64 votes
Accepted

How does a pilot tell passengers to prepare for severe turbulence without causing panic?

Turbulence is reported on a scale of light, moderate, severe, and extreme. The full definitions are available in the FAA Aeronautical Information Manual. As experienced in the cabin, For Light ...
Ralph J's user avatar
  • 51.5k
64 votes
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Why does flying not have any age restrictions like driving does?

Short answer: the US government agreed with you 3 years after her record flight. In the FAA reauthorization act of 1996, the following clause was added to 49 U.S. Code § 44724 - Manipulation of ...
Marius's user avatar
  • 3,671
50 votes

What is your responsibility when a distraught pilot is on frequency?

On frequency, if control is responding to the distressed aircraft you should stay quiet and let them work the problem. This would not be a great time to ask for flight following or traffic advisories ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
47 votes
Accepted

How do airlines replace a pilot at the last minute if they're unable to fly?

The airplanes can't depart without the minimum crew, which means 2 pilots, or 3 if there is a Flight Engineer. The airlines have "Reserve" and "Ready Reserve" types of duty to ...
John K's user avatar
  • 131k
45 votes
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Do pilots have their own in-flight entertainment?

I am not aware of any legal requirements, but rules may differ according to the country of jurisdiction. Generally it is up to the company that a pilot works for to establish their own rules to ...
Mike Sowsun's user avatar
  • 37.8k
43 votes
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Is there an official record of the pilot with the most logged flight time?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia John Edward "Ed" Long, Jr John Edward "Ed" Long, Jr. (1915–July 18, 1999) was an American pilot who is in the Guinness Book of Records for the most flight time ...
Mike Sowsun's user avatar
  • 37.8k
40 votes
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Has someone with no experience at all ever taken off in a plane? Could they?

The Aviation Safety Network has an article listing 11 airplanes that crashed after being stolen by a non-pilot. The most recent was the Horizon Air Dash 8 that was stolen by a ground service agent in ...
fooot's user avatar
  • 73.2k
39 votes

Why can't airline pilots listen to music while flying?

I don't know where he gets that. Regulation wise there's nothing stopping an airline pilot from listening to music as long as he/she can hear ambient sounds or communications and modern headsets make ...
John K's user avatar
  • 131k
38 votes

What's the point of writing on a cockpit window?

If you use a grease pencil, it rubs off easily from glass So you can save paper, not have to look down or hunt for the info, it won't fall on the floor, and if it's written in the center of the ...
rbp's user avatar
  • 16.8k
38 votes

How did pilots avoid thunderstorms and related weather before “reliable” airborne weather radar was introduced on airliners?

They looked out the window! If you are talking about a developing thunderstorm, especially during the day, they can be quite easy to see in front of you provided decent visibility. Here is some good ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
38 votes
Accepted

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 ...
jwenting's user avatar
  • 15.9k
37 votes
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What is your responsibility when a distraught pilot is on frequency?

Do not respond to irrelevant chatter on aviation frequencies. There are already way too many people who think it is ok to chit chat and joke on the radio while they are flying. Not only does this ...
Tyler Durden's user avatar
  • 13.3k
37 votes
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Why is the position of the pilots' head (eyes) so important?

The correct seating position is important to ensure A consistent viewpoint, which results in the final approach and flare always looking the same to the pilot. This is important when hand-flying the ...
Bianfable's user avatar
  • 55.9k
35 votes

How do pilots travel from remote private airports after landing?

You do whatever you can. Sometimes you call a taxi/Uber, sometimes you walk, sometimes you pack a small folding bicycle into your plane, and sometimes you borrow the airport car. Many small airports ...
Dan Pichelman's user avatar
32 votes
Accepted

Why do pilots need the ceiling, time, and dew point in the ATIS?

The ceiling is the lowest altitude where clouds cover more than half of the sky. This is important because climbing above that altitude means you will most likely have to fly through clouds. This ...
fooot's user avatar
  • 73.2k
32 votes
Accepted

How much training does an A320 pilot need to fly an A321?

From Flight Training International: Airbus A320 Type Rating The Airbus A320 family of jet airliners consists of five aircraft: the A318, A319, A320, A321 jet airliners and ACJ ...
Gerry's user avatar
  • 19.8k
32 votes
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What is this board given to a pilot in World War II?

The photo in the question is a screenshot from the movie "Midway"(2019). The board is a Mark 3A Plotting Board used for navigation by pilots flying from U.S. Navy aircraft carriers during World War ...
Mike Sowsun's user avatar
  • 37.8k
31 votes

What kind of injury would force a Navy EA-6B pilot to stop flying and take a desk job?

Years ago I met a guy with an aerospace supplier I used to deal with in the US, who was a former instructor in the USN in the T-45 Goshawk. I asked him why he quit flying to do what he was doing, and ...
John K's user avatar
  • 131k
30 votes

How can I find my grandmother's OLD instrument rating documentation?

The FAA has an airmen inquiry search portal. I put Nathalie Brown and came up with Nathalie Myrtle Brown with the following details: Certificate: PRIVATE PILOT Date of Issue: 11/25/1968 Ratings: ...
GdD's user avatar
  • 54k
29 votes

What button did a pilot press that led to them being caught for falsifying experience?

There appear to be conflicting reports of what exactly happened. A relatively detailed one says the pilot has accidentally cut power to the aircraft, while sitting on the tarmac. This has been ...
Therac's user avatar
  • 27k
28 votes
Accepted

Do (did) powered airplanes exist where pilots are not in a seated position?

In the first ones the pilot was rarely sitting. Inspired by ships, some early aviators steered their craft by standing upright: Almost all balloons were and still are flown standing upright. Same ...
Peter Kämpf's user avatar
27 votes
Accepted

Is training and pay different for cargo and airline pilots?

Do cargo pilots receive different training than airline pilots? First, cargo carriers are airlines just as passenger carriers are airlines, and cargo pilots are airline pilots. In the U.S. there is ...
Terry's user avatar
  • 39.1k
26 votes

Who has final say over an aircraft flight path?

The pilot has 100% responsibility for how, where and when to fly/land. The movies make it seem like pilots are just mindless drones, under the control of ATC. In actual fact ATC are there as an aid ...
Jamiec's user avatar
  • 33k
25 votes
Accepted

Does the captain always control thrust on takeoff?

I believe your referenced material is mixing up "Captain" with "Pilot Flying". The person in control of the aircraft should have their hands on the throttle, Captain or not. If the take-off needs ...
Ron Beyer's user avatar
  • 36.2k
24 votes
Accepted

Why does an airplane require 3 pilots on board?

Actually, for all but very long haul flights, airline aircraft only require two pilots, a Captain and a First Officer. For those long haul flights that exceed the duty time in a pilot seat, a relief ...
Terry's user avatar
  • 39.1k
24 votes
Accepted

When do commercial flights turn off the APU?

This varies due to operational need and airline standard operating procedures. On my aircraft (an Embraer E-Jet) we turn on the APU roughly ten minutes prior to pushback and shut it down shortly ...
Porcupine911's user avatar
  • 3,123
24 votes

What qualifications or training allow a test pilot to fly a new aircraft?

All commercial or military test pilots attend either a DoD or ABET approved test pilot school. The military has two said achools: the USAFTPS at Edwards AFB in Muroc, CA and the USNTPS out at NAS Pax ...
Romeo_4808N's user avatar
  • 73.7k
24 votes

Why does flying not have any age restrictions like driving does?

I can't give an authoritative answer because I doubt one exists, but one huge difference between cars and planes is that all aircraft used for primary instruction can be flown from either seat. Both ...
Dan's user avatar
  • 9,308
23 votes

Why are many parts of an airliner required to be triplicated, but not the "parts" most likely to malfunction (i.e., the pilots)?

Triple redundancy is often used when you need to know correct value even in case of single failure. Think (airspeed) sensor for example. (But the same can apply to output of flight computer or any ...
Martin's user avatar
  • 2,766

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