Aviation Dictionary

On this page you will find a searchable and comprehensive alphabetical list of aviation terms. You can help us make it the most comprehensive list in the world. If we have missed anything, click on the ‘send us your word’ button to send us your word, acronym or definition and we will consider adding it to our dictionary.

Aviation Dictionary: B

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Backing Wind An anti-clockwise change in wind direction
BAK Basic Aeronautical Knowledge
Balance This can be referred to as either the Centre of Gravity position which ensures the aircraft is balanced and within its operating limits with weight loading. It could also speak of maintaining sufficient rudder inputs to ensure that the aircraft is flying with the least amount of drag. This can be seen on the Turn and Slip Indicator by looking at the balance ball and ensuring that it is in the middle. If it is off to one side, sufficient rudder needs to be applied and held to keep the ball centred. To help remember which rudder input to use, the saying goes “Step on the ball”. If the ball is off to the right of centre, apply the right rudder. If it is off to the left, apply the left rudder.
Base Leg Part of the aerodrome circuit. This is the second to last leg before turning onto final.
Base Turn The turn onto the base leg of the circuit
BC Patches
BHP Brake Horsepower
Bi lane - An aircraft with two sets of wings, stacked one above the other.
BKN Broken 5-7 Oktas
BL Blowing
Blind Spot A position you are unable to see when performing a lookout, because of parts of the aircraft that may be blocking your view. Eg: A low wing aircraft can block a downwards view to either side of the aircraft
Boundary layer This is the layer of air in the immediate vicinity of the surface of the wing and the air tends to ‘stick’ to this surface. This thickness is several centimetres thick until it reaches the separation point.
BR Mist
Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) this website provides the Australian community with access to weather forecasts, severe weather warnings, radar loops and observations.
Brakes The main way of stopping an aircraft and is most commonly controlled by pushing forward with your toes on the rudder pedals. Some aircraft may have a handbrake style braking system instead of toe brakes.
Brief A portion of time before a flight where you discuss and evaluate all information regarding the upcoming flight. This includes discussing what the objectives of the flight are, the weather conditions, NOTAMS and anything else that may be relevant. 
Buffet Occurs as the aircraft approaches the stall, the airflow that flows over the wings is disturbed and when it reaches the elevator it causes a shaking effect which is felt through the control column. 
BWR Basic Weather Report. A verbal comment on actual weather conditions at a particular aerodrome or place.

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