Greg Hewgill
  • Member for 8 years
  • Last seen this week
Why is it safe flying in a tailwind when taking off is not?
8 votes

I once had a flight instructor tell me, "As soon as you get airborne, there's no wind." While this is not strictly true in all cases (wind shear is still a thing), it does hold true for ...

View answer
Why do we take off with maximum power settings?
4 votes

It should come as no surprise that flying an airplane is not like driving a car. When driving a car, you can come to a complete stop and nothing exciting will happen. You cannot do this in an airplane;...

View answer
Why did the design of the Boeing 247's cockpit windows change for some models?
15 votes

From the Boeing 247 article (emphasis mine): The cockpit windshield of the first 247s was angled forward, instead of the conventional aft sweep. This was the design solution (similar to that adopted ...

View answer
Reason why heavy aircraft are allowed to land but not to start
3 votes

The article you linked to (and the original one in Dutch from Tubantia) suggest that the problem is a legal one, not a technical or operational one. There is unlikely to be an actual safety issue in ...

View answer
Can airliners be considered as GA?
Accepted answer
53 votes

GA refers to why you fly your plane, not what kind of plane it is. For example, John Travolta has (had?) his own personal Boeing 707, which is the first generation of jet airliner from Boeing. When he ...

View answer
Is the number of relief pilots regulated?
2 votes

Pilot (and other air crew) rest time is an important factor in aviation safety. I'm not sure where you picked up that it "isn't mandated", but that is quite false. For example: United States: 14 CFR §...

View answer
Has an earthquake ever complicated or prevented a safe landing/takeoff?
Accepted answer
8 votes

Yes, there have been aircraft landing at the moment an earthquake hit. Here is an article about one in 2011: Air NZ plane landed as Christchurch earthquake hit "It was creepy as... as the plane ...

View answer
Instructing your Kids
2 votes

If your child is going to be around airplanes and flying with you for the next 12 years, they're not going to need to log time from back when they are 4 years old. They will have plenty of logged time ...

View answer
Why are several of the Tu-104’s cabin windows oddly positioned?
Accepted answer
20 votes

I found a cutaway diagram of the Tu-104B. It appears that, at least on this model, some of the seats in the middle were raised a bit to perhaps accommodate some engine parts (there appears to be a ...

View answer
How do aircraft making HF transmissions avoid stepping on other HF users?
8 votes

Oceanic airspace is divided into MWARA, Major World Air Route Areas. Each of these areas defines a set of HF frequencies that are used for air-ground communications. Within each area, the frequency ...

View answer
Term to differentiate between a flight and a flight instance?
Accepted answer
1 votes

You might say "the QF 72 service between Singapore and Perth" for the flight schedule, and "the QF 72 flight on July 25" for a particular instance of the flight. The term service used in this way is ...

View answer
Can ADS-B used for voice communications?
4 votes

ADS-B is very low bandwidth and is completely unsuitable for carrying voice traffic. The answer to the "why don't we" question is quite simply "it doesn't work that way".

View answer
Why do (or did, until very recently) aircraft transponders wait to be interrogated before broadcasting beacon signals?
13 votes

I don’t get why most (or, until very recently, all) transponders don’t broadcast unbidden GNSS systems have only been commercially available relatively recently (compared to the timeline of aviation)....

View answer
What are the slash markings on Gatwick's 08R/26L?
Accepted answer
32 votes

They are "Rapid Exit Taxiway Indicator Lights" as described in section 9.6 of CAP 637. 9.6 Rapid Exit Taxiway Indicator Lights 9.6.1 Rapid exit taxiway indicator lights (RETILs) ...

View answer
How is radar separation assured between primary and secondary targets?
9 votes

Typically the surveillance information from multiple sources (PSR, SSR, ADS-B, multilateration, etc) are combined into a single "system track" using a Kalman filter. The ATM system has specific code ...

View answer
Do I need a driver's license to get a PPL in Canada?
Accepted answer
3 votes

It does not appear that a driver's license is required. From General information on pilot licences and permits, which details the requirements for getting various kinds of pilot licenses, there is no ...

View answer
Can active flight plan be sent for the aircraft in the air?
2 votes

Your question is short on details, but in general, yes this is possible. A flight could be coming from anywhere, for example: Another jurisdiction (FIR) Uncontrolled airspace A beach somewhere In ...

View answer
Why are TFRs issued around stadiums during games in the U.S.?
2 votes

From Sporting Event Temporary Flight Restriction: All aircraft operations; including parachute jumping, unmanned aircraft and remote controlled aircraft, are prohibited within a 3NMR up to and ...

View answer
How does Air Traffic Control know a flight's route and destination?
Accepted answer
4 votes

Under instrument flight rules (which all scheduled passenger flights operate under), the pilot will file a flight plan with the local air traffic control authority (in the US, that is the FAA). This ...

View answer
Why not a second airbridge at the back?
7 votes

Some airlines do this all the time, as in the picture below. The front boarding may be a jetway, or may also be stairs, depending on where the aircraft is parked. The passengers in the front half of ...

View answer
Why would a flight from North America to Asia sometimes fly over the Atlantic?
87 votes

The direct route from YYZ to PEK flies almost over the north pole: Sometimes, routes need to deviate a bit from the "direct" route, due to prevailing winds or other traffic. If your route from YYZ ...

View answer
What is the initial direction from Sydney to Santiago on a great circle?
2 votes

Yes, the map is accurate. You can see the same thing on this map from gcmap.com: On a polar orthographic projection, the great circle looks like this:

View answer
How is Kool-Aid used as a visual cue to create contrast for an off-airport landing?
Accepted answer
11 votes

Kool-Aid is usually brightly colored due to added dye. It comes in powdered form, and you would normally add water to make a solution. If you have some in your aircraft in a suitable container (...

View answer
What are the off-airfield rules for private helicopters in New Zealand?
Accepted answer
2 votes

I believe the relevant rules around helicopter landings are covered by CAA Part 91 section 91.127 Use of aerodromes. You are permitted to land a helicopter off-airfield. Land owner approval is ...

View answer
If a plane lands vertically in a strong headwind, what will the pilot do to exit the runway?
27 votes

If you're in a situation where you can "land vertically" (I assume that means you are landing into a headwind equal in velocity to your landing airspeed), then it's simply dangerous for an aircraft to ...

View answer
Why do we feel gravity on a plane?
Accepted answer
41 votes

This is the difference between flying and in orbit. In orbit, you are indeed falling toward the earth, but the spacecraft is too, and you're going fast enough that you keep missing the earth. In an ...

View answer
Do passengers notice if the aircraft is struck by lightning?
Accepted answer
13 votes

In my experience: Yes, the passengers notice, at least for some lightning strikes. I was flying from San Francisco to Chicago, this was sometime in the 90s. There was a big snowstorm coming in to ...

View answer
Can commercial airliners fly over central Antarctica during winter?
Accepted answer
52 votes

Surface air temperatures aren't really going to be relevant for an airliner. The temperature of the troposphere doesn't vary that much. In fact, the troposphere is warmer at the poles (from Wikipedia ...

View answer
Do promotional flight routes have a historical precedent?
7 votes

One of the first examples I recall of this sort of thing was when a Gulfstream aircraft wrote "GV" over the US in 2007: One could say that this has been a "tradition" for at least 10 years now.

View answer
Is there a regulation against having uncaged dogs or other animals as passengers on private aircraft?
Accepted answer
13 votes

It appears that the answer is "there is no such regulation". For example, from AOPA's Flying with Family: Airlines require that any animal on board be confined to an animal carrier at all times. ...

View answer