All Questions

7
votes
2answers
454 views

When are flight tracks publicly available?

Is there a way to make sure a flight is tracked on flightaware.com or similar sites? Similarly, is there a way to prevent a flight's track from being available to the public?
16
votes
2answers
4k views

When should a transponder be used?

When should a transponder be turned turn on? On the ground? Always in flight? Only when required: during radar service (flight following), above 10,000ft MSL, inside the Mode C Veil, or on IFR flight?...
21
votes
6answers
4k views

Can you tell ATC you are a “student pilot” when you are not?

Many pilots who are not native English speakers have a hard time when they start flying in the U.S. because of the pace and sometimes elaborate instructions given to pilots by controllers. The advice ...
21
votes
1answer
2k views

Is it legal and safe to take off or land in zero visibility?

Is it legal for planes to takeoff and land in zero visibility? Is it safe?
10
votes
1answer
2k views

What is an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ)?

China recently caused some controversy by announcing an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea. There is also an ADIZ surrounding most of North America. What exactly is an ADIZ ...
25
votes
4answers
13k views

Which ATC instructions should be repeated back by the pilot?

AIM 4-4-7 (b) says: Pilots of airborne aircraft should read back those parts of ATC clearances and instructions containing altitude assignments, vectors, or runway assignments as a means of ...
18
votes
2answers
7k views

What causes aileron and elevator flutter?

This video shows a Hawker jet with the wing fluttering up and down like it's about to break. What can cause flutter like that? Can it actually cause a wing or stabilizer failure? How can flutter be ...
4
votes
1answer
176 views

How to determine if an aircraft type is currently under investigation?

The Boeing 737 flew for several years despite rudder issues which had not been fully understood and resolved. It's conceivable that flyers who avoided the aircraft had had less probability of injury ...
13
votes
2answers
15k views

How do I convert true heading to magnetic heading or the other way around?

Is there a method by which the conversions can be achieved on the fly by using a mathematical formulae and not using specific area charts?
12
votes
2answers
3k views

What restrictions apply in international airspace?

What restrictions are there on a flight in international airspace? For example, if you fly into the Pacific Ocean more than 12 miles (or whatever the distance is) offshore, are you free to fly any ...
18
votes
6answers
2k views

What are the factors that limit how long an aircraft can stay aloft?

The most obvious one is fuel. Many modern military aircraft, however, are capable of refueling in mid-air. Crew fatigue, another obvious one, can also be addressed by rotating a crew out, and is a non-...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

What is an Airworthiness Directive?

Aircraft which have been in service for a long time often have a lot of entries in their logbooks for Airworthiness Directives (ADs). What are they, and why are they important?
19
votes
3answers
5k views

Do pilots using an electronic flight bag need to carry paper charts?

If a pilot uses an electronic flight bag (say, an iPad with ForeFlight or WingX), are they required to carry paper charts as a backup? Do different rules apply to operations under Parts 91, 121, and ...
11
votes
2answers
846 views

If skydivers cannot jump on a flight, what should I take care of when landing?

Piloting an aircraft, if skydivers cannot jump on a flight, what should I take care of when landing? Are there any special recommendations which should be taken into account?
15
votes
2answers
1k views

How does the MD 900 accomplish auto rotation with the NOTAR system?

The MD-900 is a helicopter which seems to be quite popular with law enforcement agencies. As you can see, instead of an anti-torque tail rotor, a fan exhaust is directed out slots in the tail boom. I ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

Do turboprop and piston engines perform differently at higher altitudes?

When flying at higher altitudes, does it matter if you have a turboprop vs a piston engine driving a propeller?
8
votes
2answers
609 views

What are FARs & where can I find them? What is FAR 23, 25, 135, etc?

The FARs (or Federal Aviation Regulations) are the regulations imposed by the FAA on aviation within the United States. Many questions make reference to FAR 23, or FAR 91 etc. What are each of these? ...
12
votes
2answers
12k views

What are the operational differences between an airplane equipped with a constant speed propeller and one with a fixed pitch propeller?

What makes a constant speed prop different from a fixed pitch prop, and what are the operational differences between airplanes with the two?
9
votes
1answer
1k views

When should the half bank mode of an autopilot be used?

Half bank can make turns more comfortable for passengers, but ATC expects turns to be at standard rate much (most?) of the time. When is it permissible to use half bank?
9
votes
2answers
3k views

How does a flap load relief system work?

I recently read about flap load relief systems in some aircraft that attempt to prevent flap overspeeds by automatically retracting flaps under certain conditions. Are these systems common on all ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the FMS Bridge Visual 28R approach at SFO?

I've read that SFO has a specialized FMS Bridge Visual approach to 28R that is not published but instead is custom tailored for specific operators. What exactly is this approach and how does it work? ...
18
votes
3answers
30k views

How does the mixture of an engine affect the engine's operation?

I know that in most piston aircraft that there is a mixture control for the engine. My question is, how does the mixture control affect the engine's operation and what type of situations dictate a ...
9
votes
5answers
3k views

Is there a website which highlights airport locations on a map?

Is there a good website which shows airports (both public and GA)? I can look it on Google and Bing Maps (as shown in the image below). Shown the picture, I have zoomed in a lot to see airport icons (...
20
votes
1answer
31k views

What exactly is an FBO and what services are provided?

To most non-U.S. pilots who have little or no experience flying in the U.S., the concept of a FBO is not very well understood. What exactly is a FBO and what are the services that it can provide? I'...
22
votes
3answers
2k views

What is ADS-B and who needs it?

I read that ADS-B is required by the year 2020. What does this mean? What is ADS-B used for, and who needs it?
22
votes
10answers
8k views

Do pilots ever intentionally takeoff or land downwind?

Is there a reason a pilot would takeoff downwind or land downwind? Is it legal to do this?
17
votes
1answer
2k views

Is it legal to overload a plane in Alaska?

Is it true that it's legal to fly a plane over max gross weight in Alaska? If so, what are the rules?
12
votes
1answer
5k views

What is a demonstrated crosswind component?

What is a demonstrated crosswind component? Is it possible to land in a crosswind greater than the demonstrated crosswind component? Is it safe to?
16
votes
4answers
7k views

How do you handle frost on a plane?

If you plan to fly on a cold morning and there is frost on the plane, what needs to be done? Do you have to remove the frost from the windows? wings? tail? fuselage? How should you remove a thick ...
14
votes
2answers
5k views

What is required for transatlantic flight in a private plane?

What equipment is required to fly a small plane across the Atlantic via Canada, Greenland, and Iceland? Is any additional training required beyond an ordinary pilot certificate? Can it be done in VFR ...
57
votes
4answers
93k views

How dangerous is flying in a single-engine plane?

Some people consider flying small planes very dangerous. Just how dangerous is it to fly in a light single-engine plane? For example, how does the fatality rate compare to driving a car, riding a ...
10
votes
2answers
658 views

What is the correct holding altitude for the missed approach at Unalaska (PADU)?

On this approach plate, the holding pattern shown is depicted for a missed approach: However, in the notes, it says to Descend to 6000 in holding pattern. even though you should only climb to ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Do pilots have to consider unplanned delays for Part 135 duty time exceedance?

When flying under Part 135, is it legal to takeoff knowing that you will exceed the allowable duty time due to an unplanned delay after the start of taxi? 135.267(d) says: Each assignment under ...
15
votes
3answers
3k views

After an emergency landing, what procedures should the pilot follow?

In case of an emergency landing (non-fatal) on a road/highway or in a large field, what happens next? Should police be contacted? Should aircraft owner and/or insurance be contacted? In case landing ...
25
votes
1answer
6k views

I have a European EASA license - what do I need to do to be allowed to fly in the US?

I own a PPL(A) license following JAR-FCL. Recently, this license has been exchanged for a European EASA license. My training was on a motor glider (TMG), I do not have ratings for SEP, but TMG and ...
26
votes
5answers
28k views

If I have a float plane, can I land on any body of water?

What are the rules with regards to landing a float plane on a body of water? Can I land anywhere (non-emergency, obviously) that would also accommodate the take-off? If not, how do I determine which ...
16
votes
2answers
318 views

Partial ownership: are there any pitfalls to owning the plane through a shell company?

I'm currently saving money for a plane and training, and the expectations are that I won't have the money for full ownership of much else north of a Cessna 150. I'm investigating partial ownership ...
29
votes
9answers
5k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

What ATC entities does a commercial airliner communicate with?

As a private pilot, I am familiar with tower, ground, approach and departure control, but I am aware that there are other entities like clearance, pushback and center. If I were flying a commercial ...
21
votes
5answers
55k views

What does the term “trimming” most commonly mean in aviation?

Why does an airplane need trim, and what does it do during the flight? Does an autopilot adjust the trim automatically?
1
vote
1answer
3k views

How can passengers help in the cockpit in an aviational emergency? [closed]

During an emergency solely related to aviation (ie not a medical situation), suppose that some airline passenger believes that he/she can help in the cockpit. Since the cockpit door is locked for ...
21
votes
1answer
6k views

What is the behavior of false glideslope signals?

I know that an ILS transmits not only the correct glideslope but also signals that can be interpreted as a false glide path. But I'm not familiar with the details of these erroneous indications. What ...
12
votes
3answers
18k views

What are the differences between “ground stop”, “ground delay”, and “gate hold”?

I've heard several terms referring to air traffic control procedures that restrict movement for a certain period of time: ground stop, ground delay, and gate hold (plus others I'm sure I'm forgetting ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Does adding a motorized fan to a hot air balloon change its class as an aircraft?

I have seen fans like these for use in ballooning and glider propulsion. Does adding one of these change the definition of the flight vehicle? e.g. is it No longer a balloon, but now an aircraft? ...
9
votes
1answer
480 views

How does a pilots license of cluster ballooning differ from other ballooning or unpowered flight?

John Ninomiya discusses his experience with developing this new style of ballooning on his Cluster Ballooning website. Many of the site's links are now broken, but on there he formerly attested that ...
7
votes
1answer
272 views

Is FAA approval required in order to fly an RNAV SID/STAR for a private aircraft operated under FAR Part 91?

I know that under FAR Part 135, specific approval is required for an RNAV SID/STAR (given via an OpSpec), but what about Part 91? Does the aircraft/pilot have to be approved, and if so how is the ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Can time logged in foreign aircraft be applied towards an FAA certificate or rating?

Does time logged in these foreign-registered aircraft (cross country, etc) count towards US certificates or ratings? Or is it flight experience that should be excluded from an 8710?
17
votes
3answers
7k views

Is it legal to fly in RVSM airspace with an inoperative autopilot?

FAR Part 91, Appendix G, Section 2 says: (c) Altitude-keeping equipment: All aircraft. To approve an aircraft group or a nongroup aircraft, the Administrator must find that the aircraft meets ...
44
votes
5answers
49k views

What are the main differences piloting Boeing vs. Airbus aircraft?

What are the main differences in flying a Boeing vs an Airbus aircraft? Ignoring cosmetics, e.g. nose/window shape (see How can I tell apart an Airbus from a Boeing?)
5
votes
2answers
838 views

What licenses and/or training should one obtain to be able to fly a drone in California?

The FAA will open up to flying civilian drones in 2015. Should we get pilot licenses to be ready for this? if so, is there a difference between plane or helicopter pilot license? Links related: NASA ...

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