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1. The Alternative Aviation Dictionary A – D


180-degree turn: A sometimes difficult manoeuvre to perform precisely; the degree of difficulty is usually determined by the size of the pilot’s ego.

Aerial: That part of the aircraft most frequently broken off during the walk-around pre-flight inspection that pilots do to see of anything is broken off.

Aileron: A hinged control surface on the wing that scares airline passengers when it moves.

Aerofoil:
1)Sword used for duelling in flight. Often used to settle disputes between crew members and passengers.
2)What pilots wrap their sandwiches in.

Air Mass: Impromptu religious service held on board an aircraft immediately following an announcement by the pilot that he is lost, having an engine problem, or running out of fuel.

Aeroplane: The infernal machine invented by two bicycle mechanics from Dayton, Ohio, and perfected on the sands of the Outer Banks of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Precursor of the Frisbee.

Airspeed:
1)The speed of an aeroplane through the air
2)True airspeed plus 20% when talking with other pilots. (Deduct 25% when listening to a Navy pilot)

Airstrip: In-flight performance by exotic flight attendant.

Air Traffic Control Centre: A draughty, ill-kept, barn-like structure in which people congregate for dubious reasons.

Alternate Airport: The airport that no aircraft has sufficient fuel to proceed to if necessary.

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

Arctic Frost: Attitude shown by uncooperative member of cabin crew. (See also ‘Horizontally opposed’)

Arresting gear: Police equipment used for keeping order at airport parties.

Aspect ratio: 36-24-36

Bail out: Pouring the water out of the cabin after a heavy rainstorm.

Barrel roll: Unloading the beer for a hangar party.

Briefing: Spending a long time saying nothing. (See also ‘De-briefing’)

CAA: Committee Against Aviation

Caged gyro: No more docile than a wild gyro.

Caging the gyro: Easier with domestic species.

Captain:
1)Any airline pilot wearing four stripes on his sleeve; often found strolling down Lovers’ Lane holding his own hand.
2)Decorative dummy often found adorning the bridge of a ship.
(NB – the only thing worse than a captain who never flew as a co-pilot is a co-pilot who was once a captain)

Carburetor icing: A phenomenon that happens to pilots at exactly the same time they run out of fuel.

Chart: Large piece of paper, useful for protecting cockpit surfaces from food and beverage stains.

Chock: Pieces of wood the line boys slip in front of the wheels when the pilot isn’t looking.

Cockpit:
1)A confined space in which two chickens fight each other, especially when they can’t find the airport in a rain storm.
2)Area in which the pilot sits while attempting to figure out where he/she is.

Course: Popular alternate landing field marked by fairways and greens. Curiously, pilots who land here are said to be “off-course”.

Crab:
1)A technique used by pilots to compensate for crosswinds, usually without success.
2)Pilot who has just ground-looped after trying unsuccessfully to use this technique.
3)Pilot who has been unsuccessful in finding a suitable landing site.

Crash: To bed down for the night. What every pilot hopes to do once he has found a suitable landing site. (See also ‘Suitable landing site’)

De-briefing: Spending a lot of time saying nothing after you have done it. (See also ‘Briefing’)

De-icer: De person dat puts de ice on de wings.

Dead reckoning: You reckon correctly, or you are.

Dive: Pilots’ lounge or airport café.

Drag chute: Emergency escape slide near co-pilot’s window. Opens automatically if eccentric male captain shows up in women’s clothes.

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