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27
votes
5answers
31k views

When should the term “pan-pan” be used instead of “Mayday”?

FAAO JO 7110.65, §10-1-1 states that "pan-pan" can be used to indicate a state of urgency: a. An emergency can be either a Distress or an Urgency condition as defined in the "Pilot/...
21
votes
1answer
2k views

What must ATC do, following a reported laser sighting by a plane?

Supposing a pilot reports having a laser beam shone on them to ATC, what action should they take? Is the pilot allowed to take evasive action? Can other planes request clearance to avoid the area?
33
votes
3answers
5k views

What happens when an airplane gets struck by lightning?

I know that they certify airplanes for lightning strikes (at least some of them anyway), but does it cause any damage to the airplane or to the electronics? Are there any required inspections if an ...
21
votes
4answers
25k views

Why is 121.5 called “guard”?

What is a "guarded" frequency and how does it differ from a frequency that's unguarded?
8
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the process to get a simulator FAA certified for IFR training?

Assuming I've got the hardware and software that meets the FAA requirements for a BATD (Basic Aviation Training Device), what is the process I would go through to get the simulator certified?
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it safer to do a regular approach than a short approach?

All things equal, from a standard traffic pattern at a towered airport, is it safer to do a short approach when approved by tower, or a normal one? Assume a Cherokee, Cessna 172, or similar small ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Can I log instrument flight time for currency purposes in an Advanced Aviation Training Device (AATD)?

Advisory Circular AC 61-136 which outlines the approval and limitations of flight training devices seems to contradict 14 CFR 61.57(c). To what extent can I use an AATD for instrument currency? In ...
12
votes
5answers
16k views

Are there any LSA aircraft that can be flown IFR in IMC?

Are there any LSA aircraft that are IFR certified? A LSA would be the perfect private commuter plane for an instrument rated private pilot. If not, what are the most cost effective airplanes that are ...
34
votes
3answers
45k views

What are the effects of the Boeing 787's very flexible wings?

I recently came across this picture of the Boeing 787 series aircraft's incredible wingflex: I suppose this is a consequence of using very light CFRP wings, but how does the wingflex itself improve ...
29
votes
5answers
7k views

What makes it so hard to land on an aircraft carrier?

I have heard it is very difficult for a pilot to land on a carrier deck. I have read this question but it didn't really give me a sense of the challenges that pilots face. This question lent me ...
32
votes
9answers
8k views

Why are dirt and bugs on an aircraft so bad?

It's noted in many POHs to keep your aircraft clean all the time, but is there a reason to this? Dirt hardly add any sort of weight to the aircraft, bugs are extremely small and other things such as ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

There's an airfield somewhere in the United States with a metal runway. Where is it?

Somewhere in the United States, there's an airfield (probably military) with a runway made entirely out of metal. I've seen the approach plate for it, but I can't remember the identifier. What ...
16
votes
1answer
2k views

Why would an airplane be approved for ditching?

So, the Learjet 60 that I used to fly has the following limitation: My question, is why would a manufacturer certify an airplane for ditching if it isn't required? The airplane is most likely going ...
12
votes
1answer
7k views

When cleared for an approach and not on vectors, is a depicted course reversal always required?

At least where I fly, most instrument approaches now use a Hold In Lieu of Procedure Turn (HILO). The "full procedure" now consists of a turn in the hold before proceeding inbound. In the example ...
14
votes
2answers
10k views

How do I obtain permission to fly an airplane that isn't airworthy?

How do I get permission to fly an airplane with a non-safety-related airworthiness issue, like being out of annual or having an inoperative radio in order to take it somewhere that it can be fixed?
22
votes
6answers
18k views

Is there a dedicated emergency frequency?

Coast patrol has a dedicated frequency for emergency that must be watched at almost all hours, and even if I recall, it had a "dead silent period" to prioritise whatever emergency might be reported. ...
22
votes
3answers
1k views

Can Air Traffic Controllers participate in Q&A?

While asking the question in chat How do we get controllers on the site? @egid suggested there may be FAA or union restrictions on participating in Q&A. That would be sad since pilots and ...
13
votes
3answers
6k views

Do fly-by-wire flight controls in airliners provide artificial feel?

Mechanical and hydro-mechanical flight control systems (cables, pushrods, hydraulics) all offer pilots some form of feedback – direct or, in the case of hydraulics, artificial – as the aircraft ...
36
votes
10answers
6k views

Is it even remotely feasible to turnback a single engine aircraft with an engine failure?

Note before reading further that I'm asking this question purely on theoretical grounds, though you are more than welcome to talk about practical aspects as well. Now, my question. It's common ...
13
votes
1answer
4k views

Are TI graphing calculators permitted on the FAA knowledge exams?

I know it's a bit odd, but I like using my TI-89 graphing calculator in addition to an E6B when doing calculations. It helps me avoid dumb arithmetic errors. I read the section "Use of Test Aids and ...
25
votes
3answers
5k views

Why are US Regional Airline starting wages so low?

With 2,000hrs of flight time, a commercial ticket for ASEL and AMEL, CFI, CFII, MEI, and a Master's in Aeronautical Science I could easily qualify to fly right seat for a regional airline, but I just ...
14
votes
1answer
16k views

How do I use the FAA's WINGS program as a flight review?

I know pilots can substitute WINGS phases for the Flight Review otherwise required every two years. How do I do this? Do I have to attend a class to meet all the equivalency requirements?
17
votes
2answers
19k views

How does a pilot replace their logbook if it has been lost?

I got my private pilot license when I was 17 but was unable to continue flying. I am moving into a position to get back in the air, but I no longer have my log book as it was lost between moves. What ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

What additional aircraft equipment is required to fly a US registered airplane in Europe?

If I want to take an airplane to Europe, what additional aircraft equipment is required beyond the US requirements? For instance, I know that we need 8.33Khz spacing radios, what else is there? Also,...
11
votes
2answers
5k views

To a pilot, does turbocharging differ from supercharging?

When it comes to operating an aircraft, what are the practical differences between a turbocharged engine and a supercharged engine? I'm aware of the mechanics - turbochargers being exhaust-driven, ...
12
votes
1answer
3k views

What regulations in the US exist for jetpacks?

In 2010 Fox News posted an article in which they quoted a representative of the FAA saying that the FAA might not regulate jetpacks (the representative did say that they could fall under Part 103). Do ...
37
votes
6answers
81k views

What does it take to maintain a private pilot certificate?

What, if any, requirements are there to maintain a private pilot certificate? For example: Do I have to renew my certificate after a period of time? E.g. annually, 5 years, 10 years Do I have to ...
11
votes
1answer
3k views

Can I display the route which I have created with skyvector.com on google maps?

I really appreciate skyvector.com as a tool for initial route planning and providing me with a good lookout to the upcoming VFR flight, but honestly I'm not very satisfied with the FAA Sectional ...
22
votes
3answers
6k views

Is spin recovery possible in an airliner?

During initial flight training a lot of emphasis is placed on stalls and spins and how to recover from them, but is it possible to recover from a fully developed spin in an airliner? Do these large ...
51
votes
10answers
40k views

Can you fly a light GA airplane into a major hub? What operational considerations are there if you do?

I did my training around the Seattle area, and was told that landing at SeaTac Airport (the region's major International/Commercial airport), while not strictly forbidden, was definitely frowned upon ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

Where does the Oxygen for the emergency gas masks come from?

Normal commercial jets drop gas masks when cabin pressure drops, and supply oxygen, but, where does that oxygen come from? Do commercial jets store oxygen? If they do, isn't pressurised oxygen very ...
178
votes
14answers
150k views

Can Microsoft Flight Simulator help me learn to fly (or make me a better pilot)?

Microsoft Flight Simulator has "flight lessons" with a virtual flight instructor, some of which teach concepts that are taught during actual flight training. These simulators are becoming very ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

Is flutter speed always smaller than divergence speed for aircraft?

In aeroelasticity, there are three main phenomena that one should take care of: divergence, aileron reversal and flutter. Each of them has an associated speed at which the phenomenon might start to ...
27
votes
5answers
7k views

Would connecting propeller blades with a continuous ring reduce induced drag?

Turbine engines are covered, which of course is to contain the process (just like a super/turbocharged engine is as soon as the air enters the intake). But it got me thinking, doesn't this also reduce ...
13
votes
3answers
814 views

How can I get more details about information in a NOTAM?

In doing some planning for an upcoming flight, I noticed my destination (a towered airport) has a NOTAM about the runway: "FICON PATCHY ICE". That seems rather vague, I'd like more information before ...
20
votes
3answers
17k views

What dictates the aspect ratio of an aircraft's wing?

When designing an aircraft, there has to be a decision as to the aspect ratio of a wing. It's been said that having a higher aspect wing will reduce drag for the same wing area, however most of the ...
41
votes
9answers
79k views

What are the pros and cons of high-wing compared to low-wing design?

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a high-wing vs. low-wing aircraft design? When might one prefer one to the other? Is the answer the same for large and small aircraft?
39
votes
4answers
20k views

Do turbine engines on multi-engine aircraft rotate in opposite directions to offset torque?

I'm not an aviator, I guess I'd call myself an enthusiast. I'm also a physics nut. I've always wondered about this but I equally worried my question posed to a commercial airline crew would land me in ...
18
votes
2answers
40k views

How much should it cost to get IFR-rated? What to look for?

(Related to this question) Many pilots have told me that an IFR rating is the most valuable thing i can do to improve my flying and margin of safety. I know there are courses as quick as, "Get ...
16
votes
3answers
30k views

Are there advantages when operating with CG near forward or aft limits?

If the center of gravity of an airplane is too far aft, it will become more unstable Iif the CG is too far forward, then drag will increase due to increased angle of attack. But what are the ...
21
votes
5answers
21k views

Is there a website similar to FlightRadar24, but showing general aviation?

As far as I am concerned, FlightRadar24 reads out transponder responses. As most engine driven aircrafts have at least a mode C transponder, is there a site that displays such traffic as well?
30
votes
4answers
47k views

What materials are plane windows made of?

I've always wondered, what are those dual-layered (bonus: sometimes they have a little <2mm hole, why is it there?) windows commercial jets put next to their seats made of?
8
votes
1answer
232 views

Who's in charge of running VOLMET stations worldwide?

Are the broadcasters private individuals, governments, companies? Are they required to function 24/7 and if they don't, are the owners fined?
31
votes
2answers
19k views

I just saw a plane drop off online radar; should I do anything about it?

I was watching Flight Radar 24, positioned near my house, to see what planes I could spot, and noticed a Cessna 550's transponder just dropped off @ 5,325 ft in a high-speed descent! Is there ...
20
votes
1answer
825 views

Is it legal to take off with an iced windscreen?

Looking at this video on Youtube, I'm wondering if it is actually legal to take off with a windscreen iced like that? For VFR this is a no go, but what about IFR and under what conditions?
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Can gliders access restricted airspace?

If I recall, in America there were several "Prohibited Access" airspaces and others required permission, via radio, to enter in a typical aircraft. But, what if I'm gliding over a restricted airspace? ...
11
votes
4answers
24k views

What is the EASA definition of night time?

EASA requires pilots to log separately night time and night landings in the personal logbook. Now, I'm not sure in which period of time a landing is a night landing and flight time is night flight ...
44
votes
2answers
35k views

What's the typical cost (and its breakdown) for a long-haul commercial flight?

I realised that this question is very broad, but I intend it as an example to illustrate the actual costs incurred by a typical long-haul commercial flight. For the purpose of this question, I would ...
9
votes
1answer
827 views

Are remarks in the Chart Supplement (A/FD) “regulatory” or “advisory”?

StallSpin's answer on the recent question about VFR traffic patterns has got me thinking about the "Remarks" section of the Chart Supplement (formerly the Airport/Facility Directory). We are all ...
26
votes
2answers
11k views

How do airports determine when they should change their runway numbers?

Runway numbers in most of the world are based on the runway's orientation relative to magnetic north. For example a runway with a magnetic heading of 135° to 144° will be numbered ...

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