Aviation Terms Glossary

As an aeronautics school, we think it is important that our students leave our facility feeling knowledgeable and ready to launch their career in aircraft dispatching. Although not everyone will become our students, we still like to share our knowledge of the aviation world. So, whether you are serious about getting your aircraft dispatcher license or you are simple curious about aviation in general, we have some aeronautical terms that you should be aware of.

cockpit of plane from behind seats

Common Aviation Terms

Lift– Lift is the force that is responsible for an aircraft’s ability to fly. This force is in opposition to the plane’s weight and is created mostly from the wings.

Crosswind– This wind blows in a direction that is not parallel to the plane’s course.

Yoke– The yoke is simply the control wheel of a fixed-wing aircraft. Pilots use the yoke to control the plane’s altitude.

Drag– Drag is the force acting on an aircraft when it is flying that run in the opposite direction of the aircraft’s path but is still parallel. The aerodynamic design of an aircraft is meant to reduce drag.

Thrust– Thrust is created by the aircraft’s engine, and it is what allows an aircraft to fly through the air. The thrust is used to overcome drag.

Available Seat Miles (ASMs) / Available Seat Kilometers (ASK) – This aeronautical term refers to a measure of the available passenger capacity of a flight. You can calculate this number by multiplying the seats available on the plane for non-crew members by the miles or kilometers flown.

Belly- The belly is the underpart of an airplane that is responsible for holding the cargo like your checked suitcase.

Sinking Speed– This aviation term is the rate at which an aircraft is descending or losing altitude. The rate is measure as feet per second.

Commuter Aircraft– A commuter aircraft is a plane that has been approved to carry passengers on five or more trips a week.

Pitch & Pitch Axis– One of three axes, the pitch axis is an aviation word that refers to the lateral axis from wing to wing, and the pitch is a measure of how high the nose of the plane is pointing up or down.

Roll & Roll Axis– Another axis of the aircraft, the roll refers to the motion of the plane in comparison to the roll axis or the imaginary line from the nose to the tail.

Yaw & Yaw Axis– The final axis of the plane, the yaw refers to the side-to-side motion of the plane in relation to the vertical yaw axis.

Fuselage– This aviation word is one of the main components of an aircraft. It refers to the body of the aircraft that includes the area that holds the crew, passengers, and cargo.

Controlled Airspace– You have probably heard this aviation word before. It is concerning a determined area of the air that the ATC controls. There are different classes of controlled airspace.

If you find this list interesting, you may want to look into aircraft dispatcher schools to get your flight dispatcher license. At Sheffield School of Aeronautics, we are always excited to take on new students.

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