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.


47

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 ...


44

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.


37

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. ...


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/...


29

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 ...


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 ...


20

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 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

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 ...


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

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

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


15

It will vary widely from aircraft to aircraft, but I will try to give some general estimates. Time on the Ground Part of what you are referring to what is sometimes called aircraft turn time. It's not really directly related to my calculations for your overall question (though it is certainly a factor for short-haul jets), but in this article, minimum turn ...


15

As mentioned this question is hard to answer very accurately without better access to data. It also depends on your definition of "large, commercial aircraft." Including all wide-body aircraft would be a large number of planes, and the totals are constantly changing as aircraft are delivered and retired. This site will probably be the best resource for this ...


15

In airline operations, both pilots are trained to handle engine failures at any point during the flight, including during the takeoff. As far as who actually flies when it happens, it is a matter of the airlines SOP's and could be different from airline to airline. In general it is safer for whoever is flying when the engine fails to continue rather than ...


15

When is the GPU disconnected? Airports rules are applicable, for example airports may prevent the use of APU when the aircraft is at its stand (to reduce noise and pollutants release). The airline operating procedures also provide directives regarding when to start APU and engines. The general principle is that GPU energy is cheaper than APU energy, hence ...


15

Taxiing can sometimes be one of the more difficult tasks required on a flight, and affords one of the few opportunities to run into something. Historically, in the earlier days of crewed flying, a captain may have done most or all of the flying. A captain might have let the copilot fly some of the tedious cruise portion of the flight, and a nice captain ...


14

It's it possible? Yes, you would do it the same way as in any other airplane. Is it effective? Yes, just look at all of the fuselage area that is exposed to the relative wind. Is it useful? Not really. With all of the other drag devices, you shouldn't really need it. Is it recommended? You would have to check the AFM. I looked in the A320 Flight ...


14

Oddly enough, "common carriage" is not defined in the FAR's, but that is because it is a "common law term" and not specific to aviation. AC120-12A - Private Carriage Versus Common Carriage of Persons or Property contains guidance that can be used to help determine whether or not an operation falls under common carriage. Take a look at it for specific ...


14

A few items just to add to the background info: Large aircraft aren't just interested in being within the envelope, but also want to be close to an optimal c.g. location. For the 747-100, -200, -400 a zero fuel weight c.g. of 26.6 percent of the mean aerodynamic chord is the usual aiming point. This is done to minimize fuel burn while still staying within ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible