sleeping berths?

The airlines are always trying to jam more passengers into each plane. I'm smaller than today's average, and I'm still often uncomfortable in a standard Economy seat. It occurred to me that in the ...
18
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2answers
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How do airports with no ATC operate?

I've heard that some airports don't have an ATC tower and nobody monitors the landings. Can someone tell me how those planes can land/takeoff safely without incidents occurring? I understand the fact ...
18
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1answer
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What are the details of opening a cockpit door from the outside?

Can one pilot lock the other out of the cockpit? It is mentioned in the answer to the question I linked that a person inside the cockpit can stop a person outside from opening the door by "canceling ...
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1answer
9k views

Is there any limit on how narrow aisles can be?

Sometimes, when I'm flying on the airlines, I'll board an aircraft where the aisles seem incredibly cramped, where it's almost impossible to move past without bumping every seat. I can't imagine how ...
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2answers
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What improvements did Airbus make as a result of the Air France 447 accident?

As far as I can tell, the following factors all contributed to this crash: Pitot tubes susceptible to ice crystal blockage Crew not aware that they can stall the airplane due to alternate law No ...
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2answers
983 views

What makes it safe for the DC-8 to use reverse thrust in flight?

For most jets, the use of reverse thrust to slow down in flight, where even possible, is extremely dangerous, and strictly prohibited. Not so on the DC-8, which is certified for the safe in-flight ...
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8answers
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What items could you bring on-board to maximise your chance of survival in an emergency?

A question on Travel (Are parachutes allowed on airplanes as cabin baggage?) got me to wondering: hypothetically, what items could the "über-paranoid" passenger or pilot bring on-board to potentially ...
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7answers
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Why do airline pilots have shoulder harnesses?

On airliners, passenger seatbelts are simple lap belts. However, flight crews seem to have at least shoulder straps, and often five-point harnesses. Why do flight crew have more restraints?
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4answers
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Are Boeing 737-800s grounded? [duplicate]

I’m flying on a WestJet Boeing 737-800 from Honolulu to Vancouver and then on to Toronto in July, returning on the same type of aircraft in August. Are these aircraft still grounded and are they ...
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4answers
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What would happen to a flying aeroplane if there's suddenly a brick-size hailstorm?

What would happen to a flying aeroplane if suddenly there is hail in the sky? For example, ice the size of a brick.
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4answers
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What's the point of intercepting an aircraft?

I know that it's possible for military aircraft to "intercept" a civilian or foreign aircraft (and I'm well aware of the US interception procedures), but why would they be doing it in the first place?...
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3answers
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How much oxygen do commercial airliners carry?

How much oxygen do commercial airliners carry? Is is enough for every seat to have a 20-30 minute supply, is it a percentage of total flight time (ie 10% of total flight time), or is there a ...
17
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2answers
2k views

What should a pilot do if they feel sleepy?

What should a pilot of any large commercial passenger airplane do if they feel sleepy? What is the maximum time per day during which the pilot may control the airplane ?
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3answers
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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 ...
17
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1answer
6k 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 ...
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3answers
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Why is the sound quality of onboard public address so bad?

While not a frequent flyer, I did fly common airliners quite a lot, and each time the (very) low sound quality of onboard public adress system has always struck me. We all know technology makes it ...
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3answers
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Would a drone strike be more dangerous than a bird strike?

Let's say you have a seagull and a drone of a comparable size. Pretend either one was going to be ingested by large turbo fan engine, like the one found on a 737 (eg., the CFM-56) Which would cause ...
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1answer
2k views

Why is there a plateau in helicopter H/V diagrams?

The "dead-man's curve" in a typical helicopter height/velocity (H/V) diagram is commonly referenced to indicate that "towering flight" is dangerous and avoided in general practice. (Simon explained, "...
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1answer
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Is there any limit to how many times an aircraft evacuation slide may be deployed?

I've seen multiple videos online of evacuation slide tests and they all tend to be almost violent as they are very fast and loud, but I can't help thinking that it must put a lot of force on those ...
17
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1answer
671 views

Can TCAS cope with situations involving more than two aircraft?

Most of the information I've seen about TCAS talks about only two aircraft being involved. It's pretty unlikely, although far from impossible that situations involving three or more aircraft may ...
17
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1answer
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Why don't all new GA planes include a parachute system?

When the Cirrus was first introduced, it included a Ballistic Recovery System, which shoots a parachute out the rear of the plane that can save a plane and its occupants when something goes wrong. ...
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2answers
727 views

Who said “A little of all of us goes with every pilot we lose”?

The only attribution I’ve ever seen for the quotation below is “Anonymous FAA Inspector.” Whenever we talk about a pilot who has been killed in a flying accident, we should all keep one thing in ...
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8answers
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Why is tailwind during final approach and landing so dangerous?

I understand that tailwind is typically a good thing during your flight as it increases your ground speed and gets you to your destination faster. Despite that I get a feeling that pilots typically ...
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2answers
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Are there any reported cases of noise from helicopters causing damage to property?

In the Netherlands, three cases have been reported of Chinook helicopters' rattle noise (low frequency sound) damaging solar panels. The Dutch defense ministry recognises this problem and the lawyer ...
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4answers
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Is it possible to use reverse thrust while airborne? [duplicate]

I play a flight-sim called X Plane. The other day while I was approaching an airport a little too fast and knew I couldn't slow down in time. I decided to use the reverse thrust while I was still in ...
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2answers
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How can the Pipistrel Apis land safely?

I just saw a photo of the Pipistrel Apis motor-glider, and it got me wondering: How can it safely land with only 2 wheels total? To me it seems that falling to the side would be inevitable, and with ...
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3answers
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Is a single-engine ferry flight allowed with a twin-engine plane?

If a twin-engine aircraft has an engine problem and could fly somewhere for maintenance, is a single-engine ferry flight ever allowed? If so, do airlines or pilots ever decide to do this?
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1answer
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Why is a 0 kt, vertical climb in a helicopter not safe near the ground?

In the "Test Pilot" column in the July 2017 issue of AOPA Pilot, one of the questions was From reader David Franklin: If a given helicopter has a best rate-of-climb airspeed of 60 knots, its ...
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1answer
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Is a dancing crew dangerous?

Recently, the crew of an Indian airline performed a short choreographed dance sequence mid-flight on the occasion of Holi. This is, a not so rare practice amongst low-cost Indian carriers, who ...
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3answers
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Do flight regulations prohibit sleeping on the floor of an airliner?

During a recent trip in a Finnair A350, a couple traveling together was occupying 1 row of three Economy Comfort seats. During the 12 hour flight, one of the couple stretched out on the seats, the ...
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2answers
2k views

What happens when an airline pilot decides not to fly at the last minute?

What happens when a commercial airline pilot wants to remove himself from a flight a short time before takeoff (say an hour or less)? He obviously can't be forced to fly, and there may be very good ...
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1answer
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What does it mean when a runway's safety area is not standard?

If an airport has a NOTAM that states that a runway safety area is not standard, what does that mean? Here's an example. ...
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1answer
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Why did flight attendants need to be seated early landing at Palm Springs?

I took an Alaska Airlines flight to Palm Springs (PSP) and on landing the flight attendant mentioned that "this is one of the airports where we need to be seated early". Why is that the case for that ...
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3answers
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Why ground a plane while fueling?

Why does a plane need to be grounded while fueling, but we never ground our cars? Does the potential for a spark magically exist for an airborne vehicle but not for an earth bound one?
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2answers
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How often do pilots fly drunk?

AVweb reported: 2018.07.30 - A former pilot for Alaska Airlines was sentenced on Wednesday to a year and a day in federal prison, for flying two flights in 2014 with a blood alcohol level more ...