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Air Law
The subject of Air Law is a misnomer. The content of the subject is effectively airmanship with the addition of information concerning some of the international conventions that have been adopted to regularize the administration of aviation and the aviation industry. The subject matter is diverse ranging from international agreements through the rules of the air, flight crew licensing, instrument procedures, ATC and the physical characteristics of aerodromes. A student does not need to be a lawyer to pass this subject. Most of the requirements are common sense, the majority of which will be familiar to a PPL holder. The ab initio student should approach the subject from the ‘need to know’ principle and be guided by the examination feedback as well as the syllabus. The end of chapter questions are based on examination questions and should give the student a feel for the level of knowledge required on completion of the course. More...


Forces Acting on the Aircraft Structure
An aircraft is subject to various forces which act on the structure both on the ground and in flight.During flight the wings produce lift which tends to bend the wing upwards, as a result there will be compression on the upper surface and tension on the lower. Lift also causes a torsional force which twists the wing. Drag will also act on components such as the landing gear, bending them backwards whilst the mass of the aircraft will pull it downwards. An aircraft flying straight and level at a constant speed will be subject to 1g. Any change in attitude will change the g
which in turn alters the weight of the structure and the loads. More...



An electric current is created when electrons are caused to move through a conductor. Moving electrons can explain most electrical effects.All materials consist of tiny particles called atoms. Atoms are made up of a nucleus and electrons. Atoms of different materials have different numbers of electrons. The electrons orbit the nucleus like the sun with planets spinning around it. The electrons have a negative charge and the nucleus has an equal number of positive charges (protons) making the atom electrically neutral. The negative electron is held in its orbit by its attraction to the positive nucleus. Electrons in outer orbits are not so strongly attracted to the positive nucleus and may easily fly off and attach themselves to a neighbouring atom in the material. These are called free electrons. More...


Man’s early attempt at powered flight was thwarted by the lack of a suitable engine to provide the necessary power. The steam engine widely in use at the time was heavy and inefficient. Combustion took place outside of the engine and much of the heat energy produced was wasted to the atmosphere. In 1862 Beau de Rochas developed an engine where the combustion process took place inside the engine, but in 1876 it was Nikolaus Otto who first succeeded in producing a working engine based on the principle. The principle of operation of the engine is accomplished by inducing a
mixture of air and fuel into a cylinder, which is then compressed by a piston. More...


Pilots receive information about the state of their aircraft and its speed, altitude, position and attitude through instruments and displays. These can vary from the simplest of dials and pointers to modern electronic displays (the so-called ‘glass cockpits’), depending on the vintage and the complexity of the aircraft, and a simple dial can seem very different in appearance and sophistication from a modern cathode ray tube or liquid crystal screen. However, certain problems of range, resolution, accuracy and reliability are general characteristics of all instrumentation systems.



New aeroplanes are normally weighed at the factory and are eligible to be placed into operation without reweighing if the mass and balance records have been adjusted for alterations or modifications to the aeroplane. Aeroplanes transferred from one operator with an approved mass control programme to another operator with an approved programme need not be weighed prior to use by the receiving operator unless more than four years have elapsed since the last weighing. More...


The format of an AIP produced by an ICAO contracting state conforms to a common standard in accordance with the Standards and Recommended Practices (SARP) of Annex 15 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation and with the Aeronautical Information Services Manual (ICAO Doc 8126). Thus the Air Information Publication United Kingdom is a typical reference document. It is divided into:More...


Human Factors is about people: it is about people in their working and living environments, and it is about their relationship with equipment, procedures and the environment. Just as important, it is about their relationship with other people. It involves the overall performance of human beings within the aviation system. Human Factors seeks to optimize the performance of people by the systematic application of the human sciences, often integrated within the framework of system engineering. Its twin
objectives can be seen as safety and efficiency.More...


Reasons for Studying Meteorology
• To understand the physical processes in the atmosphere
• To understand the meteorological hazards, their effect on aircraft and how to minimize the
risks posed by those hazards
• To identify the weather information that is required for each flight
• To interpret actual and forecast weather conditions from the documentation provided
• To analyse and evaluate weather information before flight and in-flight
• To devise solutions to problems presented by weather conditions More...


The simple view of the shape of the Earth is that it is a sphere, and this is nearly true. In fact, the Earth’s shape is commonly described as an oblate spheroid, that is, a sphere which is slightly flattened at its poles. This shape developed when the Earth formed from a gas-cloud as the spin of the cloud caused higher centrifugal forces at the equatorial region than in regions nearer the poles. The flattening is called compression and in the case of the Earth is approximately 0.3% (1/300th). More simply put, the Earth’s polar diameter is or 23 nautical miles or 43 km less than its equatorial diameter. Recent satellite surveys of the Earth have also shown it to be slightly pear-shaped with its maximum diameter occurring south of the Equator. This Southern hemisphere distortion is considerably less than the compression distortion and is measured in
tens of metres rather than kilometres. More...


Radio and radar systems are now an integral and essential part of aviation, without which the current intensity of air transport operations would be unsustainable. In the early days of aviation aircraft were flown with visual reference to the ground and flight at night, in cloud or over the sea was not possible. As the complexity of aircraft increased it became necessary to design navigational systems to permit aircraft to operate without reference to terrain features. More...



The subject ‘Operational Procedures’ is concerned with the operation of aircraft in the commercial air transport role by airlines (Operators) having their primary place of business in an EASA member state. The EASA document, which details the applicable procedures, is CSOPS, which is based on the ICAO, published Annex 6 (Operation of Aircraft) to the Chicago Convention. More...


The primary requirements of an aircraft are as follows:
• a wing to generate a lift force;
• a fuselage to house the payload;
• tail surfaces to add stability;
• control surfaces to change the direction of flight; and
• engines to make it go forward. More...



The standard for aeronautical operations was laid down by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in its 1944 Chicago Convention. Most of the standards for Communication (equipment, standards and procedures) are laid down in Annex 10 Vol. 2 to the convention. The UK guidance to pilots is the CAA publication CAP 413 which you should have in your possession. More...