All Questions

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, ...
8
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
372 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
284 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?
5
votes
2answers
777 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?
7
votes
4answers
8k 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
599 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
579 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 ...
22
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 ...
17
votes
4answers
10k views

Like transponders, can flight data recorders be turned off?

I never knew much about airplanes before the tragic incident of Malaysia 370. I have been spending a lot of time on Twitter reading various articles and investigations; in one of the articles I read, ...
22
votes
4answers
5k views

Could an aircraft 'hide' in the aircraft shadow of another aircraft without being detected or noticed?

I just finished reading an interesting post where the author suggests that the missing Malaysian Airlines flight 370 could have 'hidden' under the cover of Singapore Airlines flight 68 to fly to a ...
8
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Do landing strips suffer from potholes or rutting?

In companion to the other question asking about wheel tire tracks. Planes come down and stop with a significant amount of force which I would expect to cause either rutting or potholes. Are runways ...
20
votes
3answers
2k views

Do landing strips suffer from landing wheel tire tracks?

I've now seen several landing strips up close and there are lots of tire tracks from planes' landing wheels. I wonder if it somehow modifies the properties of landing strips to make for poorer landing ...
9
votes
6answers
3k views

How can Ryanair offer flights for a penny?

Of course, we all know that you're not exactly treated like a rockstar on Ryanair, and their CEO wants to charge us £1 to use the toilet; but still, how can they offer flights for a penny?! Looking ...
5
votes
2answers
557 views

Did the NSDAP help to fund Lufthansa?

During WWII, a number of German companies received financial backing and slave labourers from the government at the time. Companies such as Hugo Boss, Volkswagen and Lufthansa. A thread on Airliners....
27
votes
3answers
21k views

Where does my pee go when I flush at 35,000 ft?

One thing I guess a lot of people wonder is: what happens you flush the toilet in an aeroplane? Does it fall out the belly of the plane and disintegrate? :) A kiwi woman complains that "aeroplanes ...
28
votes
5answers
38k views

What are the advantages of a forward-swept wing over a rearward-swept wing?

What are the advantages of a forward-swept wing vs. a rearward swept one? Image credit: NASA Image credit: Paul Maritz / Wikimedia
35
votes
3answers
31k views

How do airlines pay for their planes?

Taking easyJet as an example, they have a fleet of over 200 A319's and A320's. At a price tag of around \$90m per plane, that equates to about \$18bn. Given that their turnover for 2012/13 was around ...
16
votes
1answer
7k views

Which country is responsible for prosecution if a crime is committed over international waters?

Theoretically speaking, let's say we're flying from Portugal to Cuba, on a Chinese-owned airliner. Whilst over the Atlantic, a crime is committed, and we land in the US. Which country is responsible ...
93
votes
15answers
66k views

Why are planes generally painted white?

When planes come off the assembly line at the factory, they're green: So why are most painted white? Surely a darker colour would hide dirt better? Is there a reason planes are traditionally white? ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

How do airlines choose what food to serve? [closed]

I'd imagine there are probably reasons behind the choice of food that airlines serve, and I'm wondering what those reasons are? I guess that Air India probably serves more curries than American ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

Where did the US 'N' registration letter come from?

Why is the first letter in US registration numbers 'N'? Other countries seem to use a letter significant to their country, for instance 'G' for Great Britain, 'F' for France, 'D' for Germany (...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

On a 777 what would happen if the aft pressurization switch was accidentally left closed?

The Boeing 777 has fore and aft pressurisation switches (see example here). If the aft switch was forgotten on takeoff, could this cause a loss of cabin pressurisation when the aircraft reaches ...
12
votes
1answer
863 views

What is the relation between aircraft altitude and ADS-B coverage?

While reading the description of ADS-B given on the FR24 website (ADS-B How it works), I came across this sentence: The farther away from the receiver an aircraft is flying, the higher it must fly ...
9
votes
1answer
4k views

Once you have passed the oral portion of a checkride, do you have to retake it ever again?

I recently attempted to take my Commercial/ME/Instrument checkride. I passed the oral exam portion, but shortly after the engine started running rough. After making it through about 3-4 maneuvers and ...
1
vote
0answers
150 views

Why after 911; do we not have “fail-safe” transponders that cannot be turned off? [duplicate]

In the 911 terror attack the transponders were turned off. Who is to blame for the lack of foresight that has allowed another jet liner to shut off their transponders. This is a ¼ billion-dollar ...
24
votes
5answers
20k views

Could a pilot incapacitate other crew/passengers by manipulating cabin air quality/pressure?

Could a pilot of an airliner incapacitate everyone outside the cockpit by somehow triggering a loss of cabin pressure while simultaneously disarming the airplane's oxygen masks, manipulating the air ...
6
votes
3answers
770 views

Is it possible to ping ACARS repeatedly and track an aircraft?

This is a followup to What data does ACARS send back to base? Can it be used to track a plane? I had asked this as a part of the earlier question, but it seems to be a large enough issue to be ...
28
votes
2answers
40k views

How does an alpha (AoA) vane work?

The alpha vane (also called AoA vane) is an external probe used to measure the angle of attack. I have been trying to understand how exactly it works, but I can't find any clear explanation or ...
6
votes
1answer
530 views

Do I need to descend towards the Minimum Descent Altitude if I have the airport in sight?

I have some questions about circle-to-land approaches. If we have the runway in sight above MDA, do we need to continue to descend to MDA on downwind? Can we just keep fly like a traffic pattern ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it legal to land in bad visibility conditions without ILS?

Korean Air Flight 801 crashed during bad visibility conditions in Guam because the ILS was out of commission and the pilot thought it wasn't. My question though is why he even tried to land there in ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

Can I log PIC time when training for a tailwheel or high performance endorsement?

If I hire a CFI to train me for the tailwheel endorsement (this question also applies to the high performance endorsement), can I log PIC time when flying the tailwheel aircraft, or do I have to log ...
29
votes
5answers
14k views

Can a Boeing 777 be hacked?

All this confusion over flight 370 has me wondering if it would be possible to hack into an airplane and control the autopilot or other on-board systems in a way that the pilots couldn't regain ...
9
votes
4answers
14k views

Where is the airspace not covered by primary Radar?

Most ATC in the world rely primarily on secondary radar to know where planes are. This requires that the transponder on the plane works correctly. This means that maintenance and deployment of ...
12
votes
5answers
10k views

Can the pitch be very different from the angle of attack?

How much the pitch (horizontal orientation) can differ from the angle of attack? I am trying to understand the claim that "angle of attack indicator was unfortunately not available", contributing to ...
2
votes
1answer
283 views

Is there a list of what information different airlines track about their flights?

It has been suggested in the media and in some answers here that airlines vary in the information they track about the status of their flights. Is there a publicly available resource that lists what ...
8
votes
3answers
5k views

What data does ACARS send back to base? Can it be used to track a plane?

An aircraft's Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System uses line of sight HF via ground stations or satellites to communicate with its base station. This system allows for three types ...
19
votes
2answers
30k views

What is an Inertial Navigation System? How does it work?

In this question, the answer notes that some ADS-B systems are connected to Inertial Navigation Systems (INS), and says they are less accurate than GPS. What exactly is an INS? A couple sub ...
26
votes
3answers
9k views

Why do aircraft on Flight Radar 24 jump around randomly sometimes?

I use Flight Radar 24 on my iPad to track friends/families flights when they are traveling (not paranoia, just curious). I've noticed that, quite often, their plane will jump from one location to ...
40
votes
3answers
32k views

Why do pilots have the ability to turn off the transponder in-flight?

These days, when reading news about missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200, I keep coming across a scenario where pilot might have deliberately turned off the transponder which is used for the ...
23
votes
2answers
59k views

What is the lifespan of commercial airframes (in general)?

You always hear that the Boeing 737 have been flying for so many years and the Airbus A310 for that many years, but of course that include new airframes being produced all the time. What is the ...
13
votes
1answer
826 views

Do instrument approach procedures sometimes have a minimum temperature?

Non-precision instrument approaches generally have altitude restrictions which get lower when you get closer to the airport. I always figured these restrictions were AMSL using the current altimeter ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

What was Korean Air 672 doing at the time of Malaysia Air 370's disappearance? [duplicate]

In the first part of this YouTube video, you can see an aircraft supposedly flying 4x faster than the surrounding aircraft, at the time the Malaysian 777 went missing. After replaying this on Flight ...
13
votes
3answers
9k views

How does a flying wing keep from going into a flat spin when maneuvering?

How do flying wings, like the B-2 Stealth bomber, actually keep themselves from yawing out of control without a vertical stabilizer? For the record, I assume this has to be a simple mechanics process....
7
votes
1answer
543 views

Can a private pilot receive recurring training while waiting for a special-issuance medical approval?

In the last year, I have had to undergo bypass surgery. I am fully recovered now (and past the mandatory 6-month waiting period), but have just been apprised by my AME that my 3rd class medical ...
28
votes
2answers
6k views

What happens when a helicopter loses an engine?

It seems like at this point it would be game over, since the spinning rotor is the only thing keeping it in the air. Is there any way to land a helicopter in this condition without crashing?

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