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Aviation Glossary

A comprehensive glossary of aviation definitions, terms and industry jargon.
  1. A-H (17)
  2. I-P (5)
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Aviation Acronyms
A comprehensive list of aviation acronymsn and the corresponding meaning.

Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW) or Maximum Gross Takeoff Weight (MGTOW)
In the FAA's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, Max Takeoff Weight is defined as the "maximum allowable weight for takeoff." More specifically, MTOW is a design limitation placed on the aircraft by the aircraft manufacturer during the design and testing process. It's a fixed weight.

Everything You Need to Know About ADS-B

Advisory Circular
Advisory Circulars are informational documents produced by the Federal Aviation Administration to inform and guide institutions, operations, and individuals within the aviation industry, as well as the general public.

Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance (LPV) Approach
LPV approaches and WAAS capabilities in general open up new options for pilots. With properly-equipped aircraft, operators will save time and money by using WAAS as an extremely precise navigational aid.

Technologically Advanced Aicraft
Technologically Advanced Aircraft (TAA) is a modern term used to describe light aircraft with advanced equipment on board

Aviation Mnemonics and Memory Aids
Pilots use mnemonics and other memory aids to remember checklists, procedures and action items at different phases of flight and for studying ground lessons.

CRM: Crew Resource Management
Crew resource management is an essential part of any flight department's training and a critical piece of knowledge in a pilot's career. All professional pilots are trained in CRM, and the focus remains on specific concepts such as aeronautical decision-making, risk management, leadership, and error management

FITS: FAA-Industry Training Standards
FITS stands for FAA-Industry Training Standards, which is a modern training program created by the FAA in order to address the need for change in flight training practices recently.

Single Pilot Resource Management (SRM)
Through single pilot resource management (SRM), a single pilot is taught to manage workload, mitigate risk, correct errors, and make good decisions -- just the same as a crew would do with CRM concepts.

Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS)
The Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) is perhaps the most valuable tool for pilots today. Currently, it is the most precise location-providing service that is available in North America.

The ADF/NDB Navigation System
The ADF/NDB navigation system is one of the oldest air navigation systems still in use today. It works from the most simple radio navigation concept: a ground-based radio transmitter (the NDB) sends an omnidirectional signal that an aircraft loop antenna receives. The result is a cockpit instrument (the ADF) that displays the direction to an NDB...

Aircraft Fixed Costs
Fixed costs, as opposed to variable costs, are defined as costs that remain the same over a period of time. An aircraft’s fixed costs are the same no matter how much the airplane flies.

Air Navigation
Air navigation is accomplished by various methods. The method or system that a pilot uses for air navigation will depend on the type of flight that will occur (VFR or IFR), which navigation systems are installed on the aircraft, and which navigation systems are available in a certain area.

Composite Materials on Aircraft
Common composite materials used in aviation are fiberglass, carbon fiber and fiber-reinforced matrix systems, or a combination of any of these. Today's aircraft structures are commonly made up of 50-70 percent composite material.

VOR Navigation System
The Very High Frequency Omnidirectional Range (VOR) system is a type of air navigation system. Though older than GPS, VORs are very commonly used and have been a very reliable source of navigation information since the 1960s

Aircraft Weight Classifications: Heavy, Large and Small
Aircraft are described as "heavy" or "large" at times. Here's what air traffic controllers and pilots really mean when they use these terms.

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