Here Are Some Popular Aviation Terms Explained

The miracle of air travel requires manipulation of instruments that have been carefully designed to bring airplane passengers to distant locations around the world. If you’re starting your career in the aviation industry, you will need to be accustomed to using these terms on a regular basis, so it’s important to start memorizing the meanings of specific terminology as early as possible to effectively communicate when you are in the field. Let’s take a look at some of the general terms used by pilots, flight crew members, and air traffic controllers.

General Aviation Terminology

  • Continuous Descent Approach (CDA) This common term is also known as Continuous Descent Operations (CDO). When the plane starts to make its way towards an airport’s runway, this process allows the machine to idle and glide towards its target runway. The result of using this type of approach instead of the traditional way of landing makes for a quieter descent to the runway.
  • High Intensity Approach Lights (HAIL) Have you ever wondered how the pilot is able to see the runway when the weather conditions are poor? You might have noticed the bright lights on the runway that assist in this way. In addition to the increased visibility on the runway, the plane uses a special landing system to find the correct vertical and horizontal alignment.
  • Missed Approach This is a common procedure that pilots use under special circumstances. It means that the pilot has decided not to land on the runway, and the plane will return to a higher altitude before circling around. This procedure is used in conditions of bad weather, and it’s used during training.
  • Types of Propeller Aircraft Two forms of propeller aircraft exist for popular air travel. The first type utilizes combustion of fuel to provide pistons with enough power to rotate the propellers of the plane. Most of the large propeller planes implement the other type of power, which comes from turbines creating high pressure to turn the propellers.

More Common Terms

There are plenty more terms to pick up before you fly. Some other terms worth researching include RNP, turboprop, curfew, and uncontrolled airspace.