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36
votes
2answers
6k views

What are the security measures preventing someone from chartering a 747 and using it to commit a terrorist attack?

While most travelers are well familiar with the security measures imposed by conventional airlines, it is unclear how they apply to private aircraft. Is it possible for a private individual to ...
20
votes
1answer
2k views

Why are some contrails longer than others?

I've often noticed that planes flying on more or less the same track, headed in the same direction leaves different contrails. By different I mean how long they stay visible and the length of them. ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the pilot's obligation to verify a registration has not expired?

Old registrations had no expiration date, so a pilot could get in a plane that is owned by someone else and verify the airworthiness and registration by inspecting the documents. But that registration ...
8
votes
3answers
9k views

Can you re-register a de-registered aircraft with the same N-number?

If I'm selling a plane that has been de-registered, can the new owner re-register the aircraft with the same number (or do they have to get a new one)? Does the airworthiness certificate transfer as ...
8
votes
1answer
8k views

Where to obtain a list of active NDB approaches?

Does anyone know where to find a list of active NDB approaches? I can find a list of ones proposed to be eliminated, but I'm having a problem coming across a list of remaining ones.
15
votes
2answers
2k views

How are airspace violations detected?

Are airspace violations (e.g. entry to class B without clearance) based on primary radar and/or Mode C transponder, or something else? I read that Mode C altitude is based on pressure altitude, i.e., ...
21
votes
2answers
39k views

What are cowl flaps?

What are cowl flaps and what are they used for? It seems I have only heard of them in connection with old planes, are they peculiar to radial engines?
9
votes
2answers
5k views

What repairs or modifications can be done without approval/certification?

I realize that this is likely to depend on jurisdiction (EASA or FAA would interest me the most in that case), but is there any common-sense kind of line that you don't cross until you've at least ...
16
votes
4answers
23k views

What are the advantages/disadvantages of diesel/Jet A-1 piston engine?

Some GA aircraft, notably the DA40/DA42, are equipped with piston engines that use Jet A-1 and/or automotive-grade diesel instead of aviation gas (avgas). An example of such engine is the Austro ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Is the ATR empennage configuration considered a T-tail or a cruciform tail?

How is the ATR 42/72 empennage considered? Is it a T-Tail or a cruciform tail? From the image the elevators are placed quite high on the tail that they can be considered as a T-Tail but is it so? ...
32
votes
14answers
75k views

Why don't small planes use turbine (turboprop) engines?

Turboprop engines are more fuel efficient1, lighter for the same power, mechanically simpler and consequently more reliable. They are also slightly easier to operate (no need to fiddle with mixture) ...
15
votes
7answers
5k views

Why isn't the arresting hook always used on land?

Watching Jet Stream, about training to fly the CF-18 Hornet, they comment that the jet was originally certified as a Navy plane, landing on aircraft carriers with an arresting cable. Usually, when ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

Why is thrust vectoring not used on commercial jets?

Is there a particular reason for which thrust vectoring is not used in airliners as it is with military aircraft besides weight and complexity factors? I understand that on military aircraft ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Is the altimeter setting corrected for temperature?

In an ATIS or AWOS/ASOS recording, is the reported altimeter setting corrected for temperature? I think it must be, because on a hot day, the altimeter should still show correct field elevation. If ...
5
votes
2answers
877 views

What are the pros & cons of Autobrake?

What are the advantages/disadvantages of an autobrake system? In particular I am interested in the Fokker 100 system. Have any studies been done for the F100 autobrakes and the affects that this ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Are VFR pilots required to avoid an isolated cumulus cloud like any other cloud?

When flying VFR, pilots are to stay free of clouds, which includes a minimum of 3 miles visibility, and 2,000 feet laterally. Yet, I've seen some youtube videos where it appears the pilot gets too ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

How is a wing designed to be stall or spin proof?

Yeah, it sounds like two questions, but I suspect the answers are very closely linked (or maybe even have the same answer.) I was told in this question that trainer planes are often designed to be ...
21
votes
4answers
3k views

Did DB Cooper's aircraft land safely with the aft stairs open?

I've never seen a 727's aft stairs open, but presumably, based on an Wikipedia image and common sense, they do reach the ground when the aircraft is on the ground. Furthermore, (as I understand it), ...
12
votes
6answers
9k views

Do commercial aircraft have electrical outlets?

As we see trains nowadays with sockets for you to plug your laptop into, as well as Wi-Fi on-board both trains and planes, I'm wondering why you don't see electrical outlets on planes? Do any ...
6
votes
1answer
254 views

What are the Single European Sky (SES) and Functional Airspace Blocks (FABs)?

Air Transport World is reporting that the European Commission has initiated legal proceedings against Germany, Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Luxembourg; for not implementing FABs by the ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Do any aircraft systems give spoken warnings in a language other than English?

Since pilots are permitted to communicate in their own language to eachother in the cockpit, and to ATC in their own country, it stands to reason that some warning systems like TCAS or TAWS/EGPWS ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Can you legally obtain Boeing maintenance documents?

With the correct keywords on Google, it is possible to find Boeing MPDs (Maintenance Planning Documents), as well as Task Cards, and other technical documents. I'm wondering, could a software vendor ...
9
votes
1answer
8k views

Can you be a commercial pilot if you have a criminal record?

Is it possible to become a pilot in the UK with a criminal record?
10
votes
3answers
5k views

Do any airlines hire “pilots” with no previous flying experience?

I've previously looked online for pilots jobs at airlines, from budget airlines to cargo carriers; and they always want you to have a ppl. Do any airlines currently run programmes for applicants with ...
2
votes
2answers
519 views

Are aircraft sounds publicly available in a repository?

Referring to the automated callouts and sounds made by the fwc, tcas, gpws, pws, etc. — are these available to download in one repository at all? For any aircraft, Airbus or Boeing. ...
9
votes
2answers
4k views

Which aircraft feature stock exterior cameras?

Watching a video on YouTube of an A340-600 takeoff, I noticed that it has at least two exterior cameras — one for lining up the nosewheel, and the other on the tailfin: ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

Why is there so much movement of the sidestick during this takeoff?

Watching a video entitled Airbus A330 Takeoff Sidestick View, there appears to be a lot of side-to-side movement of the sidestick, as well as a lot of pushing the nose down: ...
13
votes
5answers
9k views

Why is the Priority Takeover button used?

On the sidesticks of Airbus aircraft, there is a Priority Takeover button. Wikipedia has this to say: In typical Airbus side-stick implementations, the sticks are independent. The plane's computer ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Does the NTSB provide CVR audio recordings alongside transcripts in accident reports?

Reading the NTSB's accident report on US1549, there is a transcript of the CVR from page 149 onwards in the PDF (marked as page 130 on hardcopy). Small clips of the ATC/crew communications exist, but ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

How are jet engines certified against birdstrikes?

I recall that during US1549's birdstrike incident that resulted in it landing on the Hudson, a large amount of migrating geese weighing upto 20lbs each were sucked into the A320's engines — far ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

Are ATC towers built in warzones?

Take Afghanistan as a for instance; do governments (e.g. USAF/RAF) or NATO construct ATC towers? I'd imagine so, at the air bases, in order to land/takeoff the vast amount of aircraft. Who controls ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

How do police/ambulance helicopters communicate with ATC?

I was watching some police programme on TV the other day, with an air chase that had the police helicopter crew on their toes; having to perform a lot of sudden maneuvers. How do police, or HEMS (...
8
votes
2answers
820 views

What are the properties of a good general aviation training aircraft?

I've been told that the best kinds of planes to train in are very small ones, like Cessna 150s and 152s. But I've never been clear as to why. I know they are cheaper to operate, so is operation cost ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is only a single underwater robotic submarine Bluefin-21 being deployed in the search for MH370? [closed]

As my question states, why is only a single Bluefin-21 being deployed underwater to scan the seabed with an area of around 40 square miles? Why aren't multiple Bluefin-21's getting deployed when ...
19
votes
6answers
16k views

Do box-wings suffer from induced drag the same way as normal wings?

Most wings suffer from induced drag due to a pressure difference above and below the wing causing air to sneak around the tip, forming a vortex. There are various methods to minimize these effects, ...
14
votes
7answers
6k views

Can aircraft other than rockets go to space?

I always wondered if it was possible for planes and other aircraft to leave the Earth's atmosphere. Normal commercial transport airplanes can fly pretty high, but then they need air to get the speed ...
19
votes
3answers
7k views

Why did Cessna get rid of manual flaps in their 172?

At the club I fly at, there is an older Cessna 172 that has a manual "Johnson Bar" that is used to put the flaps down. In the newer 152, and I believe the rest of the planes (I have yet to fly them), ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

If jet engines did leave chemtrails, wouldn't the chemicals cause adverse reactions in the engines?

Please note, this question does not call into question whether or not the conspiracy theory is true or untrue, but the feasibility of certain chemicals being used as fuel additives in order to make ...
18
votes
1answer
4k views

What is the purpose of multiple autopilots?

I have read that some airplanes have multiple autopilots, specifically airliners. What is the reason for this, and how does that system work?
20
votes
6answers
41k views

Why is water in the fuel tank bad?

I mean, on the one hand it seems kind of obvious, if you had a fuel tank that was mostly water then you would lack combustible materials for the engine, but I get the impression that having any water ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

Are there any EU/EASA regulations surrounding aviation software?

A great question's been asked: Is there any U.S. / FAA regulation that could apply for aviation software? This is interesting to me as a programmer and aviation enthusiast, but being based in the UK, ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there any U.S. / FAA regulation that could apply for aviation software?

I want to build some software applications applied to the aviation industry and would want to know if any U.S. / FAA regulation could apply in the design of them. I know there are some regulations ...
3
votes
2answers
190 views

How has FAR 61.57 changed since 1969? [duplicate]

An answer to another question on Aviation.SE asks about the historical development of FAR 61.57. How has FAR 61.57 changed over the years?
16
votes
4answers
7k views

Does night takeoff and landing currency also count for daytime currency?

My initial thought is that night currency satisfies daytime currency, but what gives me pause is FAR 61.57(a)(2) notes that a non-current pilot is allowed to conduct day VFR or day IFR flights without ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

How do you sump fuel when it's raining outside?

I've been taught to always sump the plane's fuel system before going flying to check for water / contamination / proper fuel grade. However, I've yet to go flying in rain. What's the proper procedure ...
6
votes
0answers
272 views

What is a fair and unbiased method of measuring airline safety? [closed]

Here are a few thoughts: 'Real' accidents happen much too seldom to be of any real measure, and they would have to be compensated for the number of passenger kilometers as well to be objective. Large ...
13
votes
4answers
5k views

Why don't horizontal stabilizers have winglets?

Winglets are used to reduce induced drag on the main wings of an aircraft as per explanations on wikipedia. Since they are very effective I was wondering why they are not installed also on horizontal ...
23
votes
2answers
2k views

How would you brief passengers who will try flying your plane?

Following up on this question about pilots letting passengers fly the plane, suppose you’re in a Cessna 172 with passengers and you have your PPL. If you want to let a friend try flying the plane, you ...
5
votes
1answer
188 views

Which maneuvering speeds are included in the TCDS?

I've been looking at the data found in various type certificate data sheets and found something that is a bit ambiguous. In reading a TCDS (like this one, for example) in the "airspeed limits" section ...
15
votes
6answers
6k views

Why are older airplanes still in use?

It is normal to see older planes (20+ years) quite frequently. In fact, a few months ago I saw a plane over 50 years old (not in a museum but on a runway, about to take off). Comparing to cars, there ...

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