Welcome to our aviation glossary page. This page has a list of some of the most common aviation terms and what they mean. As you begin your career as a private pilot, it is important to have a strong understanding of these aeronautical terms and aviation words. The list is not exhaustive, and you may come across other aviation terms.
A lot of the aviation jargon words in this list are also abbreviations and acronyms. To understand communications in the cockpit and on the ground, you’ll need to have a good working knowledge of this glossary of terms. Treat this like an official dictionary that covers basic definitions of traditional pilot terms and some funny pilot phrases as well.
Learning this aviation lingo is key. English is aviation’s official language, so mastering this vocabulary and slang, along with the definition of terms, is important as you advance in your pilot training. If I’m missing any obvious terms, please let me know here.
Aviation Glossary and Pilot Slang
ADF (Automatic Direction Finder) – A navigation system that uses a magnetic compass to determine an aircraft’s direction relative to a radio beacon.
Aerodrome – An area of land or water that is used, or intended to be used, for the landing and takeoff of aircraft.
Aeronautical chart – A map specifically designed for use by pilots, showing airspace, navigational aids, and other relevant information.
Aeronautics – Aeronautics is the science of designing, building, and operating aircraft. It involves understanding the principles of flight and how to apply them in the design and operation of aircraft.
Aerospace – Aerospace is the field of science and technology that deals with the design, development, and operation of aircraft and spacecraft. It encompasses both aeronautics (the science of aircraft) and astronautics (the science of spacecraft).
Aerostat – An aerostat is a lighter-than-air aircraft that is tethered to the ground and used for a variety of purposes, such as weather monitoring, advertising, or military surveillance.
Affirmative – A word or a phrase that indicates agreement, acceptance, or confirmation, and that is used in radio communication to acknowledge a request or a statement.
Aileron – The aileron is a movable surface on the trailing edge of an aircraft’s wings that is used to control the roll, or rotation around the longitudinal axis, of the aircraft. The ailerons are controlled by the pilot using the control column or yoke.
Air ambulance – An air ambulance is an aircraft that is specifically designed and equipped to transport critically ill or injured patients to a hospital or other medical facility. Air ambulances often have medical equipment and trained personnel on board to provide medical care to patients during the flight.
Air brakes – Air brakes are a type of braking system used on aircraft to reduce speed or bring the aircraft to a stop. They work by using compressed air to operate hydraulic pistons that push against the brake pads on the aircraft’s wheels.
Air cargo – Air cargo is goods or merchandise that are transported by air. Air cargo is typically shipped in the hold of an aircraft, rather than in the passenger cabin.
Air carrier – An air carrier is a company or organization that provides air transportation of goods or passengers. Air carriers operate planes and other aircraft to transport goods or people from one place to another.
Air charter – Air charter is the process of renting an entire aircraft or part of one for a specific purpose or trip. This can include everything from private jets for business or personal travel, to cargo planes for transporting goods.
Airborne – When an aircraft is airborne, it is in the air and flying. It has taken off from the ground and is no longer in contact with it.
Airman’s Information Manual (AIM) – A publication issued by the FAA, containing information on flight rules, air traffic control procedures, and other subjects relevant to pilots.
Airport diagram – A diagram showing the layout of an airport, including the runways, taxiways, ramps, and other features.
Airspace – The portion of the atmosphere controlled by a particular country or organization.
Airspeed – The speed of an aircraft relative to the surrounding air.
Airway – A designated corridor in the airspace, with defined limits and minimum altitudes, used for the routing of aircraft.
Altimeter – An instrument that measures the altitude of an aircraft above sea level.
Altitude – The height of an aircraft above the ground or sea level.
AME (Aviation Medical Examiner) – A doctor who is authorized by the FAA to conduct medical examinations for pilots.
Anti-icing – Anti-icing is a process used to prevent the formation of ice on the surface of an aircraft. This is especially important when flying in cold, wet conditions, as ice can form on the wings and other parts of the aircraft, which can affect its performance and safety.
AOA (Angle of Attack) – The angle between the relative wind and the chord line of an aircraft’s wing.
AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association) – A non-profit organization that provides support, information, and advocacy for pilots and aircraft owners.
Approach – The final part of a flight where an aircraft prepares to land.
Approach plate – A chart that provides information for pilots on the procedures and requirements for a specific approach to an airport.
Apron – An apron is the area around an airport terminal or hangar where aircraft are parked, loaded, and unloaded.
ASR (Airport Surveillance Radar) – A radar system used by ATC to monitor the movement of aircraft in the vicinity of an airport.
ATC (Air Traffic Control) – The service that monitors and controls the movement of aircraft in the airspace.
ATC clearance – Permission from ATC to proceed with a specific action, such as takeoff or entering controlled airspace.
ATC communication – The exchange of information and instructions between pilots and air traffic controllers, using radio or other means of communication.
ATC frequency – The radio frequency that is assigned to a specific air traffic control unit, such as a control tower, an approach control, or a center, for the purpose of communication with pilots.
ATIS (Automatic Terminal Information Service) – A recording or automated system that provides pilots with current information on weather, runway conditions, and other factors affecting the airport.
Attitude – The orientation of an aircraft in relation to the horizon.
Autoland – Autoland is a system that allows an aircraft to automatically land itself without input from the pilot. Autoland systems use sensors and other technology to guide the aircraft down to the runway and bring it to a stop.
Autopilot – A system that can control an aircraft’s flight without input from the pilot.
Aviation fuel – A specialized type of fuel used in aircraft engines.
Aviation Medical Certificate – A certificate issued by the FAA, based on a medical examination by an AME, that certifies that a pilot meets the medical standards for the specific class of pilot certificate.
Avionics – Avionics are the electronic systems used in aircraft to control and navigate the aircraft, communicate with air traffic control, and perform other tasks. These systems can include everything from the aircraft’s flight control system to its navigation and communication equipment.
Avionics system – An avionics system is a collection of electronic systems used in aircraft to control and navigate the aircraft, communicate with air traffic control, and perform other tasks.
Barometer – A barometer is an instrument used to measure atmospheric pressure. In aviation, barometers are used to help pilots determine the altitude of the aircraft.
Base leg – The leg of the traffic pattern that is flown parallel to the runway, at a distance of about one-quarter of the length of the runway, before turning onto the final approach.
Beachball – A beachball is a slang term for a low-pressure system or area of low pressure. These systems are often associated with bad weather and can cause turbulence for aircraft giving the effect of it being bounced up and down like a beachball.
BFR (Biennial Flight Review) – A review of a pilot’s knowledge and skills, required by the FAA every two years to maintain a pilot certificate.
Blind spot – A blind spot is an area around an aircraft that is not visible to the pilot, either from the cockpit or through the use of mirrors or other visual aids. Pilots must be aware of their aircraft’s blind spots and take steps to ensure that they do not collide with other aircraft or objects when flying.
Box pattern – A box pattern is a specific type of flight pattern used by pilots to practice certain skills or procedures, such as landing or takeoff. In a box pattern, the aircraft flies a series of rectangular or square-shaped turns around a specific point or area.
Break – A word or a phrase that indicates that the speaker is going to interrupt or change the subject of a conversation, and that is used in radio communication to signal a pause or a transition.
Cabin pressurization – Cabin pressurization is the process of maintaining a comfortable and safe level of air pressure in the passenger cabin of an aircraft. Cabin pressurization is important because it helps to prevent the negative effects of high altitude, such as hypoxia, on passengers and crew.
Call sign – The identification of an aircraft or a pilot, that is assigned by the authorities and that is used in radio communication to identify the speaker or the recipient of a message.
Canard – A canard is a small wing located near the front of an aircraft, rather than at the back like the main wings. Canards are used to provide additional lift or stability to the aircraft.
CARF (Civil Aviation Regulations and Forms) – The rules and regulations governing civil aviation in a particular country.
Ceiling – The height of the lowest layer of clouds or other obscuring phenomena that is reported as broken, overcast, or obscuring more than half the sky.
Ceiling and visibility – The height of the lowest layer of clouds or other obscuring phenomena, and the horizontal visibility, as reported by an observer or an automated system.
Center of gravity – The center of gravity is the point at which the weight of an aircraft is evenly distributed around its body. The position of the center of gravity is an important factor in determining the aircraft’s stability and handling characteristics.
Certificate action – An action taken by the FAA to suspend, revoke, or otherwise limit a pilot’s certificate or privileges, based on a violation of FAA regulations or other misconduct.
Certification – The process of meeting the requirements of Part 61 and obtaining a pilot certificate, such as a student pilot certificate, a private pilot certificate, or other certificates.
Certified flight instructor (CFI) – A flight instructor who holds a flight instructor certificate and rating, and who is qualified to provide instruction for the certification of pilots.
Certified flight school – A pilot school that holds a certification under Part 141, and that is authorized to provide training and instruction for the certification of pilots.
CFI certificate – The certificate issued by the FAA to a flight instructor who has met the requirements of Part 61 and Part 141, and who is authorized to provide instruction for the certification of pilots.
Checklist – A list of steps or procedures that pilots follow to ensure the safety of a flight.
Chord line – A chord line of an aircraft wing is a straight line that runs from the leading edge to the trailing edge of the wing. It is used as a reference point for measuring the wing’s aerodynamic properties, such as lift and drag.
Class A airspace – The airspace from 18,000 feet above mean sea level up to and including flight level 600, where all aircraft must be on an IFR flight plan.
Class B airspace – The airspace surrounding the busiest airports, where pilots must receive air traffic control clearance to enter.
Class C airspace – The airspace surrounding smaller airports with a control tower, where pilots must establish two-way radio communication with the tower before entering.
Class D airspace – The airspace surrounding smaller airports without a control tower, where pilots must establish two-way radio communication with the airport before entering.
Clearance delivery – The portion of ATC that provides an aircraft with its takeoff clearance and initial route information.
Clearance limit – The farthest point to which an aircraft is cleared to proceed by ATC.
Clearance void time – The time after which an ATC clearance is no longer valid, if the aircraft has not departed or has not received an extension of the clearance.
Climb – The phase of flight during which an aircraft increases its altitude.
Cockpit – The area in an aircraft where the pilots sit and control the aircraft.
Cockpit check – A pre-flight inspection of the cockpit and its instruments, controls, and other systems, to verify that they are functioning properly and that all necessary items are on board.
Cold soak – Cold soak is a term used to describe the process of an aircraft’s systems and components cooling down after a flight. Cold soak occurs when the aircraft is parked and the ambient temperature is colder than the temperature of the aircraft’s systems and components.
Control surfaces – The movable parts of an aircraft’s wings and tail that are used to control the aircraft’s attitude and direction.
Control tower – A tower at an airport, from which ATC personnel provide air traffic control services to arriving and departing aircraft.
Control zone – An area of controlled airspace surrounding an airport, extending from the surface to a specified altitude.
Copy – A word or a phrase that indicates that a message has been received and understood, and that is used in radio communication to acknowledge receipt of a message.
Coriolis Effect – The Coriolis Effect is a phenomenon that results from the Earth’s rotation, which causes objects to appear to be deflected to the right in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere. In aviation, the Coriolis Effect can affect the accuracy of navigation instruments, particularly over long distances.
Course – In aviation, course refers to the direction in which an aircraft is flying. The course may be set by the pilot or determined by a navigation system.
CPL (Commercial Pilot License) – A license that allows a pilot to act as a pilot-in-command of an aircraft for hire.
Cross-country flight – A flight that covers a significant distance, usually beyond the immediate area of the departure airport.
Crossfeed – The ability to transfer fuel between tanks on opposite wings. Used to balance fuel load.
Crosswind – A wind that blows across the direction of an aircraft’s intended path of flight.
DAL (Duty and Rest Limits) – Regulations that specify the maximum number of hours that a pilot can work, and the minimum amount of rest required between flights, in order to maintain safety and prevent fatigue.
DCA (Distant Control Area) – An area of controlled airspace surrounding a major airport, where ATC provides traffic advisories and separation services to aircraft not in contact with the tower.
Dead reckoning – Dead reckoning is a method of navigation that involves estimating an aircraft’s position based on its known starting point, speed, and course, as well as other factors such as wind and drift. Dead reckoning is typically used as a backup navigation method when other methods, such as GPS or radio navigation, are not available.
Deadfoot – A simulated engine failure drill during multi-engine flight training. The left foot rests on the non-working engine pedal.
Deadstick – A deadstick landing is a type of emergency landing in which the aircraft is gliding to the ground without the use of its engines. Deadstick landings are often the result of an engine failure or other mechanical issue.
Deicing – Deicing is the process of removing ice from the surface of an aircraft. Deicing is important to prevent the build-up of ice on the wings and other parts of the aircraft, which can affect its performance and safety.
Delta wing – A delta wing is a type of wing shaped like a triangle or delta symbol. Delta wings are used on some aircraft to provide high lift and stability at high speeds.
Density altitude – The altitude at which the air density is equal to the density at the airfield elevation on a standard day.
Descent – The phase of flight during which an aircraft decreases its altitude.
Direct-to – A route from the current position of an aircraft to a specific waypoint or other location, without following a defined airway or route.
Directional stability – Directional stability is the ability of an aircraft to maintain a straight course without drifting or yawing. A stable aircraft will tend to return to its original course if it is disturbed, while an unstable aircraft will continue to drift or yaw.
Divert – To deviate from the planned route of a flight, usually due to an emergency or other unforeseen circumstances.
DME (Distance Measuring Equipment) – A ground-based or onboard navigation system that measures the distance between the aircraft and the station.
Downwash – Downwash is the flow of air that is deflected downward by the wings of an aircraft. Downwash can affect the performance of other aircraft in close proximity, especially during takeoff and landing.
Downwind leg – The leg of the traffic pattern that is flown parallel to the runway, in the opposite direction of the takeoff or landing, after completing the crosswind leg.
Drag – The force that resists the motion of an aircraft through the air. It acts in a direction opposite to the direction of the aircraft’s motion and acts to slow the aircraft down.
E6B – A type of flight computer used by pilots to perform calculations related to navigation, fuel consumption, and other aspects of flight planning.
EFAS (European Flight Information Service) – A service provided by Eurocontrol, the European air traffic control organization, to provide pilots with real-time information on weather, airspace restrictions, and other factors affecting flight.
Electrical system – The electrical system of an aircraft is responsible for generating, distributing, and controlling the electrical power needed to operate the aircraft’s systems and equipment.
Elevator – The elevator is a movable surface on the horizontal stabilizer of an aircraft that is used to control the pitch, or nose-up or nose-down attitude, of the aircraft. The elevator is controlled by the pilot using the control column or yoke.
Elop – Emergency low pass over the runway, to check gear or other issue before full stop landing.
Emergency frequency – A radio frequency that pilots can use to communicate with ATC or other pilots in the event of an emergency or other urgent situation.
Emergency procedures – Emergency procedures are specific actions that pilots and crew members are trained to take in the event of an emergency situation on an aircraft. These procedures may include evacuating the aircraft, extinguishing a fire, or dealing with an engine failure.
En route – During the portion of a flight between takeoff and landing.
Enforcement action – An action taken by the FAA to impose a penalty or other sanction on a pilot, such as a fine or suspension, for a violation of FAA regulations or other misconduct.
Engine – An engine is a device that converts energy into mechanical power, usually by burning fuel. In aviation, engines are used to propel aircraft through the air.
Entry – The process of joining the traffic pattern at an airport, either by flying directly to the downwind leg or by entering at another point, as specified by ATC or the airport’s traffic pattern.
Environmental control system – An environmental control system (ECS) is a system on an aircraft that is responsible for maintaining the temperature, humidity, and air quality inside the aircraft’s cabin. The ECS helps to keep the cabin comfortable for passengers and crew and to prevent the build-up of harmful gases or other contaminants.
ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) – The time at which an aircraft is expected to arrive at a specific location.
External check – A pre-flight inspection of the aircraft’s exterior, including the wings, fuselage, engines, and other components, to verify that they are free of damage and debris, and that all required items are properly secured.
FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) – The government agency in the United States that regulates and oversees civil aviation.
FAA Form 8000-36 – The form used by the FAA to request information or documents from a pilot, as part of an investigation or other action.
FAA Form 8000-58 – The form used by the FAA to provide a response to a request for review or appeal of a certificate action or enforcement action.
FAA Form 8060-4 – The form used by the FAA to notify a pilot of a certificate action or enforcement action, and to provide information on the pilot’s rights and options.
FAA Form 8710-1 – The form used by pilots to apply for a student pilot certificate, a private pilot certificate, or other pilot certificates.
FAA Form 8710-11 – The form used by pilots to apply for a flight instructor certificate, a ground instructor certificate, or other instructor certificates.
FAA Form 8710-12 – The form used by pilots to apply for a flight instructor rating, a ground instructor rating, or other instructor ratings.
FAA Form 8710-13 – The form used by pilots to apply for a medical certificate, including a class 1, 2, or 3 medical certificate.
FAA Form 8710-15 – The form used by pilots to apply for a glider pilot certificate, a balloon pilot certificate, or other certificates for pilots of lighter-than-air aircraft.
FAA Form 8710-16 – The form used by pilots to apply for a sport pilot certificate, a recreational pilot certificate, or other certificates for pilots of light-sport aircraft.
FAA Form 8710-17 – The form used by pilots to apply for a remote pilot certificate, a small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS) rating, or other ratings for pilots of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).
FAA Form 8710-18 – The form used by pilots to apply for a repairman certificate, a maintenance technician certificate, or other certificates for pilots who work on aircraft maintenance.
FAA Form 8710-19 – The form used by pilots to apply for a special issuance medical certificate, if they do not meet the standard medical requirements for a pilot certificate.
FAA Form 8710-20 – The form used by pilots to renew their medical certificate, if it has expired or will expire within the next six months.
FAA Form 8710-21 – The form used by pilots to update their personal information, such as their address, phone number, or email address, on their pilot certificate.
FAA Form 8710-22 – The form used by pilots to apply for a certificate of authorization (COA), a certificate of waiver (CoW), or other authorizations for special operations or activities.
FAA Form 8710-23 – The form used by pilots to endorse a foreign pilot license, if they hold a pilot certificate issued by a country other than the United States.
FAA Form 8710-3 – The form used by pilots to apply for a temporary airman certificate, if their permanent certificate has been lost, stolen, or destroyed.
FAA Form 8710-34 – The form used by pilots to apply for a change of category or class on their pilot certificate, such as from private pilot to commercial pilot.
FAA Form 8710-36 – The form used by pilots to apply for a change of name on their pilot certificate, if they have changed their name since the certificate was issued.
FAA Form 8710-40 – The form used by pilots to apply for a duplicate pilot certificate, if their original certificate has been lost, stolen, or destroyed.
FAR (Federal Aviation Regulations) – The rules and regulations governing aviation in the United States, including requirements for pilot training, certification, and medical standards.
FATO (Final Approach and Takeoff Area) – The part of an aerodrome used for the takeoff and landing of aircraft.
Feathering – The process of adjusting the blades of a propeller to a flat or nearly flat angle, so that they present a minimal profile to the air and reduce drag.
Feathering propeller – A type of propeller that has the ability to be feathered, either manually or automatically, to reduce drag and improve the aircraft’s performance.
Ferry flight – A flight that is made to transport an aircraft from one location to another, without carrying passengers or cargo, and that is authorized by a ferry permit.
Ferry permit – A document issued by the FAA, authorizing a pilot to fly an aircraft that is not registered in the United States, or that does not have an airworthiness certificate, for the purpose of ferrying the aircraft to another location.
Ferry pilot – A pilot who is qualified and authorized to fly ferry flights, either by holding a ferry permit or by meeting the requirements for a ferry permit.
Ferry route – The route that is specified on a ferry permit, or that is recommended by the manufacturer or other sources, for a ferry flight.
Ferry tank – An auxiliary fuel tank that is installed in an aircraft for the purpose of extending its range and allowing it to make a ferry flight.
Final approach – The final segment of an instrument approach, starting at the Final Approach Fix (FAF) and ending at the missed approach point (MAP).
FIR (Flight Information Region) – A defined airspace within which flight information and alerting services are provided.
FIS (Flight Information Service) – A service provided by ATC or another organization to provide pilots with information on weather, airspace restrictions, and other factors affecting flight.
Flaps – Flaps are movable surfaces on the trailing edge of an aircraft’s wings that are used to increase lift or drag, depending on the position of the flaps. Flaps are typically extended during takeoff and landing to help the aircraft achieve the necessary lift and reduce its landing speed.
Flight briefing – A flight briefing is a briefing provided to a pilot or flight crew before a flight, typically covering important information such as the flight plan, weather conditions, and any other pertinent details.
Flight envelope – The flight envelope of an aircraft refers to the range of speeds, altitudes, and other parameters within which an aircraft can safely operate. Operating outside of the flight envelope can lead to structural damage or other problems.
Flight level – A specific altitude expressed in hundreds of feet, such as flight level 250 (25,000 feet).
Flight level change – A change in altitude to a specific flight level, as directed by ATC.
Flight Management System (FMS) – An electronic system that is used to plan and execute a flight, including navigation, performance, and fuel management.
Flight plan – A plan that outlines the route, altitude, and other details of a flight.
Flight simulator – A flight simulator is a device or computer program that allows a pilot to practice flying an aircraft in a simulated environment. Flight simulators can be used for training, testing, or entertainment purposes.
Flight test – A flight test is a test of an aircraft’s performance and characteristics in flight. Flight tests can be conducted for a variety of purposes, including to evaluate the aircraft’s design, to validate the aircraft’s performance, or to test new equipment or technologies.
FSS (Flight Service Station) – A ground-based facility that provides information and services to pilots, such as weather briefings and flight plan filing.
Fuel burn – The amount of fuel consumed by an aircraft during a flight.
Fuel check – A pre-flight inspection of the aircraft’s fuel system, including the quantity and quality of the fuel, and the condition of the fuel tanks and related components.
Fuel system – The fuel system of an aircraft is the system that stores, transports, and delivers fuel to the aircraft’s engines. The fuel system typically includes fuel tanks, pumps, and other components.
Fuel tank – A container on an aircraft that holds the fuel used by the engines.
Fueling – Fueling refers to the process of adding fuel to an aircraft. Fueling is typically done using specialized equipment, such as fuel trucks or fuel carts, and is typically performed by trained personnel.
Fuselage – The fuselage is the main body of an aircraft, typically located between the wings and the tail. The fuselage houses the cockpit, passenger compartment, and cargo hold, as well as various systems and equipment.
G-force – G-force, or gravitational force, refers to the force experienced by an object due to acceleration or deceleration. In aviation, g-forces can be experienced by pilots or passengers during certain maneuvers, such as during takeoff or during a high-speed turn.
GA (General Aviation) – All aviation activities other than scheduled air services and military operations.
Gate hold – When pushback from the gate is delayed, usually due to traffic or other reason.
Glider – A glider is a type of aircraft that is designed to fly without an engine, using the energy of the air to stay aloft. Gliders are typically launched by being towed into the air by another aircraft, or by being launched from a high point using a winch or other device.
Glideslope – The path that an aircraft follows during a landing approach, as indicated by the glideslope indicator on the instrument panel.
Go-around – The cancellation of an approach to landing, followed by a climb and another approach.
GPS – GPS, or Global Positioning System, is a satellite-based navigation system that provides location and time information to users around the world. GPS is widely used in aviation, both for navigation and for tracking aircraft.
GPS (Global Positioning System) – A satellite-based navigation system that provides position, velocity, and time information to users on the ground, in the air, and at sea.
Gripe sheet – Document where pilots can provide feedback on problems with the aircraft.
Ground control – The portion of ATC that is responsible for the movement of aircraft on the ground, including taxiing, takeoff, and landing.
Ground effect – Ground effect refers to the increased lift and reduced drag that an aircraft can experience when it is flying close to the ground. This effect is caused by the compression of air between the aircraft and the ground, and can be significant when an aircraft is flying at low altitudes.
Ground handling – The process of moving an aircraft on the ground, including towing, pushing, or taxiing, during a ferry flight.
Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS) – An electronic system that alerts pilots when the aircraft is in danger of colliding with the ground or other objects.
Ground speed – The speed of an aircraft relative to the ground.
Gust lock – A gust lock is a device that is used to secure an aircraft’s control surfaces when the aircraft is not in use. Gust locks are typically used to protect the control surfaces from wind gusts or other external forces that could damage the aircraft while it is parked.
Gyroplane – A gyroplane, also known as a gyrocopter or autogyro, is a type of aircraft that uses a freely-spinning rotor to generate lift. Gyroplanes are typically powered by an engine and have a small fixed wing to provide stability and control.
Hangar – A hangar is a large building or structure used to house aircraft. Hangars are typically used to protect aircraft from the elements and can be equipped with various facilities and equipment for maintenance and repair.
Hazardous Inflight Weather Advisory Service (HIWAS) – A service provided by the FAA, to alert pilots to significant weather hazards along their route of flight.
Head-Up Display (HUD) – A display system that projects key flight information onto the windshield of an aircraft, allowing pilots to keep their eyes on the outside environment while still accessing important data.
Heading – The direction in which an aircraft is pointed, usually expressed as a compass bearing.
Headwind – A wind that blows in the opposite direction to an aircraft’s movement.
High wing – An aircraft with a high wing has its wings mounted above the fuselage, rather than below it. High-wing aircraft are typically more stable than low-wing aircraft, but may have less visibility for the pilot due to the position of the wings.
Hobbs meter – Device that records aircraft engine operating time, used for maintenance and billing.
Hold – A maneuver in which an aircraft circles a specific location, at a specified altitude and direction, while awaiting further clearance from ATC.
Holding pattern – A predetermined path that an aircraft follows while waiting for clearance to proceed to its destination.
Holding pattern entry – The method by which an aircraft enters a holding pattern, such as a teardrop, direct, or parallel entry.
Hydraulic system – A hydraulic system is a system that uses pressurized fluid to transmit power and perform various functions. In aviation, hydraulic systems are used for a variety of purposes, including operating control surfaces, braking systems, and landing gear.
IAP (Instrument Approach Procedure) – A standardized procedure for conducting an instrument approach to an airport, published in the appropriate aeronautical chart or other document.
ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) – A United Nations agency that sets standards and regulations for international air travel.
Icing – Icing refers to the accumulation of ice on an aircraft’s surface, which can affect the aircraft’s performance and safety. Icing can occur when an aircraft flies through supercooled water droplets in clouds, and can be a major hazard for pilots.
IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) – A set of rules governing the operation of aircraft in IMC.
IFR approach – A procedure for landing an aircraft in instrument meteorological conditions, using navigational aids and ATC guidance.
IFR clearance – Permission from ATC to conduct an IFR flight in controlled airspace.
IFR flight plan – A plan that outlines the route, altitude, and other details of an IFR flight.
ILS (Instrument Landing System) – A ground-based navigation system that provides lateral and vertical guidance to an aircraft on the approach to a runway.
ILS approach – An approach to an airport using the ILS system, with specific procedures and minimum requirements for visibility, altitude, and other factors.
IMC (Instrument Meteorological Conditions) – Meteorological conditions that are below the minimum requirements for VFR flight.
IMSAFE – A mnemonic used by pilots to self-assess their fitness to fly, based on their Illness, Medication, Stress, Alcohol, Fatigue, and Emotion.
Inertial Navigation System (INS) – A navigation system that uses accelerometers and gyroscopes to determine an aircraft’s position, velocity, and orientation.
Inflight – During the portion of a flight between takeoff and landing.
Instrument approach procedure (IAP) – A standardized procedure for conducting an instrument approach to an airport, published in the appropriate aeronautical chart or other document.
Instrument flight rules (IFR) – Rules governing the procedures for flying an aircraft in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC), such as low visibility or clouds.
Instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) – Meteorological conditions that are below the minimum requirements for VFR flight.
Instrument rating – A type of pilot certification that allows a pilot to fly in instrument meteorological conditions.
International ferry flight – A ferry flight that is made across national borders, requiring additional planning and coordination with foreign authorities.
Jet stream – A jet stream is a fast-moving, narrow band of wind found at high altitudes in the Earth’s atmosphere. Jet streams are typically found at the boundary between cold and warm air masses, and can have a significant impact on an aircraft’s flight performance and fuel consumption.
Jumpseat – Extra seat in cockpit or cabin for additional crew member or trainee.
Knot – A unit of speed equal to one nautical mile per hour.
Land and hold short operation (LAHSO) – A procedure in which an aircraft lands on a runway and then holds short of a intersecting runway or other obstacle, while other aircraft takeoff or land on the intersecting runway.
Landing gear – The retractable or fixed legs, wheels, or other support devices that allow an aircraft to land on and take off from the ground.
Landing Gear – The wheels, struts, and other structural components that support an aircraft when it is on the ground.
LDA (Localizer Type Directional Aid) – A ground-based navigation system that provides lateral guidance to an aircraft on the approach to a runway.
LEGS – The portion of a flight plan that covers the route between two waypoints or other locations.
Letter of investigation (LOI) – A letter issued by the FAA, as part of an investigation into a potential violation of FAA regulations or other misconduct, requesting information or documents from the pilot.
LNAV (Lateral Navigation) – A method of navigation that allows an aircraft to follow a predetermined course using onboard navigation equipment, without the need for lateral guidance from ground-based navigational aids.
Loading – Loading refers to the process of distributing weight within an aircraft to ensure that it is balanced and meets the necessary weight and balance requirements. Proper loading is important for the safety and performance of the aircraft.
LOC (Localizer) – A ground-based navigation system that provides lateral guidance to an aircraft on the approach to a runway.
Low wing – An aircraft with a low wing has its wings mounted below the fuselage, rather than above it. Low-wing aircraft typically have a lower profile and may have better visibility for the pilot due to the position of the wings.
MDA (Minimum Descent Altitude) – The lowest altitude at which an aircraft can continue its approach to landing, based on the performance of the aircraft and the visibility conditions.
MEL (Minimum Equipment List) – A list of equipment that may be inoperative on an aircraft, without affecting the aircraft’s airworthiness or the safety of the flight.
METAR (Meteorological Terminal Aviation Routine Weather Report) – A standardized format for reporting weather conditions at an airport, including visibility, cloud cover, wind, temperature, and other factors.
Meteorological conditions – The current state of the atmosphere, including factors such as temperature, humidity, wind, and visibility.
Minimum Vectoring Altitude (MVA) – The lowest altitude at which ATC may vector an aircraft, unless other factors dictate a higher altitude.
Missed approach – A procedure that is followed if an instrument approach cannot be completed, or if the pilot decides to abort the approach, in order to climb and fly to a specified holding pattern or alternate airport.
NACA – NACA, or the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, was a U.S. government agency that was responsible for conducting research and development in the field of aeronautics. NACA was established in 1915 and was dissolved in 1958, when it was replaced by NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration).
Navaid – A navigation aid, such as a VOR or NDB, that provides information to pilots to help them navigate.
Navigation – The process of determining an aircraft’s position and planning its route to its destination.
Navigation log – A record of an aircraft’s progress during a flight, showing the route, waypoints, estimated times, and other relevant information.
NDB (Non Directional Beacon) – A ground-based radio beacon that transmits a continuous radio signal, allowing pilots to determine their bearing to or from the beacon.
No-gyro approach – Flying an approach without reference to the gyroscopic instruments.
NORDO (No Radio) – An aircraft that is unable to communicate by radio, due to a malfunction or other reason.
Nosewheel – The small wheel at the front of an aircraft’s landing gear.
NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) – A notice containing information that may affect the safety of flight, such as temporary airspace restrictions, out-of-service navigation aids, or other conditions.
OBS (Omnibearing Selector) – A control on a VOR receiver, used to select the desired bearing or radial.
ODP (Obstacle Departure Procedure) – A standardized procedure for departing from an airport, to avoid obstacles along the departure path.
PAPI (Precision Approach Path Indicator) – A visual approach slope indicator, consisting of a series of light units that provide guidance to pilots on the proper descent angle during an approach.
Parachute – A parachute is a device that is used to slow the descent of an object, typically by deploying a canopy made of fabric or other material. In aviation, parachutes are used to evacuate aircraft in emergency situations, or to safely deliver people or cargo to the ground.
Part 141 – The section of the FAA regulations that establishes requirements for pilot schools and training programs, including curriculum, instructors, equipment, and facilities.
Part 61 – The section of the FAA regulations that establishes requirements for pilots and pilot certification, including eligibility, training, testing, and currency.
Pattern altitude – The altitude at which pilots are expected to fly in the traffic pattern, as specified by ATC or the airport’s traffic pattern.
PIC (Pilot in Command) – The pilot responsible for the operation and safety of an aircraft during a flight.
Pilot Deviation – A deviation from FAA regulations or other requirements that is committed by a pilot, and that may result in a certificate action or enforcement action.
Pilot Medical Handbook – A publication issued by the FAA, containing information on the medical standards and requirements for pilots, and guidance on how to maintain good health and fitness to fly.
Pilot’s Operating Handbook (POH) – A manual provided by the manufacturer of an aircraft, containing information on the aircraft’s performance, limitations, systems, and other operational details.
Pilotage – The navigation of an aircraft by reference to visual cues, such as landmarks, roads, and other features on the ground.
Pitch – The angle of an aircraft’s nose up or down relative to the horizon.
Point-to-point navigation – A method of navigation in which an aircraft follows a direct course between two specific locations, without following a predetermined airway or route.
PPL (Private Pilot License) – A license that allows a pilot to act as a pilot-in-command of an aircraft for non-commercial purposes.
Pre-ferry inspection – An inspection of an aircraft, performed before a ferry flight, to verify its airworthiness and suitability for the ferry flight.
Preflight briefing – A briefing provided by a flight service station or other source, containing information on weather, NOTAMs, and other factors that may affect a flight.
Preflight inspection – A preflight inspection is a thorough inspection of an aircraft before a flight, typically conducted by the pilot or a maintenance technician. Preflight inspections are designed to ensure that the aircraft is in a safe and airworthy condition, and cover various systems and components of the aircraft.
Private pilot certificate – The certificate issued by the FAA to a pilot who has met the requirements of Part 61 for the category and class of aircraft that the certificate covers.
Prop feathering – The act of feathering the propeller, either manually or automatically, to reduce drag and improve the aircraft’s performance.
Prop unfeathering – The act of restoring the propeller to its normal operating position, after it has been feathered, either manually or automatically.
Prop wash – Prop wash, or propeller wash, is the airflow that is disrupted by the motion of an aircraft’s propeller. Prop wash can affect the stability and control of an aircraft, and can be a hazard for ground personnel who are working near the aircraft.
Propeller – A propeller is a device that is used to propel an aircraft through the air. Propellers are typically driven by an engine and rotate to create a force that moves the aircraft forward.
PT (Practice Instrument Approach) – A training flight that simulates an instrument approach, conducted in VMC with the assistance of an instructor.
Pushback – The process of moving an aircraft away from a gate or other parking position, using a pushback vehicle or by other means.
QFE (Altitude Reference) – The atmospheric pressure at the location of an aircraft, used to set the altimeter to indicate the aircraft’s altitude above the ground.
QNH (Altimeter Setting) – The atmospheric pressure at the location of an aircraft, used to set the altimeter to indicate the aircraft’s altitude above mean sea level.
Radar – A system that uses radio waves to detect and locate objects, such as other aircraft.
Radio call – The transmission of information or a request, by a pilot or an air traffic controller, using radio or other means of communication.
Radio check – The act of verifying the operation and the quality of a radio or other means of communication, by transmitting a test message and receiving a reply.
Radio communication – Radio communication is a method of communication that uses radio waves to transmit and receive information. In aviation, radio communication is used to communicate with air traffic control, other aircraft, and ground personnel.
Radio failure – The inability of a radio or other means of communication to transmit or receive messages, either partially or completely.
Radio frequency – The frequency of an electromagnetic wave that is used for radio communication, and that is measured in megahertz (MHz) or kilohertz (kHz).
Radio navigation – Radio navigation is a method of navigation that uses radio signals to determine an aircraft’s position and guide its movement. Radio navigation systems include instruments such as VORs (VHF Omnidirectional Range) and NDBs (Non-Directional Beacons), which transmit radio signals that can be used to determine an aircraft’s position and track.
Radio protocol – The rules and procedures for the use of radio or other means of communication, including the format, the content, and the etiquette of radio calls.
Ramp checker – FAA inspector that examines credentials of flight crew and aircraft on the ground.
Readback – The repetition of a message or a clearance, by the recipient, to confirm that it has been received and understood, and that is used in radio communication to ensure accuracy and compliance.
Relative bearing – The bearing of an object relative to the heading of an aircraft, as indicated by a magnetic compass or other means.
RNAV (Area Navigation) – A method of navigation that allows an aircraft to follow a predetermined course using onboard navigation equipment, rather than following a specific route or airway.
Roger – A word or a phrase that indicates that a message has been received and understood, and that is used in radio communication as a substitute for “copy” or “OK”.
Roll – Roll is a type of aircraft motion in which the aircraft rotates around its longitudinal axis. Roll is controlled by the ailerons, which are movable surfaces on the trailing edge of the wings.
Rudder – The rudder is a movable surface on the vertical stabilizer of an aircraft that is used to control the yaw, or left or right movement, of the aircraft. The rudder is controlled by the pilot using the rudder pedals.
Runway – A defined rectangular area on an aerodrome, prepared for the landing and takeoff of aircraft.
Runway heading – The direction in which a runway is aligned, as indicated by the runway’s magnetic bearing.
RVSM (Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum) – A system that allows aircraft to fly at the same altitude with a vertical separation of only 1000 feet, instead of the standard 2000 feet, in certain airspace.
Safety hotline – A telephone number or other means of reporting safety concerns or potential violations of FAA regulations, such as the FAA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS).
SDF (Simplified Directional Facility) – A ground-based navigation system that provides lateral and vertical guidance to an aircraft on the approach to a runway.
Service difficulty report (SDR) – A report submitted by a pilot or aircraft owner to the FAA, detailing a problem or malfunction that occurred during a flight, in accordance with FAA regulations.
SID (Standard Instrument Departure) – A standard procedure for departing from an airport, published in the appropriate aeronautical chart or other document.
Sign-off – The act of releasing an aircraft from a maintenance facility or other location, after the completion of required inspections or repairs.
Slats – Slats are movable surfaces on the leading edge of an aircraft’s wings that are used to increase lift. Slats are typically extended during takeoff and landing to help the aircraft achieve the necessary lift and reduce its landing speed.
Special ferry permit – A ferry permit that is issued by the FAA for a specific aircraft, flight, or purpose, and that may have additional requirements or limitations.
Special Issuance Medical Certificate – A certificate issued by the FAA, based on a medical examination by an AME and additional evaluations or tests, that allows a pilot to hold a pilot certificate despite not meeting the standard medical requirements.
Spin – A spin is an uncontrolled, rotating descent of an aircraft in which one wing is stalled and the other is lifted. Spins can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor aircraft handling or a loss of lift, and can be difficult to recover from.
Spoilers – Spoilers are movable surfaces on the upper surface of an aircraft’s wings that are used to disrupt the flow of air over the wings and reduce lift. Spoilers are typically used during landing to help the aircraft descend more quickly and reduce its landing distance.
Squawk – To set a transponder to a specific code as instructed by ATC.
Stall – A condition in which an aircraft loses lift and is unable to maintain flight.
Stall Speed – The minimum airspeed at which an aircraft can maintain controlled flight.
STAR (Standard Terminal Arrival Route) – A standardized procedure for arriving at an airport, published in the appropriate aeronautical chart or other document.
Sterile cockpit – Time period when there is no extraneous conversation to ensure safety. Below 10,000 feet.
Student pilot certificate – The certificate issued by the FAA to a pilot who is learning to fly, and who has met the requirements of Part 61 for the category and class of aircraft that the certificate covers.
System Integration Test (SIT) – A testing process that is used to verify that all of the systems on an aircraft are functioning properly and are compatible with each other.
TA (Traffic Advisory) – An advisory issued by ATC or another source, to alert pilots to the presence of other aircraft in the vicinity.
Tail – The tail of an aircraft refers to the rear section of the aircraft, which includes the vertical stabilizer and horizontal stabilizer, as well as the rudder and elevators. The tail is used to provide stability and control for the aircraft.
Tailwheel – The small wheel at the rear of an aircraft’s landing gear.
Tailwind – A wind that blows from behind an aircraft, in the opposite direction of its flight.
Takeoff – The phase of flight in which an aircraft leaves the ground and becomes airborne.
Taxiway – A defined path on an aerodrome, connecting the runways with the ramp or apron areas, and used by aircraft for taxiing.
TCAS (Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System) – An onboard system that provides pilots with information on the location and altitude of other aircraft in the vicinity, and issues alerts and advisories to avoid potential collisions.
Terminal area – The airspace surrounding an airport, where ATC provides air traffic control services to arriving and departing aircraft.
Terminal building – A terminal building is a building at an airport that is used to handle passenger and cargo traffic. Terminal buildings typically include facilities for check-in, baggage handling, customs and immigration, and other services.
Terminal Control Area (TCA) – An area of controlled airspace surrounding an airport, where ATC provides air traffic control services to arriving and departing aircraft.
Terminal instrument procedures (TIP) – A publication containing instrument approach procedures, departure procedures, and other information relevant to the operation of aircraft in the terminal area of an airport.
Throttle – The lever that controls the amount of fuel supplied to the engine, allowing the pilot to increase or decrease the power.
Thrust – The forward force produced by an aircraft’s engines.
TMA (Terminal Control Area) – An area of controlled airspace surrounding a major airport, where ATC provides separation services to aircraft within the area.
Touch and go – A landing that is immediately followed by a takeoff, without coming to a full stop on the runway.
Traffic pattern – The standard path that aircraft follow when taking off from or landing at an airport, consisting of the upwind leg, crosswind leg, downwind leg, base leg, and final approach.
Transition altitude – The altitude at which the altimeter is set to 29.92 inches of mercury (1013.25 millibars), and flight level is used for altitudes above that point.
Transponder – An electronic device that automatically responds to radio signals from ground stations or other aircraft, providing information such as the aircraft’s altitude and location.
Trim – Trim refers to the adjustment of an aircraft’s control surfaces to maintain a desired attitude or flight path. Trim is typically used to compensate for changes in the aircraft’s weight or center of gravity, or to adjust for changes in wind or other environmental conditions.
Trim shot – Quick application of trim to relieve control pressures.
Unfeathering – The process of restoring the blades of a propeller to their normal operating position, after they have been feathered, either manually or automatically.
UPRT (Upset Prevention and Recovery Training) – Training that teaches pilots how to recognize and recover from unusual attitudes or other conditions that could lead to a loss of aircraft control.
Upwind leg – The leg of the traffic pattern that is flown parallel to the runway, in the same direction of the takeoff or landing, before turning onto the crosswind leg.
V-Speeds – Standard reference speeds that are used during takeoff, landing, and other critical phases of flight. Examples include the stall speed (Vso), the minimum control speed (Vmc), and the maximum flap extended speed (Vfe).
V1 – Critical engine failure recognition speed. The speed at which the pilot must take the first action (e.g., apply brakes, reduce thrust, deploy speed brakes) to stop the airplane within the accelerate-stop distance.
V2 – Takeoff safety speed. The minimum speed that must be attained at 50 ft above ground level (AGL) with one engine inoperative.
VR – Rotation speed. The speed at which the pilot initiates an aircraft rotation to takeoff attitude during takeoff.
VX – Best angle of climb speed. The airspeed that delivers the greatest gain of altitude in the shortest possible horizontal distance.
VY – Best rate of climb speed. The airspeed that delivers the greatest gain in altitude over a given period of time.
VLE – Landing gear extended speed. The maximum speed at which an aircraft can be safely flown with the landing gear extended.
VLO – Landing gear operating speed. The maximum speed at which the landing gear can be safely extended or retracted.
VFE – Maximum flap extended speed. The highest speed permissible with wing flaps in a prescribed extended position.
VA – Maneuvering speed. The maximum speed at which full, abrupt control movements can be applied without overstressing the airframe.
Vasi – Visual approach slope indicator system providing glideslope guidance.
Vector – A mathematical object with magnitude and direction, often used in aviation to represent the movement of an aircraft. Examples include velocity, forces acting on the aircraft, and wind direction.
Vertical speed – Vertical speed, or rate of climb or descent, refers to the rate at which an aircraft is climbing or descending. Vertical speed is typically measured in feet per minute (fpm) or meters per minute (mpm).
VFR (Visual Flight Rules) – A set of rules governing the operation of aircraft in VMC.
VFR approach – A procedure for landing an aircraft in visual meteorological conditions, using visual references and ATC guidance.
VFR flight plan – A plan that outlines the route, altitude, altitude, and other details of a VFR flight.
VFR on top – A VFR flight at a specified altitude, with the pilot maintaining visual contact with the ground and complying with the appropriate VFR altitude restrictions.
Visual approach – An approach to an airport that is flown by reference to visual cues, such as the runway, runway lights, or other landmarks, without the use of instrument guidance.
Visual traffic patterns – The standard path that aircraft follow when taking off from or landing at an airport, as indicated by the traffic pattern lights or other visual cues.
VMC (Visual Meteorological Conditions) – Meteorological conditions that are equal to or greater than the minimum visibility and cloud clearance requirements for VFR flight.
VOR/DME (VHF Omnidirectional Range/Distance Measuring Equipment) – A combination of a VOR and a DME system, providing both directional and distance information to pilots.
Vortex – A spinning mass of air that can be created by an aircraft’s wingtips, particularly during takeoff and landing.
Wake turbulence – The turbulent air left behind by an aircraft, which can affect the performance of other aircraft flying behind it.
Weather briefing – A weather briefing is a briefing provided to a pilot or flight crew before a flight, typically covering the current and forecasted weather conditions along the flight route. Weather briefings are an important part of flight planning and are used to help pilots prepare for and avoid potential weather-related hazards.
Weight and balance – The calculation of an aircraft’s weight and distribution of that weight to ensure it is within safe limits for takeoff and landing.
Weight and balance check – A calculation of the aircraft’s weight and center of gravity, to ensure that it is within the limits specified by the manufacturer and that the aircraft will be stable and controllable during flight.
Wilco – A word or a phrase that indicates that a message or an instruction has been received and will be complied with, and that is used in radio communication as a substitute for “affirmative” or “roger”.
Wind shear – A sudden change in wind speed or direction, which can affect an aircraft’s stability.
Wing – The wing is a lifting surface on an aircraft that generates lift to allow the aircraft to fly. Wings are typically mounted on either side of the fuselage and are shaped to produce lift using the principles of aerodynamics.
Winglets – Winglets are small, upturned fins that are mounted at the tips of an aircraft’s wings. Winglets are used to reduce drag and improve fuel efficiency by reducing the amount of vortex energy that is generated at the wingtips.
Word after – A word or a phrase that indicates that the speaker is requesting the other party to transmit the next word or phrase in a specific sequence, and that is used in radio communication to confirm or to challenge the accuracy of a message.
Word before – A word or a phrase that indicates that the speaker is going to transmit the previous word or phrase in a specific sequence, and that is used in radio communication to clarify or to repeat a message.
WX (Weather) – The atmospheric conditions, including temperature, wind, precipitation, and other factors, that affect the operation of an aircraft.
X-wind – The wind component that is perpendicular to an aircraft’s intended direction of takeoff or landing.
Yaw – The movement of an aircraft around its vertical axis, causing it to turn left or right.Yield – To give way to another aircraft or vehicle on the ground, to avoid a potential conflict or collision.
Zulu time – The time at the Prime Meridian (0 degrees longitude), also known as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). This time is used for aviation purposes, to avoid confusion due to time zone differences.
If I’m missing any obvious terms, please let me know here.