73

The tow line has the "Y" connection to a pipe/rod along the leading edge of the banner. This keeps the leading edge perpendicular to the tow direction. The bottom end of the pipe/rod is weighted so that once in the air gravity will rotate the banner to the vertical.


53

Airliners are both larger and more complex than the small aircraft you're familiar with at your local flight school. For an example of some of the items to consider, see: What do you need to do to bring a 737 Max back in service after 6 months in storage? A lot of those things won't be improved just by flying the plane periodically, but some items are. ...


48

It allows them to do a run-up test of the engines without blowing debris at other parked aircraft, people, or things on the ground. [Credit to Ralph J] The walls have a structure that allows the noise of engine run-ups to be absorbed as well. Engine run-ups, especially multi-engine run ups, can be very loud. You can read more about IAC-Acoustics ground ...


45

Short answer Determination of mass and balance (or weight and balance) is a critical task for the crew, an error in this operation may have tragic consequences. Weighing passengers and carry-on items is mandatory per regulation. Either standard predetermined weights, or actual weights can be used in this operation. Airlines usually use predetermined ...


40

The reason 1 pilot goes around may also be the reason the next pilot goes around, The second pilot would like to know before hand whether the runway is safe to land on. For example if it is wind related he can delay landing until it dies down. If it is debris related then the tower can dispatch a cleaning crew.


38

When I worked for Boeing as an intern in 2000, I got to see Boeing’s wide body delivery center in Everett, WA. Back in those days at least, the airlines brought out a crew of lawyers, aircraft brokers and test pilots. Typically what happened was the airline’s test pilots would take the new aircraft up for a check flight with Boeing’s factory test pilots. ...


33

I'm not sure about other countries, but in the USA there is no FAA requirement mandating that the window shades be open for takeoff and landing. Individual airlines vary in their procedures, with some requiring them to be open while others do not. This is set by company policy, presumably set by management because they decided that there was/was not a ...


32

On the EMB-145 the passenger cabin was split into 5 zones and we were given passenger totals in each zone from the flight attendant prior to leaving the gate. If balance is off (this happened quite rarely for us) you would tell the flight attendant "I need 2 passengers from zone 5 moved to zone 1" or "I need a passenger from zone 3 moved to zone 2" or some ...


32

Pilots are not required to give a reason for a go-around, just to say that they are going around. A go-around is a busy time for the pilot(s) of the aircraft - power, flaps, trim, must be set, gear raised in some cases. The pilot needs to aviate first. The tower wants to know why the go-around was initiated by the pilot as it may be relevant for safety and/...


28

I found this on Wikipedia: Some call signs are less obviously associated with a particular airline than others. This might be for historic reasons (South African Airways uses the callsign "Springbok", hearkening back to the airline's old livery which featured a springbok), or possibly to avoid confusion with a call sign used by an established airline. ...


27

The operating procedures for the four airlines I worked for (2 commuters and two 747 carriers) all called for the flying pilot (which would be the first officer if it was their leg) to retain control of the airplane until all relevant checklists had been accomplished. That said, it is, of course, the captain's prerogative to take control at any point. That ...


27

There is something called the "Cost Index" - it is basically how you choose between speed and fuel economy. Company dispatchers, after knowing that a flight has been delayed, will calculate this value, and the pilots simply input the updated value into the FMC (Flight Management Computer). That will instruct the autopilot to output more thrust, i.e. fly ...


27

Perhaps this adds little to the answer already posted, but I feel it needs to be emphasized that airliners are designed to fly. Designed to fly a lot, in fact. Like, spend a significant portion of their working lives in the air. Southwest Airlines, for example, has each of its 737s in the sky for 9 hours a day. I imagine Ryanair's number is similar. And ...


23

At the commercial airline level, there is very little difference between a captain and a first officer, other than the amount of time that they have been at the company (seniority). Typically, each of the two pilots takes turns flying the airplane. For instance, if today's trip is from Miami to Charlotte to Chicago to Atlanta to Miami, the captain may fly ...


23

Helicopters do not avoid IFR. They will, however, try to avoid IMC for safety reasons. The same is true for airplanes in the same weight class. Just because the pilot is IFR rated and the aircraft is IFR certified, it does not mean they will always fly IFR, whether they are fixed or rotary wing. Light aircraft in general don’t do well in extreme IMC, whether ...


19

The standard operating procedures state that before every flight, a thorough pre-flight inspection should be performed. Depending on the aircraft, minute and tiny details are not even omitted. Things do not normally and occasionally fall off from a flying airplane, the same way as different objects do not fall from a driving car, although the pre-drive ...


19

More reasons call signs might not be the name of the airline would include: You need to have a call sign that contains few syllables rather than many, and that comes across relatively distinctly when communications are bad. The radio traffic can be fast, furious, and filled with static. You need to have a call sign that doesn't expose you to ridicule. For ...


19

The paperwork he was looking at is the dispatch release. This paperwork will have Crew names Fuel information Filed route of flight Alternates as needed Current weather Forecast weather at destination and alternates NOTAMS for departure, destination, alternates, navaids and anything along the route of flight. Deferred MEL items There are also probably a ...


19

I flew SA-226/227 Metroliners for two different commuters back in the 1980s. If we were behind schedule, station managers had the option of asking the pilots to do an engine-running turn. The passenger entry door and the cargo door were on the left side of the airplane, so that meant the right engine was left running. Such turns, usually only requested if ...


19

I think they were humouring you Cloud. Hand flying a jet at level cruise speed is not fun. It takes a lot of concentration and the novelty quickly wears off, and there is a high risk of getting busted for an altitude deviation due to a little bit of inattention. Even if you are able to find a sweet spot with the trim where it holds altitude perfectly with ...


18

The first scheduled trans-atlantic air service was made possible with Zeppelins. The LZ-127 started flying the route in 1931, mostly to Lakehurst, NJ, or Pernambuco in Brazil, but was disassembled in 1940. The first airliner which was able to cover the distance (back then it was Berlin - New York) was the Focke-Wulf 200, which in 1938 needed almost 25 hours ...


18

Because passengers really don't like enduring that kind of deceleration on landing. Scares them. Injures them. And if Junior is playing with his seatbelt latch at the wrong moment, there's a real risk of a fatal injury. And because you still need the runways for any aircraft not equipped with this equipment, and for takeoffs. If the Air Force doesn't want ...


17

How is the pressure difference in passenger plane toilets generated? The pressure in flight is generated by using the vacuum outside. This dosen't work on the ground or at low altitude, so there's a pump as well to draw out the air to create an artificial vacuum. Considering that the toilets should also work on the ground, I presume pumps are used - on ...


17

As has been said in previous answers, the duties are divided between the PF and PNF, and the Captain and First Officer typically change which they will do each leg. However, company policy may specify changes to this procedure. For example, the first 747 carrier I worked for specified that approaches and landings to runway 13 at Kai Tek, the old Hong Kong ...


17

In 1958, Trans World Airlines operated primarily Lockheed Constellation. Its range is listed as 4,700 nmi, which makes it suitable for that route. The Wikipedia page about TWA lists when they introduced and retired each type. According to that table the only long range aircraft they had in 1958 was Constellation; B707 only being introduced in 1960. Similar ...


17

Whether there are any formal policies for when to request descent will depend on the airline. However, I doubt formal procedures are established, since it should be pretty obvious to pilots when to request descent. From a controller point of view, I will expect you to request descent when you are ready for it - so a minute or so before reaching your top of ...


17

Helicopter IFR operations do exist, but the short answer to the thrust of your question is: helicopter IFR is inherently more dangerous than fixed-wing IFR due to the lack of stability. A properly trimmed fixed-wing aircraft in good conditions could fly upwards of 30 seconds without pilot intervention, whereas a helicopter needs almost continual control ...


16

The whole idea behind the policies and procedures for transferring control of the aircraft between the pilots is so that everybody is always on the same page. Somebody always needs to be flying the aircraft. If I want to hand control over to the other pilot, and he doesn't want it/can't take it, he would simply explain why not. I have never seen standard ...


16

There are no regulations which require passengers to be seated when the plane is flying a holding pattern, but there are a few practical advantages to keep the seat belt sign on during this phase: The plane is flying at a lower altitude, where it is more likely to encounter turbulence and other unstable weather conditions. Up in FL330 it is usually clear ...


16

If you look at the details, you’ll see the aircraft left the gate at 9:37, but only took off at 10:47. They probably received notice of the issue in MUC pointed out by Machavity while taxiing to the runway (and then asked to park somewhere waiting for the airport to be ready for them). No sense returning to the gate for a delay like this which is expected ...


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