Aviation Terminology #3 ( S to Z ) 


  • Spoiler: A control surface used to reduce the lifting force acting on aircraft.

  • Slats: Leading edge flaps (where as normal flaps are on the trailing edge of the wing) and have the effect of increasing AOA, camber, lift and wing area thus reducing stall speeds

  • Side Stick: An aircraft control column (or joystick) that is located on the side console of the pilot, usually on the righthand side, or outboard on a two-seat flightdeck.

  • Squelch Control: A setting that control the level of background noise.

  • Step On: To interrupt someone

  • Stand By: Be waiting and ready to do something or to help

  • Slush: Is snow that has begun to melt and is therefore very wet and dirty.

  • Servo Tabs: A small hinged device installed on an aircraft control surface to assist the movement of the control surfaces.

  • Secondary Instrument: An instrument that measures a changing factor.

  • Stopping Distance: Is the length of runway needed for an aircraft to land and come to a complete stop.


  • Tail: Back side of an aircraft where rudder and elevator are placed

  • Tire: A part that can withstand extremely heavy loads for short periods of time and is used in landing gear.

  • Turbine Engine: A specially designed machine that is often referred to as a “Gas Turbine”

  • Turboprop: Is a turbine engine that drives an aircraft propeller.

  • Throttle: The control in the cockpit which controls engine output.

  • Turn Coordinator: Shows how fast and in what direction a plane is turning.

  • Transponder: A device that communicates an aircraft`s location using radio-frequency signals.

  • Transceiver: A radio device that includes both a transmitter and receiver.

  • True Airspeed: Speed compared to the air mass in which an aircraft moves.

  • Torque: A twisting force that causes rotation.

  • Turbofan: A type of airbreathing jet engine that is widely used in aircraft propulsion.

  • Taxiway: A path for aircraft at an airport connecting runways with aprons, hangars, terminals and other facilities.

  • Time en route: Is the time between starting point of takeoff and ending point of the landing

  • Tug: To pull at with force, vigor, or effort.

  • Thrust: Is the force needed to overcome the resistance of air (drag) to the passage of an aircraft.

  • Tunnel Departure: Is the best method to avoid incoming aircrafts during the climb.

  • Trim: The process of changing the position of an aircraft part.

  • Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS): An aircraft collision avoidance system designed to reduce the incidence of mid-air collisions between aircraft.

  • Touchdown: The point at which an aircraft first makes contact with the landing surface.


  • UNICOM: An air traffic communications system that provides air traffic advisories at airports that do not have air traffic control.

  • Upwind leg: A flight path that runs parallel to the landing runway in the same direction as landing.

  • Urgent condition: A potential distress scenario that requires assistance, though not necessarily immediate.


  • Vertical Stabilizer: A structure designed to reduce aerodynamic side slip and provide directional stability

  • Vertical Speed Indicator: An instrument which indicates the rate of climb or descent of an aircraft.

  • Vertical Seperation: Is the separation of aircraft expressed in vertical distance.

  • Visibility: A measure of the distance at which an object or light can be clearly discerned.

  • Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC): An aviation flight category in which visual flight rules (VFR) flight is permitted.


  • Wing: Attachments on the fuselage that create lift / provide the lift needed for a plane to fly.

  • Winglet: A small vertical surface at the tips of the wings.

  • Wilco: A proword that means "understanding a message and complying with it."

  • Wide-body airliner: A passenger aircraft with two passenger aisles and a cabin width of 5 to 7 meters.

  • Wind Speed: It is the speed of movement of wind, air, or other gases in the atmosphere.

  • Wind shear: A change in wind speed and/or wind direction in a short distance resulting in a tearing or shearing effect.

  • Walk-around: The air crew inspecting certain elements of an aircraft prior to boarding for security, safety, and operational reasons

  • Windsock: Is a conical textile tube that resembles a giant sock which is made for detecting wind direction and power

  • Wake Turbulance: An air disturbance that an aircraft creates as it moves through air.

  • Wingtip Vortex: A spiralling wind disturbance created by wings at landing that remains stable in airspace for up to three minutes.


  • Yoke: W-shaped control for adjusting pitch.

  • Yaw: A movement that is clockwise or anti-clockwise around the aircraft’s center axis


  • Zero-fuel Mass: An aircraft is the total weight of the airplane and all its contents, minus the total weight of the usable fuel on board.

  • Zulu Time: One of the types of time in world which designates UTC time.