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startle factor

startle factor  n.— «Practical research shows that experienced pilots, with training provided by their airlines in upset recoveries, still struggle to perform when attempting to recover. There are many human factors involved in an actual...

pickle

pickle  v.— «Job security is high for mechanics who “pickle” airplanes—aviation jargon for disassembling parts and draining fluids from aircraft so they can be stored.» —“Downturn has some odd...

Deconflict

An F-18 fighter pilot worries that a term he and his colleagues often use isn’t a legitimate word. It’s deconflict, which means to ensure that aircraft aren’t in the same airspace. Grant reassures him that deconflict is a perfectly...

orphan plane

orphan plane  n.— «They’re owners of what the aviation industry calls “orphan” planes: There’s no warranty on their new aircraft and no factory to easily supply spare parts.» —“Plane owners grounded by manufacturer...

Jet Black

Why do we say something is jet black? Does it have to do with the color of a 747’s exhaust? Or skid marks on the runway? Or something else entirely? We provide a color with a mineralogical answer. This is part of a complete episode.