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: G

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g Gravitational force
GAL Gallon
Glide A power-off descent. In a standard powered aircraft, gliding is practised with the throttle closed to simulate an engine failure.
Glide Approach An approach to an airfield without the use of power. Commonly practised during training to simulate a landing with an engine failure. This is an important part of training because if done incorrectly, the aircraft may land short of the runway or land too far down the runway, both of which could cause significant damage to the aircraft and the occupants inside.
Glider A non-powered heavier-than-air aircraft that maintains flight with the use of high aspect ratio wings.Gliders make exceptional use of mountain waves, thermals and ridges to gain lift.
Glide Ratio The distance an aircraft will move over the ground horizontally versus the altitude lost. A higher glide ratio means the aircraft can glide a further distance than an aircraft with a lower glide ratio with the same amount of altitude lost.
Glide slope A beam transmitted at a set angle (3 degrees) to the ground which provides vertical guidance for an ILS approach at the correct angle to the runway.
G OC - G-induced loss of consciousness
GNSS Global Navigation Satellite System
Go round - This is a procedure of aborting a landing. A go-around is normally a VFR term and a recircuit would normally follow for another landing attempt. 
GPU Ground Power Unit
GPWS Ground Proximity Warning System
GR Hail
Gravity A force which acts towards the centre of the earth. It is measured by acceleration of free falling objects and has an average value of 9.8 m/s2
Ground Effect When an aircraft is flying close to the ground, no more than a wingspan distance away, the air that flows over the wing tips to create wing tip vortices, are unable to fully form and instead, forms a cushion of air which contributes to a slight increase in lift and a reduction of drag.
Groundspeed The speed an aircraft is flying at in relation to the ground and is directly affected by the speed and direction of the wind.
GS Small hail and/or snow pellets
GS Ground speed
G/S Glide slope
Gyroscope A spinning device used for maintaining orientation and angular velocity. A gyroscope is used in a number of aircraft instruments to prevent toppling.

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