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By Jeff Pardo

True or false: Taking off in a jet airliner with a deflated tire can cause a fire.

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By Jeff Pardo

The first modern configuration airplane in history, comprising a fixed wing, fuselage, with horizontal and vertical tail surfaces, can be dated back as far as

A)        875 AD
B)        1493
C)        1804
D)        1901

 

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By Jeff Pardo

A pilot is in gliding flight at the optimum indicated glide speed and then enters a turn. To maintain a maximum-range glide during the turn, glide speed should
A)            be increased
B)            be decreased
C)            remain the same
D)            be decreased when entering the turn, then increased when bank angle is constant

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By Jeff Pardo

For a 50-minute flight, what is the most theoretically efficient altitude to climb to?
A) 5,000 feet
B) 10,000 feet
C) 15,000 feet
D) if you can get there, 20,000 feet

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By Jeff Pardo

The first person to correctly state the relationship between air resistance and velocity was

A)        Isaac Newton, in 1687
B)        Edme Mariotte, in 1673
C)        Christiaan Huygens, in 1668
D)        Leonardo da Vinci, in 1491

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By Jeff Pardo

Question: What and when was the first technical society for the purpose of both establishing initial credibility for aeronautical researchers (and circumventing the issue of early researchers becoming increasingly disenfranchised from the established scientific community) as well as establishing a professional identity?
A) the Societe Aerostatique et Meteorologique de France, 1852
B) the Aeronautical Society of Great Britain, 1866
C) the Prussian subcommission of the Second International Congress of Aeronautics, 1900
D) the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, 1905

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By Jeff Pardo

Question: True or False: There has actually been a scientific study done to disprove the theory that a pilot flies by the seat of his (or her) pants.
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By Jeff Pardo

Question: You experience an engine failure at a fairly charitable altitude (say 4500 feet) during a cross-country flight. There aren't any airports within gliding range, but you immediately see a perfectly straight clearing in the heavily wooded area over which you are flying (which fortunately, appears to be relatively flat) You notice that it continues off into the middle distance, at which point it abruptly changes direction by about 25 degrees and continues again in another long, straight line. Why might you not want to even think about landing there?
A) You're seeing a highway in the making. Unfortunately, you are also seeing terrain that has yet to be graded and cleared of what is probably some fairly large scale debris. Just because it's clear of trees doesn't mean that it is also free of bushes, gullies, or boulders. In fact, most narrow right-of-way clearings in heavily wooded areas are festooned with fairly large and potentially fatal obstacles.
B) It is most likely an unused or abandoned ski slope. (And as you might infer, it sure as heck won't be level.)
C) You aren't looking at a highway, or a highway-to-be. You're looking at a power line. Or rather, you will be, once you descend further.
Unlike gently curving superhighways, 'highways' for high-power transmission lines progress in a series of usually perfectly straight lines.
D) It could be the right of way for a natural gas transmission line.
Most portions are underground, but you wouldn't want to find out the hard way where the above ground sections are.

Answer: Check back next week.

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By Jeff Pardo

Question: Why is it that when you are flying over the Midwest, you'll see an endless rectangular array of roads neatly arranged in a grid, but every so often, one of the north-south roads will jog just a bit eastward or westward before resuming its northerly (or southerly) course?

A) In the mid-nineteenth century, many states established their own departments of land management, each of which began their surveying at different points. The techniques of surveying were not as accurate as they are now, and when one southerly section line didn't quite met up with another running northward, the two teams ignored the discrepancy, and joined along an East-West line.

B) because the earth isn't flat

C) This is in fact an illusion. The vast majority of rural intersections throughout the Great Plains do not, in fact, meet at right angles, nor at neat four-way corners. We see only a rough peripheral image of many squares at a distance and our brains 'arrange' and integrate this information into a more orderly image, which is easier to remember. It is the same sort of thing that makes a 'vector' graphic take up far less space than a raw 'bitmap'. Our brains work the same way. Such 'jogging intersection' exceptions that we may sometimes notice are actually more the rule.

D) It means that there was probably an obstruction at that point, such as a stand of trees or a lake, which was simply sidestepped when the road was first built, or possibly you are seeing a state boundary that does not fall on a township line.
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By Jeff Pardo

Question: True or false: Some airport signs are built to withstand the equivalent of an F5 tornado.  Continue»

By Jeff Pardo

Question: The first jet airplane actually existed in?
A) 1949
B) 1939
C) 1929
D) 1910
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By Jeff Pardo

Question: Under what circumstances can it be beneficial for pilots to emit grunting noises?
A) when performing aerobatic maneuvers
B) during descents to lower altitude, and during unintentional encounters with hypoxia
C) if a maximum of physical strength is required in an emergency
D) all three
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By Jeff Pardo

Question: What is happening to the airplane in this picture? (U.S. Navy photo by Ensign John Gay)

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By Jeff Pardo

If we could see them, what would thermals look like?  Continue»

By Thomas Turner

Some years ago I was deposed as an expert witness in the case of an aircraft accident. The aircraft manufacturer was being sued over a fatal accident where the airplane's cabin door had popped open just after takeoff and the airplane stalled.  Continue»

By Chad Austin

Think about your training and experience as a pilot -- you covered stalls, turns, takeoffs, and of course, the always exciting landing, but there was probably something missing.  Continue»

By Thomas Turner

Flaps full. Power to idle. Hold the nose off ... hold it up, hold it up, let the speed bleed off to the stall, inches above the pavement.  Continue»

By Paul A. Craig

As a flight instructor, I have made several thousand touch and goes – but I don’t do them anymore. The only real reason to do a touch and go is economy not learning or proficiency. It is true that you can get more landing practice in during an hour if you never stop, but I have concluded that the benefits don’t out weight the risks.  Continue»

By Chad Austin

Every part on a certified airplane must at some point be approved, but that doesn't mean that the plane you fly isn't full of bogus hardware.  Continue»

By Chad Austin

One of the easiest and most important things you can do to keep your aircraft healthy is to keep track of your airplane’s oil consumption.  Continue»

By Chad Austin

Never assume the fuel you just purchased is “fine”. Lives and millions of dollars have been lost due to screw-ups that originated at the production/supplier end of the fuel equation.  Continue»

By Chad Austin

Do not get lazy. If there is a problem with your fuel, there will be a problem for you.  Continue»

By Thomas Turner

The day has come and it's time to show your stuff. You’ve amassed the flight experience required for the Airline Transport Pilot certificate.  Continue»

By Thomas Turner

It’s time to prepare for the flight test.  Continue»

By Thomas Turner

Yes, there will be a test -- study … hard.  Continue»

By Thomas Turner

Why would anyone in their right mind subject themselves to another written test and a checkride ... especially this one?  Continue»

By Jeff Pardo

On April 27, 2000, a Canadian commercial helicopter pilot (who was also a helicopter flight instructor) took off with a maintenance engineer in a Bell 206 from an airport in Quebec to perform a test flight. Five minutes later, they disappeared from radar. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada determined (rather quickly) that the main rotor hub and rotor blades had departed the aircraft in flight.  Continue»

By Paul A. Craig

The Global Positioning Systems (GPS) we enjoy today appears to be the product of our new technology, but in fact it is not new.  Continue»

By Jeff Pardo

Just like the weather, about which everybody jokes but against which no one ever takes action, there is another equally uncaring adversary. It is a mere mechanical foe, a simple instrument, and one that we don't really even need to keep in our scan to keep the shiny side up. But while we proudly total the growing hours in each succeeding page of our logbooks, we must first reconcile this sepulchral tally at the end of every flight. That opponent, gentle reader -- the Hobbs meter.  Continue»

By Editor Staff

Thrush Aircraft started deliveries of its newest model, the 510G, this week after receiving FAA type certification for the aircraft. The Georgia-based company has been developing the plane for three years and plans to produce about 60 planes per year once it ramps up to full production. Thrush is one of only two companies in the U.S. making agricultural aircraft, but many of its orders are from overseas customers, company officials said. The $700,000 plane is equipped with a new General Electric turboprop engine that lets it operate at between 90 and 150 mph. It can hold up to 66 cubic feet of dry chemicals or 510 gallons of liquid spray chemicals. Thrush competes with Air Tractor in the market for new agricultural sprayer aircraft. While both companies have several models that can hold more than 700 gallons of chemicals, Thrush is aiming for smaller operators working on tighter budgets with its new model.

http://www.albanyherald.com/news/2012/oct/24/thrushs-ag-plane-gets-faa-certification/

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By Editor Staff

Three former mechanics in Pennsylvania have been indicted on charges they defrauded aircraft owners by charging for annual inspections that were never actually completed. The three men were associated with Flying Tigers Inc., a now-defunct repair shop and flight school at a small airport about 60 miles west of Philadelphia. Two of the men, Jay and Joel Stout, had A&P certificates that expired between 2003 and 2006, but continued offering annual inspections until 2009, the federal indictment alleged. The other man, Howard Gunter, was a mechanic and former FAA inspector. They invoiced customers for work, but never actually completed the inspections and didn’t sign off on the aircraft logbooks. Once the men realized they were being investigated, they allegedly started forging logbook entries to try to cover their tracks. The scheme ran from 2006 to 2009, though it wasn’t immediately clear how many annual inspections the men claimed to have performed during that time, or how much money they collected from unwitting aircraft owners. The men face charges of parts fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy and obstruction of justice. No trial date has been set.

http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/713830_Former-Marietta-company-accused-of-fraud.html

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By Brian Nicklas

On August 1, 1946, Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS) was born.  Continue»

By Editor Staff

Three members of the Civil Air Patrol died when their Piper Cherokee Six crashed shortly after takeoff in Mississippi Tuesday. The three men, who were not in a CAP aircraft, were on their way to an FAA safety meeting but were not flying an official CAP mission. The victims were Col. John E. Tilton Jr., Lt. Col. David Williams, and Capt. William C. Young. The plane departed Hawkins Field Airport near Jackson, Miss., for a 30-mile flight to Raymond, Miss., but it crashed into a house near Hawkins Field. No one on the ground was injured, and the NTSB has not released a preliminary report yet. Tilton previously flew helicopters for the U.S. Navy, while Williams had experience flying F-101 fighters for the Air Force. Both Williams and Young were also CFIs.

http://www.wdam.com/story/20099481/mississippi-civil-air-patrol-mourns-loss-of-three-members

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By Thomas Turner

There's a saying among pilots of retractable gear airplanes, "there are those who have, and those who will" have gear-up landings. A couple of years ago we discovered that landing-gear-related mishaps account for nearly half of all accidents involving retractable-gear, piston-engine airplanes. Have we learned anything since we last visited this issue two years ago?  Continue»

By Thomas Turner

True, most gear-up landings don’t cause great injury or damage to the airplane, but it can still take months (and tens of thousands of dollars) to fix the plane -- and the cost does *not* go away.  Continue»

By Chad Austin

With the arrival of summer comes the need for many pilots to shake off the rust, and get back into the air in their trusty airplanes.  Continue»

By Brian Nicklas

In Spain, on November 15, 1922, Juan de la Cierva was granted a patent that led to the birth of the helicopter.  Continue»

By Brian Nicklas

On November 1, 1955 a United Air Lines Douglas DC-6B exploded under un-natural circumstances that would later define the event as a dreadful “first.”  Continue»

By Brian Nicklas

Fewer than ten percent of licensed pilots are women and this week we look at one of the pioneers -- as a success and a tragedy.  Continue»

By Brian Nicklas

The flight made on October 24, 1968, was number 199, and the last for the incredible North American Aviation, X-15  Continue»

By Brian Nicklas

Built in secret -- and without a government contract -- the de Havilland DH 98 Mosquito prototype made its first flight from Hatfield, England on November 25, 1940.  Continue»

By Brian Nicklas

When the sun set on this airfield in Marienehe, Germany, on August 27, 1939 turbojet power had propelled an aircraft aloft for the first time, literally days before the start of World War Two.  Continue»

By Brian Nicklas

On November 11, 1956 three men took the flightdeck of the Convair B-58 Hustler for the first flight of the supersonic bomber.  Continue»

By Brian Nicklas

October 17, 1922 a converted coal supply ship accepted a landing from a Navy biplane and carrier aviation in the United States was born.  Continue»

By Brian Nicklas

On December 22, 1930 a new aircraft lifted into the skies and immediately overshadowed the work being done anywhere else in the world.  Continue»

By Brian Nicklas

Thomas Selfridge, a Lieutenant in the United States Army, found himself in Canada on December 6, 1907 -- more important, he found himself volunteering to fly.  Continue»

By Brian Nicklas

If you believe that America is the greatest country in the world, it’s a fine season to recall the reasons why. These men are some of them...  Continue»

By Brian Nicklas

Late in the evening of October 4, 1957, a slightly modified ICBM left a launch pad in Russia.  Continue»

By Brian Nicklas

A powered, heavier-than-air craft succeeded in taking off from the ground on October 9, 1890 -- thirteen years before the brothers Wright took their flight.  Continue»

By Brian Nicklas

September 24, on this morning in 1929, Jimmy Doolittle saw an opportunity in the gray scene in front of him at Mitchel Field, Long Island, New York.  Continue»

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