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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.



























See indicated airspeed
See International Civil Aviation Organization.
Air Traffic Control request for a pilot to push the button on the transponder to identify return on the controller’s scope.
See instrument flight rules.
See instrument meteorological conditions.
An instrument consisting of a curved glass tube, housing a glass ball, and damped with a fluid similar to kerosene. It may be used to indicate inclination, as a level, or, as used in the turn indicators, to show the relationship between gravity and centrifugal force in a turn.
Shown on the dial of the instrument airspeed indicator on an aircraft. Indicated airspeed (IAS) is the airspeed indicator reading uncorrected for instrument, position, and other errors. Indicated airspeed means the speed of an aircraft as shown on its pitot static airspeed indicator calibrated to reflect standard atmosphere adiabatic compressible flow at sea level uncorrected for airspeed system errors. Calibrated airspeed (CAS) is IAS corrected for instrument errors, position error (due to incorrect pressure at the static port) and installation errors.
The altitude read directly from the altimeter (uncorrected) when it is set to the current altimeter setting.
A reflection of aircraft pitch-and-bank attitude by instruments other than the attitude indicator.
Drag caused by the same factors that produce lift; its amount varies inversely with airspeed. As airspeed decreases, the angle of attack must increase, in turn increasing induced drag.
A type of ice in the induction system that reduces the amount of air available for combustion. The most commonly found induction icing is carburetor icing.
A computer-based navigation system that tracks the movement of an aircraft via signals produced by onboard accelerometers. The initial location of the aircraft is entered into the computer, and all subsequent movement of the aircraft is sensed and used to keep the position updated. An INS does not require any inputs from outside signals.
See inertial navigation system.
Rules and regulations established by the Federal Aviation Administration to govern flight under conditions in which flight by outside visual reference is not safe. IFR flight depends upon flying by reference to instruments in the flight deck, and navigation is accomplished by reference to electronic signals.
Meteorological conditions expressed in terms of visibility, distance from clouds, and ceiling less than the minimums specified for visual meteorological conditions, requiring operations to be conducted under IFR.
Drag generated by the collision of airstreams creating eddy currents, turbulence, or restrictions to smooth flow.
The estimation of an intermediate value of a quantity that falls between marked values in a series. Example: In a measurement of length, with a rule that is marked in eighths of an inch, the value falls between 3/8 inch and 1/2 inch. The estimated (interpolated) value might then be said to be 7/16 inch.
An increase in temperature with altitude.
The feeling that the aircraft is tumbling backwards, caused by an abrupt change from climb to straight-and-level flight while in situations lacking visual reference.
Lines which connect points of equal barometric pressure.
Lines drawn across aeronautical charts to connect points having the same magnetic variation.
See instantaneous vertical speed indicator.