Aviation Terms for The Uninformed


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ALTERNATE AIRPORT: The area directly beyond the active runway when the engine quits on take off

ALTIMETER SETTING: The place where the altimeter sets. Usually hidden by the control column during a near-minimums instrument approach.

BANK: The folks who hold the mortgage on your aircraft.

BI-PLANE: What you'll say to your bird if flying costs keep going up

CARBURETOR ICE: Phrase used by pilots when explaining accident caused by fuel exhaustion.

"CLEAR": Warning shouted two seconds after hitting the starter button.

CONTROL TOWER: A small shack on stilts inhabited by government pensioners who can't hear. When they become blind, they are sent to centers.

CRITICAL ALTITUDE: Minus six feet.

CRITICAL ENGINE: That part of your airplane which used to be under the cowl, but is now in intensive care at the maintenance shop.

DEAD RECKONING: You reckon correctly, or you are.

DE-ICER: A device designed to operate under all weather conditions, except icing.

ENGINE FAILURE: A condition which occurs when all fuel tanks become filled with air.

FIREWALL: Section of aircraft especially designed to allow all engine heat and smoke to fill the cockpit.

GLIDING DISTANCE: One-half of the distance from your present position to the nearest decent landing area at the time of complete power failure.

GROSS WEIGHT: Maximum permissible take off weight, plus an extra suitcase, a case of bourbon, rifle, ammo, golf bag, bowling ball, and diving weights.

HOLDING PATTERN: The term applied to the dogfight in progress over any radio facility serving a terminal airport.

RANGE: Five miles beyond the point where all fuel tanks have become filled with air.

WALKAROUND: What you do when waiting for weather to clear.

LANDING FLAP: A 4000' roll out on a 3000' runway.





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