Aviation Definitions


Airfoil: Reynolds Wrap for manufacturing aircraft wings.

Airspeed: Speed of an airplane. Deduct 25% when listening to a Navy pilot.

Angle of Attack: Pick-up lines that pilots use.

Arresting Gear: A Policeman's equipment.

Bank: The folks who hold the lien on most pilots' cars.

Barrel Roll: Sport enjoyed at squadron picnics, usually after the barrels are empty.

Carburetor Icing: A phenomenon happening to Aero club pilots at exactly the same time they run out of gas.

Cone of Confusion: An area about the size of New Jersey located near the final approach beacon at an airport.

Crab: The squadron Ops. Officer.

Dead Reckoning: You reckon correctly, or you are.

Engine Failure: A condition which occurs when all fuel tanks become filled with air.

Firewall: Section of the aircraft specially designed to let heat and smoke enter the cockpit.

Glide Distance: Half the distance from an airplane to the nearest emergency landing field.

Hydroplane: An airplane designed to land on a wet runway, 20,000 feet long.

IFR: A method of flying by needle and ripcord.

Landing: A controlled mid-air collision with a planet.

Lean Mixture: Non-alcoholic beer.

Motor: Word used by student pilots and Yankees when referring to the engine.

Nanosecond: Time delay built into the stall warning system.

Parasitic Drag: A pilot who bums a ride back and complains about the service.

Range: Usually about 30 miles beyond the point where all fuel tanks fill with air.

Rich Mixture: What you order at the other guy's promotion party.

Roger: Used when you're not sure what else to say.

Roll: The first design priority for a fully loaded KC-135A.

Service Ceiling: Altitude at which cabin crews can serve drinks.

Spoilers: The Federal Aviation Administration.

Stall: Technique used to explain to the bank why your car payment is late.

Steep Bank: Banks that charge pilots more than 10% interest.

Tactics: What a clock sounds like when it needs fixing.

Tail Wind: Results from eating beans, often causing Oxygen deficiency in the immediate vicinity.

Turn & Bank Indicator: An instrument highly ignored by pilots.

Useful Load: Volumetric capacity of the aircraft, disregarding weight of cargo.

Up: A chant used by pilots taking off from Colorado Springs, who want to discover the meaning of life.

VOR: Radio navigation aid, named after the VORtex effect of pilots trying to home in on it.

Windsocks: Socks that need darning.

Yankee: Any pilot that asks Houston tower to "Say again".

Zero: Style and artistry points earned for a gear-up landing.