Questions tagged [terminology]

For questions about words, phrases and definitions that are specific to aviation or used in a different way in aviation.

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12
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3answers
12k views

What's the difference between racetrack and holding pattern?

Is there any difference between them or they are only synonymous?
12
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3answers
12k views

What is the difference between a propeller and a rotor?

I have been making the mistake of using words "propeller" and "rotor" interchangeably when they are not the same thing. What is the difference between a propeller and a rotor?
12
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1answer
2k views

What exactly are “suitcase handles” in a cockpit?

I was watching Seconds From Disaster about Alaska Airlines 261 (the one with the vertical stabilizer issue) and at one point the copilot tells the pilot to "try the suitcase handles". Is that pilot ...
12
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3answers
10k views

What is the difference between azimuth and heading?

What is the difference between azimuth and heading? I understand heading, track, radial, course and bearing but I don't know what azimuth is. I rarely hear it used. The Wikipedia definition is a ...
11
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3answers
2k views

Is there a name for change in attitude with respect to time?

I'm in the process of writing a flight-dynamics software program, but I'm not sure what to call the derivatives of the aircraft attitude. If it was in one dimension, they would be the "angular ...
11
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2answers
2k views

What is the correct name for this ILS Indicator?

What is the correct terminology for the name of the aircraft instrument that looks like this?
11
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4answers
6k views

What is the definition of taxiing?

According to Wikipedia the definition of taxiing is: the movement of the aircraft on the ground under its own power [however] push-back is not considered taxiing In contrast, Eurocontrol seems ...
11
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2answers
963 views

Why are Krueger flaps called flaps and not slats?

I always thought that flaps are trailing edge high lift devices and slats are leading edge high lift devices. This is also confirmed by the accepted answer for What is the difference between flaps and ...
11
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1answer
1k views

What does a “hard stand departure” mean?

I am reading a table explaining how to plan multiple diversion returns from an individual station: widebody gate departures - xx minutes narrow body gate departures - xx minutes all hard ...
11
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2answers
2k views

What is the origin for “squawk” having two different meanings in aviation?

In Aviation, a "Squawk code" is a common term for a "Transponder Code". "Squawk 2345 and Ident" But it is also commonly a way to report problems with an airplane. "After I landed, I Squawk'd the ...
10
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2answers
7k views

What is the true meaning of the word “roger” when used on the radio? What is its origin?

When pilots learn to talk on the radio they can generally learn that the word "roger," when used on the radio, is a way to acknowledge that a message was received. What is the textbook definition of ...
10
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1answer
2k views

Is the term “guinea pig” defined in the Pilot/Controller Glossary?

Is the term "guinea pig" now or was it previously defined in the Pilot/Controller Glossary? If it's not defined in the Pilot/Controller Glossary, maybe it's in some other publication. I was flying ...
10
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3answers
15k views

What is the difference between a positioning flight and a ferry flight?

What's the difference (for the purpose) between positioning and ferry flight?
10
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2answers
1k views

Is there a name for the area for aircraft to back track near the runway threshold?

Some airports have an area, on the threshold, used to back track the aircraft, mainly because of the their wingspan, they look like a half wheel. Is there any designation for this area?
10
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1answer
468 views

Why are the power and drag curves called polars?

See Wikipedia:Drag polar and Wikipedia:Polar curve (aviation) for example. These curves are not on a polar coordinate system. Why are they called polars?
10
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1answer
309 views

In the United States, are ultralights legally considered aircraft?

I sometimes hear it stated that in the United States, ultralight vehicles are not legally considered to be aircraft. For example, Wikipedia used to state: In the United States ultralights are ...
10
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1answer
946 views

What is Flexible Gunnery in the US Air Force?

I read many times in English Wikipedia that some servicemen were trained in Flexible Gunnery schools, but I don't get what that exactly means. Example: In January 1942, the 2d Air Force was ...
10
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1answer
314 views

What is the english term for “vol en ficelle”?

From what I have read online and understood, "vol en ficelle" is basically a low altitude flight preparation method that requires calculating a set of altitudes to be followed in order not to crash. ...
10
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2answers
717 views

Why do pilots refer to the Flight Service Stations as “Radio” in the the United States?

When using an aircraft radio to call a Flight Service Station ("FSS"), why do pilots refer to them as "radio?" I understand calling control towers "tower", ground control "ground", Air Route Traffic ...
10
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1answer
3k views

Why is it called “base” leg?

When flying a circuit, the leg after downwind and before final is called base. Where does this name come from?
10
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1answer
424 views

How long has the term “situational awareness” been used in aviation?

I was puzzled to read (Wikipedia article on situational awareness) that: The term can be traced to World War I, where it was recognized as a crucial skill for crews in military aircraft. but in ...
9
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1answer
3k views

What does YF stand for?

I know that F=fighter, A=attack, F/A=fighter/attack, B=bomber. I can not find any information on what YF stands for. This type of aircraft is usually an experimental aircraft, but why do modern ...
9
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2answers
5k views

Where does the term 'steam cockpit' come from?

Why are traditional style cockpits with gauges called 'steam cockpits'? Do the instruments actually run on steam?
9
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2answers
2k views

Is induced drag essentially nothing more than a specific type of form drag?

If I were standing outside on a windy day holding a flat rectangular object such as a food tray up in the wind, orthogonal to the direction of flow, the drag created would be classified, mostly, as ...
9
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2answers
1k views

Is an engine surge classed as an engine fire?

Sometimes flames come out from the exhaust due to bearing distress or turbine blade fracture. Can such flames/fire be considered an engine fire?
9
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1answer
940 views

What does it mean for a payload to be “caged”?

If an aircraft has a movable payload (e.g. camera) attached to it, two of the status modes are caged and stowed. Stowed indicates the payload is retracted and or in a locked position. What is ...
9
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2answers
883 views

Where does the term “throttle quadrant” come from?

The area of many flight decks that contains throttles or thrust levers is often referred to as the “throttle quadrant” or “thrust lever quadrant” even if it’s not one of four parts of the panels. ...
9
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2answers
3k views

What does the FAA mean by “Make and Model” of aircraft?

Short Version: How does the FAA define the terms "make" and "model" in regulatory documents, particularly in the context of referring to pilot experience in aircraft? Long Version In 14 CFR 135—and ...
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2answers
6k views

What is needed to certify an aerodrome as an airport in Canada?

So here. All airports are aerodromes. All aerodromes are not airports. Difference between Airport and Aerodrome: An aerodrome or airdrome is any place from where flight operations can take place....
8
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4answers
2k views

What is flight inspection, as provided by Cobham Aviation Services?

At about midnight, I saw a small plane (a Diamond Twin Star) take off from Heathrow, on flightradar24. It then proceeded to fly in irregular loops around North London, at low altitude, 1700ft. The ...
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3answers
2k views

Is “General Aviation” a well-defined term in the US, in the EU and/or elsewhere?

In this earlier question I tentatively assume that GA means civil aircraft operations other than scheduled passenger transport - what I think of as "airliner" operation though it could include quite ...
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2answers
2k views

How do engineers log airplane maintenance?

Is there an encoding system that replaces the vagueness of natural language when it comes to logging aircraft problems or repairs that took place at a specific site on the airplane? So, instead of ...
8
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4answers
13k views

What are the differences between air brakes, spoilers and lift dumpers?

So many people use these words interchangeably, but after a little searching on Google, I found they are not quite the same thing. All the links I read explain things in a misleading way which pushed ...
8
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1answer
2k views

What is the origin of the term “Tyro” for inexperienced pilots?

Over the years I have been aware of the term "Tyro" to mean a new or inexperienced pilot. I'm pretty sure it is/was used more in a military setting than a GA one, but none the less I was interested to ...
8
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2answers
43k views

How do terms apron, ramp, tarmac, taxiway, parking area, gate, hardstand relate to each other?

The terms apron, ramp, tarmac, taxiway, parking area, gate, hardstand are used in a way that I cannot understand. Boeing Everett Factory. Photo by Andrew Hunt at Airliners.net (url unknown). Cropped ...
8
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1answer
685 views

What does “500 and 1” mean?

In this AVWeb article, numerous references are made to 500 and 1, with other references to 3,000 and 5. Based on the statement <...
8
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1answer
415 views

Does the definition of visibility take object size into account?

Overall, visibility is the distance at which objects may be discerned. Does this definition take into account the size of the objects? Obviously large objects can be seen from farther away than small ...
8
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1answer
191 views

What is weight-climb speed?

I have a question about a document published by the Association of European Airliners. The name of the document is “Long Range Aircraft - AEA Requirements.” In the Appendix titled "Definitions and ...
8
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2answers
1k views

What is the name for the Mitsubishi A6M Zero's one-piece wing/fuselage?

The Wikipedia article on Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter cites an article from Life magazine published on Nov 4, 1942: The Zero's fuselage and wings were constructed in one piece, unlike the American ...
8
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1answer
468 views

What is a “confidence maneuver”?

Order JO 7110.65T Section 6 Part 5-6-1 says Vector aircraft: a. In controlled airspace for separation, safety, noise abatement, operational advantage, confidence maneuver, or when a pilot ...
8
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1answer
654 views

What is TAPS in this report?

In researching for this question, I came across some reports from EASA referring to TAPS. What is the meaning of TAPS in this context?
8
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1answer
709 views

Why is an ATC operational error called a “deal”?

Air Traffic Controllers who lose separation between aircraft call that event a "deal". Why? When the Conflict Alert function was added to the computer system, it reported conflicts to the area ...
7
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3answers
669 views

What exactly does it mean, that plane has diverted due to the needs of a passenger?

Twitter account for Flightradar24 has reported twice in past 24 hours about two different British Airways flights that has diverted their original route "due to the needs of a passenger" (here and ...
7
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3answers
2k views

What is a seal in aeronautics?

I've read phrases like "All gas turbine engines use pressurized seals for their shaft bearing compartments to keep [...]" but I do not understand what "seals" means. In spanish we haven't a word for ...
7
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5answers
873 views

Is it incorrect to refer to a C-130 as a jet?

In this article by CNN, the C-130 involved in the unfortunate crash in Savannah, GA is referred to as a "jet." Is this considered proper usage? I'm not looking for public opinion here but official ...
7
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2answers
965 views

Does the “bat wing” aircraft paint design have a proper name?

I would like to do a web search for different planes that have utilised the "bat wing" paint application noticeable on the wings below? What keywords should I search for?
7
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4answers
1k views

Cockpit vs Flight Deck?

Is there a distinction between a cockpit and a flight deck on an aircraft, or are the terms interchangeable? Boeing refers to the flight deck The new Flight-Deck Displays and Airbus refers to the ...
7
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1answer
2k views

In a Practice Forced Landing (PFL), what are Low Key and High Key and how are their locations determined?

Please explain what are "low key" and "high key" in practice forced landings? Are they any particular locations with respect to the airfield? Are they the same for every aircraft? Will they change ...
7
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2answers
6k views

What's the difference between fog, fog banks, and fog patches?

My meteorology textbook (from Pooley's Air Pilot's Manual series) has a list of abbreviations used in met reports and forecasts. They include: FG for "fog" BCFG for "fog patches" PRFG for "fog banks" ...
7
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3answers
8k views

If the “Fuel Shutoff Valve” is ON, wouldn't fuel be cut off?

Ok, so this may be more of an english lanugage question, and I can confirm from context that when the fuel shutoff valve is ON fuel does indeed flow to the engine, but wouldn't that just make more ...