Questions tagged [aviation]

Typically pertains to the study of aircraft. Can relate to the theories, design, construction, behavior and use of such craft.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
110
votes
3answers
17k views

Is it possible to fly 4 helicopters anywhere in a country without official knowledge?

According to reports, there were 4 helicopters used in the raid on Osama Bin Laden. They apparently left from Ghazi. Is it conceivable that even one helicopter could be flown so close to the capital ...
105
votes
5answers
7k views

Are personal electronics a risk to commercial aviation?

Are personal electronics (of present or recent past; e.g. cell phones, mp3 players, iPads) a risk to commercial air travel? Is the typical request to "turn off all personal electronic devices" based ...
80
votes
1answer
14k views

Is this picture of a bent propeller genuine?

This picture has been floating around the internet recently: Is it a genuine picture or photo-shopped? Or perhaps its some sort of optical illusion similar to the wagon wheel effect?
68
votes
4answers
20k views

Did planes crash into the WTC on 9-11?

I was looking through the questions tagged 9-11 and noticed the no-planes theory isn't on here. So: Were there planes that crashed into the WTC? Some examples of notable claims asserting otherwise ...
65
votes
4answers
12k views

Do airlines in North America make around $10 profit per customer?

A quick google search returns several articles such as this one claiming that airlines make less than $10 in profit from each customer. I feel there are a few reasons to doubt this premise: You can ...
64
votes
3answers
4k views

Is it possible to cause problems to an aircraft pilot with an “over-the-counter” laser?

I've been admonished not to ever shine a laser into the night sky as it might "dazzle pilots" and potentially bring down airplanes. This seems kind of illogical for a number of reasons: If a plane is ...
56
votes
1answer
70k views

Did an F-15 airplane successfully land with just one wing?

I've just been forwarded a video about a jetfighter landing with just one wing and I wonder if this could indeed be true. Here's the link to the video: One-Winged F 15 Crash Landing Video (landing ...
46
votes
1answer
70k views

Does oxygen get you high enough to keep you calm during a plane crash?

Does oxygen get you high? If so, is the effect strong enough to keep the average person placid during a plane crash? From the movie Fight Club: Tyler Durden: [pointing at an emergency ...
43
votes
2answers
10k views

Does a return economy-class seat between London and San Francisco release 5.28 tonnes of CO2 equivalents?

I took this self-survey of CO2 emissions run by the German Environment Agency. It computes for example that an economy class seat from London to San Francisco and back – about 22 hours flight &...
43
votes
1answer
29k views

Did removing one olive lead to an airline saving thousands of dollars?

Quite a common story that gets brought up around airports or business meetings when someone wants to provide a famous example of small change for massive savings is the olive story. Apparently there ...
41
votes
2answers
41k views

Why do we open the window shades during landing and take-off?

I have experienced that during take-off and landing on commercial passenger flights, there are clear instructions to the passengers to keep their window shades open. This is done both during day and ...
39
votes
3answers
14k views

Does Ryanair use cookies to raise the price of their tickets after you have visited the site before?

According to this website, this and a few others, apparently, RyanAir uses cookies to detect whether you've been to the site before and increases the price, presumably because it believes if you're ...
39
votes
2answers
8k views

Are 700 more planes a day expected to fly because of the Heathrow expansion?

Some people are protesting a proposed expansion of London Heathrow. I saw some protestors of the Heathrow expansion with signs that read "Stop 700 more planes a day". Greenpeace tells me "A third ...
37
votes
1answer
11k views

Were the emission savings of Greta Thunberg's trip by boat outweighed by crew flights?

Greta Thunberg sailed from England to New York in a yacht. Wikipedia explains: The trip was announced as a carbon-neutral transatlantic crossing serving as a demonstration of Thunberg's declared ...
36
votes
1answer
5k views

Was this Jet Blue airplane snowed in?

This image has been making the rounds of Twitter, which shows a Jet Blue as airplane completely snowed in, with just its tail sticking out. The image is said to have been taken at New York's JFK ...
34
votes
1answer
4k views

Does fastening airplane seatbelts reduce the risk of death and injury?

The FAA states To keep you and your family as safe as possible during flight, FAA regulations require passengers to be seated with their seat belts fastened: When the airplane leaves ...
33
votes
2answers
7k views

Are airplanes the safest mode of transportation?

Considering the number of people that use it compared to other transports (cars, trains, boats), do you have less chances to die in a plane? Are there any studies about this?
33
votes
5answers
5k views

Were the Wright Brothers the first to fly?

I'd say it's a commonly held belief that the Wright brothers were the first to achieve controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than air human flight, as it can be found in most history books. ...
31
votes
1answer
8k views

Was this Indian from British India the first to strike Berlin during World War I?

This article (since deleted, backup here) came to my eye recently. The article glosses over the exploits of a citizen of British India who, purportedly, rose from utter obscurity to becoming an ace ...
30
votes
2answers
34k views

Can a commercial airplane fly in an inverted position as depicted in Flight?

In Flight, to prevent the plane from diving, the pilot puts it upside down before flipping it back over just before landing. This is supposed to be loosely based on flight 261 from Alaska Airlines ...
29
votes
2answers
4k views

Airplane software crash caused by zero/negative altitude at Dead Sea

I've been told anecdotes like this several times on the interviews. Interviewers used this story as an argument in favor of defensive software development. Here is an explanation from one of the ...
27
votes
2answers
19k views

Did a plane hit the Pentagon on September 11, 2001?

Is it possible that a plane hit the side of the pentagon, but did not even scuff up the grass? There are some claims of other anomalies that don't quite match the idea of a plane hitting there; like ...
27
votes
5answers
18k views

Do commercial airline pilots make around $19,000 - $25,000 per year?

I always thought pilots were paid well. I am currently watching the movie "Capitalism, A love Story," and Michael Moore interviews some pilots, in which the pilots say they make around $19,000 - $25,...
27
votes
1answer
2k views

Does the TSA have a fail rate of 95% in breach tests?

Does the TSA fail at a rate of 95% at detecting (fake, "test") terrorists in breach tests, as reported in this news story? The best information that I have about this is a news report. Is there any ...
26
votes
1answer
12k views

Is this a photo of the result of a kamikaze attack on a ship in WWII?

A Reddit user titled this photo "Kamikaze hit on HMS Sussex" and it currently has 5,532 points (96% upvoted). Here is a cropped version of that photo: Another user cites Wikipedia: On 26 July ...
25
votes
3answers
4k views

Are safety belts in planes meant for safety?

I was travelling by air today, and I realized that there's an important difference between safety belts in cars and planes. A safety belt in a car moves from the chest on one side to the hip on the ...
23
votes
2answers
2k views

Do contrails last long enough to explain chemtrails?

I often hear the claim that "chemtrails" have to exist, because normal contrails don't linger very long. Is there a definitive scientific explanation for why normal contrails sometimes do, in fact ...
23
votes
5answers
3k views

Have there been any credible reports of unidentified flying objects?

A unidentified flying object is just that—a flying object that has not been identified. There need not be evidence of alien hi-jinx. My criteria for a credible UFO report would include: ...
22
votes
1answer
913 views

Have airlines as a whole been unprofitable over their history?

I recently overheard a discussion in which it was claimed that the airline industry has generated more losses than profits when we take its whole history into account. This is basically a repeat of ...
21
votes
3answers
8k views

Does Turkey make the “structural steel frame” for the F-35 fighter?

In a tweet of Donald Trump (which was also carried without commentary in this regard by the Washington Post) he says So many people conveniently forget that Turkey is a big trading partner of the ...
21
votes
1answer
824 views

Do airline pilots decide on flight plan and receive personal bonus for fuel saving?

On the question why MH17 flew over Ukrainian civil war zone, experts say: Malaysia Airlines, like a number of other carriers, have been continuing to use it because it is a shorter route, which ...
20
votes
1answer
4k views

Were videos of the Flydubai Flight 981 crash published before the official crash time?

On March 19, 2016, Flydubai Flight 981 crashed in Russia. It is reported (for example on English Wikipedia and Russian Wikipedia to have crashed at 19 Mar 03:42 am MST (i.e. UTC+3) in City of Rostov-...
20
votes
1answer
3k views

Do airplanes release biological or chemical agents, forming trails?

Since the topic of the week is conspiracy theories, here's one that I've had re-iterated at me a few times. Supposedly these white stripes after airplanes is created by airplanes releasing biological ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

How much has Magnetic North shifted in the last few years and would this affect aeronautics?

I was talking to a contractor at a major U.S. airport, a Project Manager who told that they were moving the runways due to the shifting of 'Magnetic North'. I have heard that the poles have shifted ...
19
votes
1answer
101k views

Is it okay to eat food that has been through airport x-ray scanners

I took 4 flights last week, and my chocolate was scanned 4 times in the baggage scanner. Is it safe to eat that?
19
votes
3answers
3k views

Do hieroglyphs in Egypt depict aircraft?

In the article, Impossible? 3,000 Year-Old Hieroglyphics Depict Modern Day Technology! Markings of the Fallen Angels?, they claim that there are aircraft depicted in 3000-year-old Egypt hieroglyphs: ...
19
votes
1answer
2k views

Do airlines have a “Do not pair” list of pilots who don't want to work with each other?

What happens when your pilots just don't get along? claims that there are "Do not pair" lists where someone can request not to work with another pilot. For this reason, co-pilots, or first officers,...
19
votes
1answer
2k views

Was Iran Air Flight 655 shot down by mistake?

Iran Air Flight 655 is allegedly a case of "mistaken identity". Is it possible for AEGIS with most advanced radar system ever put on a ship, not to be able tell a difference between an F-14 and ...
18
votes
1answer
1k views

Was the 2010 Polish presidential Tu-154 plane crash set up?

In 2010, a plane crash killed many top Polish officials. It occurred over Russian soil, and involved an aircraft carrying many politicians and military officials with a strong opposition towards the ...
17
votes
1answer
4k views

Are women in burqas never strip-searched by the TSA?

An article falsely attributed to Jeff Foxworthy has been doing the rounds: US Message Board The Political Insider Truth of Fiction Above Top Secret It makes various claims and one of the claims are ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Was MH17 shot down?

It has been widely reported that the Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 crash was caused by the plane being shot down. Example sources: Wired: Why Planes Still Flew Over Ukraine Until MH17 Was Shot Down ...
15
votes
3answers
3k views

Did the the crew of Flight 1549 (that ditched in the Hudson) do an exceptionally good job?

In January 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 successfully ditched in the Hudson River adjacent to midtown Manhattan six minutes after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport after being disabled by striking a ...
15
votes
1answer
12k views

If you're born on an airplane, do you get free flights for life?

It's a common myth that if you're born on an airplane, or mid-flight, you get free flights for life from whatever company is running the flight. Example of a claim - just pertaining to one company, ...
15
votes
1answer
758 views

Do airlines increase price on repeat visits?

Where I live in the UK it is a common statement that looking around on comparison websites such as GoCompare or holiday websites such as BritishAirways will result in them using various methods to ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Was there a coordinated action on 9/11 to crash an unarmed F-16 into a hijacked plane?

An article came across my attention describing the events on September 11th 2001 for Heather Penney, an F-16 pilot who had just finished training. She tells the story that she and her instructor went ...
14
votes
1answer
655 views

Can aircraft be hacked and “commandeered remotely”?

This sensationalist article by John McAfee on Business Insider makes a number of unsupported claims about cybersecurity. In the article, he claims that (emphasis mine): For the purpose of our ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

Can airport X-ray machines scramble Kindle screens?

According to the Daily Mail, there have been reports of X-ray machines scrambling Kindle screens, despite Amazon's claims that it is impossible. Can X-ray machines have this effect?
13
votes
1answer
827 views

Did Pakistan supply an F-16 fighter jet to China for reverse engineering?

According to Bharat Karnad, in an opinion published in the Hindustan Times in 2017: PAF long ago passed on an F-16 to China for its aircraft designers to study and to reverse engineer many of its ...
13
votes
1answer
472 views

Air travel risk vs taxi risk

When a person expresses fear about air travel, often somebody will helpfully explain that there is more chance of being killed in a vehicle accident in the taxi on the way to the airport than in an ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it possible to fly like a bird using semi-motorized wings?

On his website http://www.humanbirdwings.net/ the dutch engineer Jarno Smeets claims to have successfully build a set of 17 m2 bird-like wings from material of a kite. It is claimed that it uses ...