Glossary

This glossary contains information on terms, phrases and abbreviations used by the Aviation industry. While this list does not include all aviation terminology, it is the purpose of this glossary to aid the general viewer in better understanding aviation terms as it pertains to content on this website. A full list of aviation terminology can be found here.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

A/FD

See Airport/Facility Directory.

ADF

See automatic direction finder.

ADI

See attitude director indicator.

Adiabatic cooling

A process of cooling the air through expansion. For example, as air moves up slope it expands with the reduction of atmospheric pressure and cools as it expands.

Adiabatic heating

A process of heating dry air through compression. For example, as air moves down a slope it is compressed, which results in an increase in temperature.

Adjustable stabilizer

A stabilizer that can be adjusted in flight to trim the airplane, thereby allowing the airplane to fly hands-off at any given airspeed.

Adjustable-pitch propeller

A propeller with blades whose pitch can be adjusted on the ground with the engine not running, but which cannot be adjusted in flight. Also referred to as a ground adjustable propeller. Sometimes also used to refer to constant-speed propellers that are adjustable in flight.

ADM

See aeronautical decision-making.

ADS-B

See automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast.

Advection fog

Fog resulting from the movement of warm, humid air over a cold surface.

Adverse yaw

A condition of flight in which the nose of an airplane tends to yaw toward the outside of the turn. This is caused by the higher induced drag on the outside wing, which is also producing more lift. Induced drag is a by-product of the lift associated with the outside wing.

Aerodynamics

The science of the action of air on an object, and with the motion of air on other gases. Aerodynamics deals with the production of lift by the aircraft, the relative wind, and the atmosphere.

Aeronautical chart

A map used in air navigation containing all or part of the following: topographic features, hazards and obstructions, navigation aids, navigation routes, designated airspace, and airports.

Aeronautical decision-making (ADM)

A systematic approach to the mental process used by pilots to consistently determine the best course of action in response to a given set of circumstances.

Agonic line

An irregular imaginary line across the surface of the Earth along which the magnetic and geographic poles are in alignment, and along which there is no magnetic variation.