100 votes

Why don't jetliners maneuver to avoid a bird strike if spotted in time?

If you're low, slow, and heavy (say, early in climb with full passenger and fuel load for a transcontinental or transoceanic leg), just dipping a wing can result in a stall and crash if you lose power ...
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  • 14.3k
93 votes
Accepted

Why don't jetliners maneuver to avoid a bird strike if spotted in time?

Not possible to see birds in time Incredible as it may seem, this re-enactment of flight 1549's bird strike is actually drawn out and made twice as long as it actually happened. The Cockpit Voice ...
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  • 2,347
75 votes
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Explaining a "Great Circle Route" to young Civil Air Patrol cadets

I would recommend that you don't introduce the term first and then try to explain it verbally, but demonstrate it in an interactive, hands-on practical way instead. Bring a globe, a flat map, and a ...
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  • 15.6k
59 votes

Why does flight training usually start with (unsafe?) propeller planes and not with (safer?) jets?

Light Propeller Aircraft, if flown within their design limits, are just as safe as jets. If you do a proper and thorough daily inspection, you are far less likely to suffer any form of mechanical ...
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  • 2,011
53 votes
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Why is a special certification needed to land at Paro Airport?

The approach to Paro is unbelievably complicated. It is flown visually through a valley with high mountains all around and no sight of the airport until the last moment. Here is a cut of a map with ...
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  • 54.1k
48 votes

Why does flight training usually start with (unsafe?) propeller planes and not with (safer?) jets?

In the hands of an inexperienced pilot, a jet is definitely the unsafer choice. Due to the general higher speeds, there is less time to recover from errors and they require more anticipation to be ...
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  • 74.2k
45 votes
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What's the point of using T-38 to instill flight proficiency in Space Shuttle pilots?

What the T-38 airplane provides NASA is currency and proficiency in high performance aircraft operations in a jet which has many of the same characteristics as the shuttle in this respect ie high wing ...
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45 votes

Can the airport name be omitted when contacting ATC if the frequency is not used by any other nearby airports?

When every transmission to the tower begins with "Executive Tower...." that is the keyword that makes the controller's ears perk up and start taking notes. If you don't say the magic words, your ...
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  • 28.3k
45 votes
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Do Flight Simulation Instructors stop the simulator before a simulated crash?

I would say that crashes happen fairly frequently on initial type courses where new pilots are moving up to jets, and mainly on what are called "V1 cuts", where an engine is failed right at ...
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  • 103k
43 votes
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Can a fighter jet land on a modified airliner?

Technically yes. But I am unaware of any attempt to do this with airliners. But there were several designs in the past which used a big airplane or a Zeppelin as a mother ship, which took fighters ...
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43 votes
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What does a typical discovery flight consist of?

A typical discovery flight is about a 30 minute on the ground introduction to the airplane and the cockpit controls, followed by a sightseeing flight of 30-minutes to one-hour. The entire process ...
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  • 28.3k
36 votes
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How long does it take to train a commercial pilot to fly a fighter jet?

fly it or fight it? There is a major difference. A few days studying the systems and maybe a few hours in a simulator and/or a two seater with an instructor and he could probably fly the aircraft and ...
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  • 14.9k
35 votes
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I accidentally deviated from an ATC instruction as a student pilot. How bad was it?

Well, you screwed up, but nobody got hurt, no metal was bent, and since the tower didn't yell at you presumably you didn't obviously endanger anyone's safety (though there's always some level of risk ...
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  • 67.2k
35 votes
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Who should handle an emergency when there's both a certificated pilot and a CFI on board?

From a safety perspective both pilots should be handling any emergency that arises, each working to their individual strengths and expertise to ensure a safe outcome. This is exactly what you did in ...
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  • 67.2k
35 votes
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Do airline pilots practice stalls in actual aircraft?

In 727 and 747-100/200 aircraft and their simulators for the two airlines I flew those aircraft for up to my retirement in 1999, all stall training was done in simulators, never in the actual aircraft....
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  • 38.7k
35 votes

How can I avoid flight simulator software reinforcing bad habits?

I posted this answer on FB a while back: I’m a commercial pilot as well as a flight sim fan with somewhere in the neighborhood of 7000 hours logged on Flight Simulator and Falcon 4.0 games. I ...
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34 votes
Accepted

What simulation software do airlines use?

X-Plane offers a "Professional Level" which is mostly about licensing. However X-Plane also has an FAA certified version that if paired with proper controls is legal for certain training/instructional ...
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  • 95.9k
33 votes

First time passenger flight by two pilots?

It is never “the first time”. What he is really saying is that after many hours of flying the aircraft (or an approved simulator) this is the first time doing a revenue flight with passengers. ...
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  • 31.8k
32 votes
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Is a pilot's instinctive reaction to a stall counter-intutive?

The correct way to recover from a stall is counter intuitive, not because pilots are trying to climb, but because the nose of the airplane drops due to the loss of lift and aircraft design. 99.999% ...
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  • 57.5k
32 votes
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How were pilots selected and trained before the introduction of simulators?

Almost every pilot learns to fly in an actual aircraft, this is one of the reasons all trainers have dual controls. My first day out, ever, was in an actual plane, behind real controls, in the sky. ...
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  • 95.9k
31 votes

How do young pilots in the USA accumulate 1500-hours to become a first officer?

1 word: Instruction. I learned to fly in the US, and all but one of the 10-15 instructors at the school were young guys who had a Commercial license and were just building hours while doing their ...
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  • 25.3k
31 votes
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How able were pilots of three-person cockpits at running the normal FE work?

First, these answers insofar as the licenses and airline operations apply to the U.S. system since that is all I am familiar with. You must have a Flight Engineer license to operate as an FE. Just as ...
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  • 38.7k
31 votes
Accepted

Do airline transport pilot trainees ever fly a passenger-less aircraft?

When pilots are trained for flying in an aircraft type they have not flown in before, they go through type rating, then line training. During the type rating, they learn where all the instruments and ...
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  • 57.7k
31 votes

Why don't jetliners maneuver to avoid a bird strike if spotted in time?

The closing speeds are simply too high to be able to do anything. A jet airliner is flying at an absolute minimum of 250km/h. Geese can fly at well over 50km/h, so you're looking at a potential ...
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31 votes
Accepted

Will dual-learning in a glider make my airplane learning safer?

Yes learn both, but... not at the same time. As Dave says, there are too many differences to be absorbing simultaneously. It's like a new airline pilot taking a type course on a Dash 8 and an RJ at ...
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  • 103k
30 votes

Why is a special certification needed to land at Paro Airport?

This is really two questions Why does Paro need special certification? Why doesn't Princess Juliana need special certification? I'll answer both, which I think answers your overall question about "...
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  • 10.3k
30 votes

Is it true that different variants of the same model aircraft don't require pilot retraining?

It appears to depend on how much changed. You do have to have some training between models. The selling point was that an airline with 737 pilots could fly the MAX variant with minimal retraining "...
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  • 5,321
30 votes
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What happens after a professional unintentionally crashes in a simulator? Can they be disciplined?

Crashing a Level D Full Flight Simulator during a training session is not good. They exist for: Initial training, of licensed pilots who have not flown the type before and need to become familiar ...
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  • 57.7k
29 votes
Accepted

When approaching a stall, is the first priority to apply power or lower nose?

The instinct drilled into a pilot's head from the beginning as the primary response is "lower the nose" to lower AOA. If you learn in a glider, that's the only option, so it's easy to drill the ...
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  • 103k
28 votes

Why does aileron response diminish as speed becomes slower, from slow-flight up to the stall? (In a light trainer)

This is real easy, no explanation required: Tell your student to stick their hand out the window of the car driving 25mph in the city and rotate it like an aileron. Then have them do it on the freeway ...
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  • 15.6k

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