All Questions

21
votes
4answers
30k views

What is the measurement system used in the aviation industry?

I saw this question from History Stack Exchange and noted that the US is still using the imperial measurement system such as feet, miles and pounds. Given that a plane may need to fly from one ...
4
votes
1answer
397 views

What training is required for pilots conducting ASETPA operations?

In Australia, aircraft approved for ASETPA operations are certain single-engine turbines allowed to be operated commercially under IFR. While I understand that the manufacturer is required to meet a ...
16
votes
4answers
6k views

When to reduce power on takeoff (Cessna 182 or similar)?

There are two sides I've heard when taking off in a Cessna 182 or other small airplane with a normally aspirated engine driving a constant speed propeller: As soon as your wheels are off the ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Do bigger aircraft make a bigger sonic boom?

I was watching an episode of MythBusters where they were trying to break glass windows and cups using a sonic boom generated by a F/A-18 Hornet, flown by the Blue Angels. In summary, they were ...
20
votes
3answers
2k views

Why do pilots announce the cruising altitude of a flight?

At some early stage in the flight, why will commercial pilots announce the cruising altitude of the flight?
22
votes
2answers
2k views

What is turbulence, and how does it happen?

I'm not a pilot, so I always wonder when I'm flying why does it happen... Is it because of bad weather, or something else?
1
vote
0answers
46 views

Is there a good iPhone app for tracking commercial aircraft? [duplicate]

I can see many airplanes circling around to land at KORD. I am wondering if there is a good real-time website or application to track these planes with 30-second accuracy or better. Any ideas?
41
votes
7answers
66k views

Why do flight times differ between traveling East versus traveling West?

Why does it take longer to fly West to East than East to West? Which factors affect this? Does Earth's spinning affect the time difference? Maybe the air circulation?
14
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
940 views

Black boxes: great for crashes on land. How about additional “floaties” for water crashes (low-tech, light, cheap) [closed]

Without getting into the mess of redesigning existing Flight Data Recorders, I have a simple proposal that I think would help in deep water crashes. I propose that several floating cushion sets be ...
13
votes
3answers
8k views

Could Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 have sunk without leaving any floating wreckage?

With all the searching on the surface of the Indian Ocean for evidence of Flt. 370, I'm wondering if there's any conceivable scenario in which the Boeing 777 could have sunk without producing any ...
15
votes
4answers
8k views

How close do you have to be to an underwater black box to detect it?

The news keeps talking about the black boxes on aircraft that end up in water, and one thing that keeps coming up is the underwater locator beacon that transmits a signal for 30 days if it gets wet. ...
28
votes
3answers
15k views

Why shouldn't you inflate your life vest until you're outside the airplane?

On commercial flights, in part of the pre-flight safety demonstration, you're told in the event of a crash, not to inflate your life vest until you're outside the airplane — why is this?
8
votes
1answer
594 views

Would discharging a firearm in-flight cause an explosive decompression?

I was reading a BBC FAQ about Federal Air Marshals, which has this chilling quote in it: A gunfight on a passenger airliner is seen as an option only of last resort. Presuming an air marshal has ...
12
votes
2answers
5k views

Can pilots hear their passengers clapping on touchdown?

Something that just popped into my head: I've been on a few easyJet and Ryanair flights where a lot of passengers clap and cheer on touchdown. Would the pilots be able to hear this? Here's an example ...
9
votes
2answers
857 views

How is data transmitted to CVR and FDR?

A recent news item mentioned that "black boxes" are typically stored in the tail section of an aircraft to maximize their odds of surviving a catastrophic incident. If they're stored in the rear of ...
3
votes
1answer
864 views

What are the requirements for a PPL to upgrade from SEL to MEL?

Reading the requirements for MEL it is confusing which things must be done in a multi-engine, and which things carry over from SEL. If I already have SEL do I need to do a cross country in a multi-...
22
votes
6answers
5k views

Can passenger movement in an airliner make it stall?

This question shows a couple of air hostesses dancing during mid-flight and the co-pilot came out of the cabin to record it. This made me wonder: Can flight crew or passengers moving around in ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

How long can passengers survive after ditching in the ocean?

Assuming Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 ditched in the ocean, and surviving passengers and crew were floating around in their inflatable vests, how long could they survive? Is there data about the ...
7
votes
1answer
629 views

Why does an aircraft have to be flying straight and level to facilitate a jump?

In the other questions about parachutes on this site, it has been stated that the aircraft would have to be flying straight and level to facilitate a jump. However, there were quite a few pilots ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

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 ...
17
votes
4answers
7k views

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.
2
votes
0answers
775 views

I want to build a flight simulator! [closed]

For fun I want to build a flight simulator at home. What are my options from most basic toy environment to more realistic set-up. Great if you can give for each solution a basic indication of cost (...
16
votes
8answers
19k views

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 ...
20
votes
3answers
20k views

What happens when the logbook of an aircraft is lost?

If the logbook for an aircraft is lost, how does one replace it? Is the airplane still airworthy?
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 ...
17
votes
2answers
3k views

How does an aircraft derive winds aloft on its own?

The G1000 has a feature where it can put up a winds aloft arrow/speed in the PFD. I've been sort of wondering how exactly this is determined. My guess is that the aircraft (or the G1000) knows your ...
37
votes
5answers
15k views

How can a computer model yield two possible flight paths of MH370 in South Indian Ocean?

I am reading this article on the NY Times, where they show two possible flight paths of the missing flight MH370 in the South Indian Ocean: I am wondering how they can come up with such specific ...
12
votes
2answers
6k views

How are thermals found?

As far as I understand glider pilots like to look out for thermals. I assume that when you are in one, you can perceive that and you can make roughly sure to stay in it. But what if you're not in a ...
7
votes
2answers
476 views

How does an aircraft report crew programming of the FMS to the ground? [closed]

I am reading in the news that the MH370 flight changed its course by "Computer entry" and that it was programmed into the computer at least 12 minutes before the last voice contact with the plane. ...
7
votes
1answer
734 views

Do the effects of turbulence change when banking/turning compared to level flight?

Are the effects created by turbulence on the aircraft different when the aircraft is banking or in level flight? By logic I'd say yes but I would like some technical and practical explanation. When ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Why are landing fees at large airports based on weight?

KORD airport for instance charges domestic vs international arrivals differently. I could see that this may have something to do with imports/taxes/tariffs etc, but why are the landing fees measured ...
32
votes
3answers
14k views

What are these hooks on the A320's wing used for?

I was flying on an A320 (equipped with sharklets) the other day, and I found these hooks on the wing's surface: Note that the single hooked attachment is outside the wing's "DO NOT WALK OUTSIDE THIS ...
28
votes
1answer
23k views

Why is there a hole in one of the layer of an airplane's windows?

On a commercial airliner, there is a hole in one of the layer of the passenger windows. See here: and here: Or in more detail: Can you explain the physical reasons for this design choice?
3
votes
1answer
1k views

PPL 40 hours requirement, are you really ready? [closed]

Are 40 hours of flight really enough to gain experience to fly a small private plane alone anywhere? The rules state so but from experience off you pilots, is it really enough or should be more hours ...
21
votes
5answers
4k views

Could a Personal Locator Beacon or EPIRB carried by a passenger aid in locating a downed airliner?

There've been a lot of questions lately about tracking aircraft, and after a conversation with a friend of a friend I started wondering: Could a PLB or EPIRB carried by a passenger or crew member aid ...
13
votes
5answers
22k views

Can a commercial airliner sink to the bottom of the ocean?

Is it possible that a commercial airliner could hit the ocean surface at such an angle that it made a deep dive intact, got filled with water, sank, and got stuck in mud at the floor of the ocean?
7
votes
1answer
465 views

How do you encode a radial to radial turn in ARINC-424?

I am building my own ATC simulator and for that purpose I need to include several instrument procedures. I have a problem with that particular one: My problem is on KEA transition, the leg between "...
10
votes
2answers
5k views

How do pilots/controllers deal with overlapping transmissions on the radio?

A disadvantage of the analogue radio1 used for communication is that it does not receive when it transmits. Everybody is trained to wait until the frequency is quiet before starting to talk, but it's ...
12
votes
2answers
4k views

What are the legal requirements to be a “crewmember”?

14 CFR 1.1 includes the following definitions related to crewmembers: Crewmember means a person assigned to perform duty in an aircraft during flight time. Flightcrew member means a pilot, ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

What should I do to become a pilot for skydivers, in France?

What are the steps needed to become a pilot that can transport skydivers? I'm more specifically interested in the situation in Europe, France. I would expect lessons / certifications, then more ...
9
votes
2answers
368 views

Why is the altimeter unwinding unevenely during a spin?

Spencer Suderman recently did a world record 81-turn inverted flat spin, and dropped over 21 thousand feet while doing so. The entire thing is documented on youtube. The spin starts at 3 minutes into ...
2
votes
2answers
280 views

Is it possible for the sensors which determine when an aircraft has landed in water to become damaged?

A plane has sensors that should transmit data back somewhere when it hits water correct? Is it possible that these can be turned off/damaged?
3
votes
2answers
720 views

What happens to the transponder, FDR and CVR in case of an explosion?

Will the above mentioned equipment still work and transmit data/location information if an explosion occurs inside the aircraft?
5
votes
3answers
7k views

How does aileron reversal work?

I want to know how aileron reversal takes place when control reversal velocity is higher than divergence speed and operating speed is in between them (for conventional wing)
10
votes
2answers
3k views

Why do I not always hear ATC read back by pilots (on required instructions)?

I enjoy tracking air traffic at my local KORD. I listen on LiveATC and use my private virtual radar setup to get "real-time" traffic info. I understand which instructions need to be read back by the ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Why do hydraulic jack stalls result in pitch up and right roll?

Quoting from page 162 of the book "Fatal traps for helicopter pilots" by Greg Whyte: Hydraulic jack stall (servo transparency) in (AS-350) helicopter is an aerodynamic phenomenon can occur when the ...
4
votes
1answer
591 views

Does Part 135 duty time begin at the start of a part 91 owner flight which occurred immediately before?

You are asked to fly a 91 owner trip to a destination. A 135 trip comes up after your owner flight. Does your 135 duty time start when company asked you to fly the 91 owner flight?
6
votes
1answer
574 views

Is this a glitchy ADS-B signal? [duplicate]

I was looking through my virtual radar logs one of the days and found this "glitchy" ADS-B behavior. I am almost 100% sure that this is not due to my antenna or setup since two independent different ...
21
votes
1answer
5k views

Do aircraft manufacturers produce their own black boxes?

Do the manufacturers who build airplanes use their own "black boxes" in the planes, or are there companies whose sole purpose is to develop black boxes? For example, in 2010 in the Airblue Flight 202 ...

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