Do You Have to Be Smart to Be a Pilot?

Sunset over Dublin Airport

It’s obvious that the field of aviation demands a lot of time and commitment, but do you have to be smart to be a pilot? The short answer is no, but the details can be a lot more complicated than that. Being a pilot is, by no means, a simple task, and you’ll need to … Read more

How Much Snow Does It Take to Cancel a Flight?

Ryanair Boeing 737-800 - Cork Airport

You’ve probably heard that bad weather can affect a scheduled flight. Chances are, you’re one of the many passengers who experienced a delayed flight because of too much snow. So, how much snow does it take to cancel a flight? Well, canceling a flight isn’t based on how much snow there is, but on how … Read more

X on a Runway or Taxiway – What Does It Mean?

As set out by the regulatory authorities, airport ground markings are used to identify and outline runways, taxiways, and airport facilities. While active taxiways and runways are typically displayed and allocated using a variety of white symbols, there are some airport marking designations that differentiate active and decommissioned runways and taxiways. What Does an X … Read more

The Costs of Building a Runway

An integral part of any airport’s infrastructure, the construction of a runway is a significant investment. The intricate planning and construction of a runway can easily take several years, depending on various factors. But how much does it actually cost to construct a runway? The figures discussed in this article are based on constructing runways … Read more

FBOs and MROs – What Are They?

In the aviation industry, various facilities and services are provided to aircraft and their personnel. In both the commercial and non-commercial sectors of aviation, there are facilities known as FBOs and MROs which fulfill different services for operators and aircraft owners. Known as a Fixed Base Operator (FBO), FBOs generally provide services to General Aviation … Read more

Nutcracker System – Gulfstream IV/V

Nutcracker Switch - Gulfstream IV

A system specific to the Gulfstream IV/V aircraft series, the nutcracker switch is located aft of the thrust levers in the cockpit. The primary function of the nutcracker system is to verify the spoiler deployment mode in which the aircraft is configured to.  Upon extension of the landing gear on approach, the flight crew will … Read more

Calculated Take Off Time (CTOT)

In congested airspaces, Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) have several frameworks which help to manage the air traffic flow across a country or region. European airspace is a primary example of a region that encounters heavily congested traffic conditions. Due to the complexity of European airspace consisting of over 25 individual ANSPs, a set of … Read more

Step Climb

During the pre-flight phase, the flight crew of the aircraft conducts flight planning for the flight. As part of this flight planning, the routing, weather, speeds, and cruise altitude are determined. For a conventional short to medium-haul flight, a cruising altitude is filed as part of the flight plan. In some instances, in which the … Read more

Top of Climb (T/C)

top of climb

What is Top of Climb (T/C)? Top of Climb, commonly abbreviated as T/C or TOC, is the calculated point at which the aircraft reaches its cruising altitude.  At the Top of Climb, the aircraft levels off and is neither descending nor ascending; the climb phase of flight has now been completed.  It is important that … Read more

Top of Descent (T/D) Calculations

What is Top of Descent (T/D)?  In en-route flight management and planning, Top of Descent (T/D) is the calculated point during a flight in which the aircraft begins descent for the arrival airport. Top of Descent (T/D) can be calculated either manually or automatically.  On modern commercial aircraft, T/D calculations are performed automatically by the … Read more

Inertial Navigation System (INS) and Inertial Reference System (IRS) – Differences and Functions

Commercial aircraft navigation systems consist of processes which provide a positioning system to the aircraft. These positioning systems communicate with the onboard navigation systems. This communication allows the exact location of the aircraft to be identified. In order to achieve accurate positioning, aircraft are equipped with Inertial Reference Systems (IRS) or Inertial Navigation Systems (INS). … Read more

Time of Useful Consciousness (TUC) | Aviation Glossary

Time of Useful Consciousness (TUC) refers to the duration of time in which sufficient cognitive function is maintained between loss of standard oxygen levels and the onset of hypoxia.  The higher the altitude levels, the lower the Time of Useful Consciousness will be, thus reducing the response time to counteract the loss of sufficient oxygen … Read more