Greg Hewgill
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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 ...

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Has an earthquake ever complicated or prevented a safe landing/takeoff?
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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 ...

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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 ...

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How are aircraft identified as unregistered?
7 votes

Aircraft don't have to be actually flying for people to notice something fishy going on. In particular, there are always people hanging about at airports keeping an eye on everything going on. ...

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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 ...

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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.

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Is there any FAA Regulation who may wash a private aircraft such as Cessna Skyhawk or Citation?
7 votes

There is no regulation on who can wash a plane. You'll probably find that quite a few planes (at least of those used for instruction) are in fact washed by student pilots.

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What can pilots do to spot the onset of hypoxia?
7 votes

A good amount of information can be found in the Operator's Guide to Human Factors in Aviation: Hypoxia can be recognized from both objective (i.e., capable of being perceived by an observer) and ...

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Is it legal to drop/shoot paintballs from an airplane?
7 votes

For the FAA: § 91.15 Dropping objects. No pilot in command of a civil aircraft may allow any object to be dropped from that aircraft in flight that creates a hazard to persons or property. However, ...

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How is taxi speed measured?
6 votes

Some aircraft have a "taxi speed indicator". Here's one I found on ebay for an Airbus:

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Where are the bags generally stored on an airliner?
6 votes

On a modern large airliner (particularly for long haul), the bags are loaded into a ULD (Unit Load Device) which are the big silver boxes that you see on airport ramps. These ULDs are then loaded into ...

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After a crash, does the information stored on flight recorders have expiration dates?
6 votes

Every aviation accident is different. The aircraft flight data recorder is designed to survive likely scenarios, but successful recovery of the data stored on it is not guaranteed. Wikipedia has a ...

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How to lose an aircraft?
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6 votes

It is certainly possible to build an aircraft using modern technology that is hard to lose. After all, aircraft have GPS receivers and passengers can watch YouTube in the cabin. All you have to do is ...

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Why are there full-fledged entertainment systems on aircraft when today everyone has a smart phone?
5 votes

Today's IFE systems aren't solely about entertainment media. They might also show flight status, let your order meals, offer flight-specific destination information, etc. Now none of this is ...

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Is the user interface design of ATC equipment generic across countries?
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5 votes

Most ATC software systems are developed by a few large companies. Companies that produce such software include Lockheed Martin, Thales, Raytheon, Indra, Comsoft, Adacel (and maybe a few others). It's ...

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Are the military tilted-thrust aircraft in the film Avatar feasible?
5 votes

I presume you're talking about the fictional Aerospatiale SA-2 Samson. From that page: Ducted fan VTOL aircraft have been flown since at least the 1960s. A notable example was the Bell X-22, a quad-...

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Do ICAO specifications have the force of regulation?
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5 votes

According to About ICAO from their own site: ICAO works with the Convention’s 191 Signatory States and global industry and aviation organizations to develop international Standards and Recommended ...

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In an airliner, does the Captain or the First Officer fly the airplane?
5 votes

Both pilots will log time for the flight, although their log entries will be slightly different. The captain will log hours as Pilot-in-Command (PIC). In practice, "George" (the autopilot) will ...

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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;...

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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".

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How does Air Traffic Control know a flight's route and destination?
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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 ...

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What exactly are the functions of an aviation headset?
4 votes

An "aviation" headset is really not much more than an expensive set of headphones with a microphone. They do not do any radio communication by themselves, but are plugged into the aircraft radio ...

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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 ...

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Do I need a driver's license to get a PPL in Canada?
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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 ...

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How much damage could a landing gear malfunction do?
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3 votes

According to Belly landing: During a belly landing, there is normally extensive damage to the airplane. Belly landings carry the risk that the aircraft may flip over, disintegrate, or catch fire if ...

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Is flying a UAV via a VR controller (e.g. Oculus) legal in the US?
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3 votes

According to Model Aircraft Operations one of the requirements for flying a model aircraft is: Keep the aircraft within visual line of sight at all times If you are wearing a VR headset, ...

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How does the aviation industry train and certify English proficiency?
3 votes

There exists specialised "Aviation English" training for non-native speakers. In such courses, they teach not only basic English proficiency, plus a large amount of technical aviation-specific ...

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Why do high-speed water impacts / ditching usually result in structural loss of the airframe?
3 votes

In the case of plywood penetrating a tree trunk, consider the conservation of energy. The plywood might be flying at a certain speed before impact, some kinetic energy is used to break the tree trunk, ...

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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 §...

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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 ...

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