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Rabbit, the.


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.



























High-intensity flasher system installed at many large airports. The flashers consist of a series of brilliant blue-white bursts of light flashing in sequence along the approach lights, giving the effect of a ball of light traveling toward the runway.
The controller provides vectors while monitoring the progress of the flight with radar, guiding the pilot through the descent to the airport/heliport or to a specific runway.
Radar is a method whereby radio waves are transmitted into the air and are then received when they have been reflected by an object in the path of the beam. Range is determined by measuring the time it takes (at the speed of light) for the radio wave to go out to the object and then return to the receiving antenna. The direction of a detected object from a radar site is determined by the position of the rotating antenna when the reflected portion of the radio wave is received.
A weather product derived from the national radar network that graphically displays a summary of radar weather reports.
A report issued by radar stations at 35 minutes after the hour, and special reports as needed. Provides information on the type, intensity, and location of the echo tops of the precipitation.
A system that uses electromagnetic waves to identify the range, altitude, direction, or speed of both moving and fixed objects such as aircraft, weather formations, and terrain. The term RADAR was coined in 1941 as an acronym for Radio Detection and Ranging. The term has since entered the English language as a standard word, radar, losing the capitalization in the process.
The courses oriented from a station.
A term that refers to alternating current (AC) having characteristics such that, if the current is input to antenna, an electromagnetic (EM) field is generated suitable for wireless broadcasting and/or communications.
An electronic navigation instrument that combines a magnetic compass with an ADF or VOR. The card of the RMI acts as a gyro-stabilized magnetic compass, and shows the magnetic heading the aircraft is flying.
An electronic altimeter that determines the height of an aircraft above the terrain by measuring the time needed for a pulse of radio-frequency energy to travel from the aircraft to the ground and return.
An electromagnetic (EM ) wave with frequency characteristics useful for radio transmission.
A weather instrument that observes and reports meteorological conditions from the upper atmosphere. This instrument is typically carried into the atmosphere by some form of weather balloon.
See receiver autonomous integrity monitoring.
Direct routes, based on area navigation capability, between waypoints defined in terms of latitude/longitude coordinates, degree-distance fixes, or offsets from established routes/airways at a specified distance and direction.
Transmitted from the GPS satellite, signals allowing the aircraft’s receiver to determine range (distance) from each satellite.
The almost instantaneous loss of cabin pressure in aircraft with a pressurized cockpit or cabin.
See relative bearing.
See relative bearing indicator.
See remote communications outlet.
Flight regime in which flight at a higher airspeed requires a lower power setting and a lower airspeed requires a higher power setting in order to maintain altitude.
The “regions of normal and reversed command” refers to the relationship between speed and the power required to maintain or change that speed in flight.
See runway end identifier lights.
The angular difference between the aircraft heading and the direction to the station, measured clockwise from the nose of the aircraft.
Also known as the fixed-card ADF, zero is always indicated at the top of the instrument and the needle indicates the relative bearing to the station.
The ratio of the existing amount of water vapor in the air at a given temperature to the maximum amount that could exist at that temperature; usually expressed in percent.
Direction of the airflow produced by an object moving through the air. The relative wind for an airplane in flight flows in a direction parallel with and opposite to the direction of flight; therefore, the actual flight path of the airplane determines the direction of the relative wind.
Airspace designated under 14 CFR part 73 within which the flight of aircraft, while not wholly prohibited, is subject to restriction.
The VOR needle appearing to indicate the reverse of normal operation.
Radio frequency.
The photosensitive pigments that initiate the visual response in the rods of the eye.
The final adjustment and alignment of an aircraft and its flight control system that provides the proper aerodynamic characteristics.
The principle that a wheel with a heavily weighted rim spinning rapidly will remain in a fixed position in the plane in which it is spinning.
The characteristic of a gyroscope that prevents its axis of rotation tilting as the Earth rotates.
Rough, milky, opaque ice formed by the instantaneous freezing of small supercooled water droplets.
There are four fundamental risk elements in aviation: the pilot, the aircraft, the environment, and the type of operation that comprise any given aviation situation.
The part of the decision-making process which relies on situational awareness, problem recognition, and good judgment to reduce risks associated with each flight.
The future impact of a hazard that is not eliminated or controlled.
See radio magnetic indicator.
See area navigation.
See required navigation performance.
See receiver-transmitter.
The movable primary control surface mounted on the trailing edge of the vertical fin of an airplane. Movement of the rudder rotates the airplane about its vertical axis.
A pair of control surfaces on the tail of an aircraft arranged in the form of a V. These surfaces, when moved together by the control wheel, serve as elevators, and when moved differentially by the rudder pedals, serve as a rudder.
Runway lighting which consists of flush centerline lights spaced at 50-foot intervals beginning 75 feet from the landing threshold.
A component of the runway lighting system that is used to outline the edges of runways at night or during low visibility conditions. These lights are classified according to the intensity they are capable of producing.
A pair of synchronized flashing lights, located laterally on each side of the runway threshold, providing rapid and positive identification of the approach end of a runway.