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: F

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FAE Flight activity endorsement
FAF Final approach fix
Fatigue The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) defines fatigue as "A physiological state of reduced mental or physical performance capability resulting from sleep loss or extended wakefulness, circadian phase, or workload." In other words, being fatigued can have a serious effect on the outcome of a flight.
FC Funnel Cloud
FD Flight director
Feather The process of changing the pitch of a propeller so that the chord line of the propeller blade is parallel to airflow. This can only be done on an aircraft with a variable pitch propeller.
FEW 1-2 Oktas
FG Fog
FIA Flight information area
Final The position in the aerodrome circuit just prior to landing. This is where the aircraft is in line with the direction of the runway and pointing towards the runway, normally with the intention of landing.
FIR Flight information region
Firewall A solid fire-resistant part of the airframe which separates the engine compartment from the cockpit.
Fixed Pitch Propeller A propeller which is set to a certain angle for all phases of flight and cannot be changed, unlike a variable pitch propeller.
Fixed Wing Aircraft Helicopters are referred to as Rotary and all other aircraft types are Fixed Wing.
Flapless Landing This is a landing conducted without the use of flaps. A procedure conducted during training to simulate how the aircraft would respond in performance during the landing sequence
Flaps Are located on the inner portion of the wing by the trailing edge and come in many different forms, but essentially serve two main purposes; create more lift which also creates more drag but reduces the stalling speed which enables the aircraft to fly at slower airspeeds.
Flare A manoeuvre or process where the nose of the aircraft is raised slightly just before touching the runway, which prevents the nose wheel from touching the runway first as well as slowing the rate of descent which helps have a smoother landing if done correctly.
FlightAware The world’s largest flight tracking data company and provides over 10,000 aircraft operators and service companies as well as over 12,000,000 passengers with global flight tracking solutions. FlightAware leverages data from air traffic control systems in over 55 countries.
Flightpath The path taken through the air
Flightradar24 A global flight tracking service that provides you with real-time information about thousands of aircraft around the world. Our service is currently available online and for your iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) or Android device.
Flight Computer A device with a circular slide rule used to solve aviation related calculations: fuel, wind, distance, speed, conversions and time plus a number of other problem solving features.
Flight Level An altitude that uses a specific pressure datum of 1013.2 hPa. When descending, the altimeter is set from 1013.2 to local area QNH. When ascending through the transition level, the altimeter is set to 1013.2 hPa.
Flight Test A test done in order to gain a pilot licence. This will be done by a certified flight examiner and will usually involve a written test as well as a practical flying test.
Flight Manual Shortened for Aircraft Flight Manual. This is the document which contains all the information regarding the aircraft you are flying and should be familiarised as much as possible and must be carried on every flight.
Float Plane An aircraft that has floats instead of wheels so that it can land on water
Flying Boat An aircraft that is specifically designed for water take offs and landings
FMS Flight management system
Fog A thick cloud formed on the earth's surface which reduces visibility to below VFR flying conditions.
Forced Landing A landing that has to be made due to an engine failure. If you are not near an airfield, then a suitable landing area needs to be found to enable a safe outcome for the aircraft and people on board.
Foreflight flight planning, charts, weather, airport information, flight logging, document management, hazard awareness, and more.
Formation Flying This is a pre-organized part of flight when two or more aircraft fly in close proximity to each other (within 100 ft) and will have a lead aircraft. This is most commonly seen during displays or in military flying.
Four Forces Weight, Lift , Thrust and Drag all act on the aircraft in flight. By adjusting any of these forces, we experience an effect and a change in the aircrafts equilibrium occurs
FSTD Flight simulation training device
FU Smoke
Fuel The highly combustible liquid that burns to create energy to operate an engine. Aviation fuel can be MOGAS , AVGAS or JETA1 and its variants.
Fuel Exhaustion Is when the aircraft runs out of fuel, either from a leak, or not enough being loaded before the flight.
Fuel njected Engine - Unlike a carburetor engine, the fuel and air do not mix until they reach the cylinder.
FZ Freezing

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