rbp
  • Member for 7 years, 4 months
  • Last seen more than a month ago
What's the point of writing on a cockpit window?
38 votes

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 ...

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What is the difference between mist and fog?
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38 votes

Quoting from the METAR decoder: BR Mist (Foggy conditions with visibilities greater than 5/8 statute mile) FG Fog (visibility 5/8 statute mile or less) You may ask "Why 5/8th of a statute mile?" ...

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What emergency situation can pilots encounter in gliders/non-powered aircraft?
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33 votes

The number one emergency in a glider is a tow rope break at low altitude, less than 200 feet above the ground with no appreciable headwind. Below 200 feet, the proper technique is to land straight ...

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Why did most airliners have black noses in the 60's and 70's?
29 votes

Because the nose of the plane is where the weather radar antenna is, and paint would interfere with the signals. This is not just the 60's and 70's, and its not only on the nose. Here's a brand new ...

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Are there any "alternative" passenger airline business models?
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27 votes

There's also the "Snowbird" model, like Sun Country and Allegiant Air, which primarily fly vacationers and snowbirds between sunbelt (San Diego to Florida) and the Carribean, and the Northern snowbelt ...

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Do we have a unit to measure turbulence?
22 votes

Turbulence is described using the following qualitative descriptions [Source]: Informally, you can use a g-meter to quantify turbulence, at least in the up-down direction, but I don't know of any ...

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Why was I getting an uncomfortable feeling in an R22 at 3,000 feet?
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22 votes

Typical height for helicopters is 500-1,500 AGL, and almost all flights are conducted in this regime. Below 1,500 AGL the surface is quite close and the ground moves by fairly quickly, so you have a ...

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What callsign would a medical emergency flight use?
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21 votes

The variety of callsigns used for medical flights are covered in the AIM 4-2-4: b. Air Ambulance Flights. Because of the priority afforded air ambulance flights in the ATC system, extreme ...

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Why are flaps retracted when an aircraft is parked on ground?
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20 votes

A few different reasons: Good pilots put the aircraft into a well-known (up) configuration after landing, so that the aircraft is ready for use on the next flight. Flaps down during taxi was a signal ...

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Why do we use pylons to mount the engines on jetliners?
19 votes

Mounting the engine on a pylon rather than integral to the wing, allows the aircraft to accept different engine types (eg, Rolls Royce, P&W, or GE) or different sizes of engines. For example the ...

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Why does only class C airspace have an "outer area"?
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18 votes

The Class C outer area is the airspace surrounding Class C airspace out to 20nm, and from the lower limit of radar coverage to the top of the controller's airspace. The outer area is not charted, ...

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What's an "altitude engine"?
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18 votes

An altitude engine is a type of engine that uses a turbocharger (and less often, a supercharger) to generate sea-level pressure in its intake manifold, up to its critical altitude, at which point ...

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Can a helicopter stall?
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18 votes

Yes and No. The definition of a stall is that the airfoil stops generating lift, which happens when the critical angle of attack is reached. In an airplane, this happens during normal flight by ...

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When an airport has helipads, why would a helicopter take-off or land on a runway?
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18 votes

I know you asked specifically about runway versus helipad departures, but I thought I would lay out all the options available to the heli pilot, and you can see what all the choices are. There are ...

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Can gliders access restricted airspace?
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17 votes

Since gliders have no engines, they are often permitted to operate under special agreements called Letters of Authorization, which permit them to operate where other aircraft may not. These agreements ...

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Are there any cockpit indications when an engine has separated from the aircraft?
16 votes

This is the indicator that shows you when one engine falls off in a multi-engine aircraft: If the right engine falls, off, the little ball will move left. If the left engine falls off, the little ...

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Why are some windows in cockpits made openable?
16 votes

In the Pilatus PC-12, the pilot's side has a "DV window", a "direct view windows," that is hinged at the back and opens so the pilot has an unobstructed view out forward of the aircraft. This window ...

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Why don't helicopter blades look like other propellers?
16 votes

There is a second very important consideration for the shape & size of rotor blades: how they behave during an autorotation. I can think of two factors relating to autorotation in blade design: ...

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Why is the initial short-field climb below Vₓ in a Cessna 172?
15 votes

The published Vx is in the clean condition (no flaps): 62. With the flaps down, for a short-field takeoff, Vx is 56. This is the same reason why the stall speed (bottom of the white arc) is lower ...

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Why are airspaces depicted in AGL?
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14 votes

You're confusing the airspace height with airspace altitude. The definition of Class C (in the US) is 3-2-4 (a) Generally, that airspace from the surface to 4,000 feet above the airport ...

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Why would a helicopter climb in a spiral?
14 votes

In the spiral, the helicopter generates translational lift, which is added to the lift generated by the downwash of the rotor system, improving its ability to climb.

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What are the most efficient layouts of multiple runways?
14 votes

In order to increase the number of operations that can be handled at a runway, you want them configured so as to allow "simultaneous independent approaches," which means that the 2 (or more) runways ...

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Do helicopters have trim? How does it work?
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14 votes

It depends on what you mean by trim. If you mean a a mechanism that allows the pilot to reduce the control forces in order to allow the helicopter to be flown hands off, then the answer is a ...

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Why don't we have yokes that look like steering wheels?
13 votes

Steering wheels were developed for cars to provide the large amount of leverage necessary to turn the wheels of a car without any power assist. In planes, you don't need that much leverage (ok maybe ...

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How are there some Victor airways that exceed the service area of the VORs they are identified by?
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13 votes

It says it right there on the page where the service volumes are described in the AIM: 1-1-8. Navigational Aid (NAVAID) Service Volumes c. Standard Service Volume limitations do not apply to ...

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What is the best method to time your round out or flare in Cessna 172?
13 votes

The usual cause for flaring too high is that the pilot is looking at the runway in front of the propeller instead of down at the far end of the runway. Next time you're up with your instructor, have ...

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Is there any limit by FAA on the age of aircraft to be operational?
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13 votes

It depends on the aircraft, but in general the answer is that there are no regulatory age limitations, and indeed we have many aircraft flying that are 50+ years old. A notable exception is the ...

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How dangerous was the turbulence on this commercial flight?
12 votes

Turbulence can be caused by a variety of different weather patterns. The one you describe in TX as "an area of dense clouds and lightning so thick that there was no visibility outside the windows" ...

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Are there cases where a double horizontal stabilizer is useful?
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12 votes

The main aerodynamic purpose of the horizontal stab (or certain canards) is to provide longitudinal stability. If the rear wing with the 5th and 6th engine flies "up," like the main wing, then it ...

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How do people suffering from hypoxia not realize they aren't getting enough oxygen?
12 votes

As someone who has experienced hypoxia numerous times, the simple answer is that as you climb at 500-1000fpm into thinner air, the effects are very subtle, and, having compared them with other people, ...

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