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: R

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RA Rain
RA Resolution advisory
Radar A radio detection device that provides information on range,azimuth and elevation of objects
Radio A transmitting and receiving device that allows pilots to communicate with other pilots, ATC or any other ground based person who has a device of their own. The correct frequency needs to be selected on both radios in order for communication between both parties involved.
RAF Relative airflow
RAIM Receiver autonomous integrity monitoring
Ramp Weight This is MTOW plus additional taxi fuel which allows you to taxi from your parked position to your take-off position, so that by the time you take-off, you have the maximum fuel available for your flight if MTOW fuel is required.
Rate 1 Turn A standard turn of 3 degrees/sec. A full 360 degree turn will take 2 minutes.
Recreational Aviation Australia (Limited) A self administering Australian organisation on behalf of CASA that is responsible for FTS Flight training schools operating in the Recreational Flight Training Sector, and flying standards for its members.
Recreational Pilot Certificate (RPC) Allows you to fly a Recreational Light Sport Aircraft up to 600kg.
Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) You are not allowed to be paid for flying but you can take a passenger if you have a Passenger Endorsement and this allows you to fly single engine aircraft up to 1500kg
REIL Runway end identification lights. Very high intensity light projectors located on either side of the runway centreline.
Relative AirFlow It is the airflow that is created from a moving object, flowing in the opposite direction the that objects direction of travel
Retractable undercarriage Landing gear is the undercarriage of an aircraft and may be used for either takeoff or landing. Some aircraft have retractable undercarriages, which fold away during flight to reduce drag.
Restricted Area An airspace area that you may not enter unless prior approval has been gained by the designated administering authority.
RFM Rotorcraft flight manual
Rich This is referred to as a higher fuel content in the fuel to air mixture in a piston aircraft. 
Right Hand Circuit All turns conducted in the circuit are right hand
Right of Way The law which says who needs to give way in the event of a potential collision. When two aircraft are heading directly towards each other, both aircraft will make a right hand turn to avoid the oncoming traffic. Powered aircraft will give way to non-powered aircraft.
RMI Remote magnetic indicator
RNAV Route navigation. A method of navigation which permits aircraft to follow any desired path within the coverage of navigation aids or self-contained aids.
RNP Required navigation performance
ROC Rate of climb
ROD Rate of descent 
Roll A movement around the longitudinal axis that is controlled by the ailerons
Rolling This is either the movement around the longitudinal axis or can be referred to as the beginning of the take-off where the aircraft starts moving.
Rotary aircraft Not a fixed wing aircraft but one that uses rotor blades, i.e. a helicopter.
RPL Recreational Pilot Licence
RPM Revolutions per minute
RRPM Rotor rpm
RT Radio transmission
Rudder The vertical control surface on the tail plane and controls the yaw of the aircraft around the normal axis.
Runway The surface that aircraft use to take-off or land. Different materials are used for runway surfaces, the most common being bitumen or grass. Runways are graded based on their strength and ability to hold the weight of aircraft without breaking or sinking. This grade is shown on the aerodrome charts which also gives the size of the runway and the runway designator, along with other important information.
RVR Runway visual range. Equipment installed at an aerodrome which gives the visibility values based on the equipment. The equipment consists of 3 transmissometers located adjacent to the TDZ (touchdown zone), MID (mid-point) and END (stop-end)
RVSM Reduced vertical separation minima

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