Glossary - Letter F

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F |symbol|  1. Fahrenheit  2. farad


FAA |abbreviation| US Federal Aviation Administration


fabric |noun| material or cloth produced especially by knitting or weaving / A breathing mask has a fabric carrying bag. /


fabricate |verb| to make or manufacture / Selected wing panels are fabricated entirely from magnesium alloys. The ease with which aluminum can be fabricated into any form is one of its most important qualities. /


face |noun|  1. the surface of an object / The exhaust cone prevents the hot gases from flowing across the rear face of the turbine disc. / - the north face of the mountain > the vertical or near-vertical side facing north  2. the front part with dial, indicators, etc. - the face of a clock > the front part of the clock with numbers  3. the front of the head, including the eyes, nose, mouth - full face smoke mask > a protective mask for fighting fires which covers the whole face - |verb| to be turned towards a particular direction / Hills and mountains which face the sun receive more intense radiation. / - the building faces north > the building has its front towards the north


facilitate |verb| to enable something to happen more easily or quickly / A ramp is used to facilitate access to the wing. Clearly marked exits facilitate rapid evacuation of passengers. /


facility |noun|  1. ability or ease in moving, acting, or doing some-thing - a facility in learning to fly > a good natural ability for flying  2. an installation or building which provides specific operating assistance / DME (Distance Measuring Equipment) ground facility /  3. a mode of operation which allows the user of equipment to do something / The printer has a self-test facility. /  4. - facilities > things, especially buildings or equipment, that people can use - a clubhouse with good facilities > a clubhouse with a number of features which can be used by members and guests, e.g. restaurant, bar, reading room, swimming pool - medical facilities > hospitals, clinics, etc.


facsimile |noun| same as fax


fact |noun| information presented as real / Temperature changes are an important fact in meteorology. / - in (point of) fact > in reality, in truth


factor |noun|  1. an important part of a result, a process, etc. / Visibility remains a very important factor in aviation. / - critical factor > extremely important factor - dominant factor > most important factor - safety factor > something which plays an important part in safety  2. - by a factor of > quantity by which a stated quantity is multiplied or divided, so as to indicate an increase or decrease in a measurement - by a factor of ten > ten times / The rate is increased by a factor of 10. / - conversion factor > a formula or figure used for conversion of temperatures, distances, etc., from one system to another / The conversion factor for converting UK gallons to liters is: x 4.546. /


fade |noun|  1. a periodic reduction in the received strength of a radio transmission / Surface wave at night causes fade of the signal. /  2. a periodic reduction in braking power / Hard braking can cause fade and tire burst through overheating. / - |verb| to lose strength, brightness, loudness, or brilliance gradually - the lights faded > the lights became less and less bright, the lights dimmed - the radio signal faded > the radio signal became weaker and weaker

FAF |abbreviation| Final Approach Fix

Fahrenheit |noun| a scale of temperatures where the freezing and boiling points of water are 32° and 212° respectively. (NOTE: Used in the USA but now less common in the UK; usually written as an F after the degree sign: 32° F.)


fail |verb|  1. to stop working properly - the brakes failed > the brakes did not work - the wing failed during a high-speed turn > the wing broke during a high-speed turn  2. to receive an academic grade below the acceptable minimum in an examination or a course of study - the trainee failed his navigation examination > the trainee did not pass her navigation exam - without fail > certainly, definitely / Be here at 8 o’clock without fail. /


fail safe |noun| the principle of designing a structure so that the failure of one part does not affect the safety of the whole


fail safe system |noun| a system or device which has in-built safeguards against total failure / The term fail safe means that the structure, though damaged, is capable of supporting a reasonable percentage of its design load. /


failure |noun|  1. a stoppage or a breakdown / Engine failure is sometimes accompanied by fire. / - power failure > loss of engine power, or loss of electrical power supply  2. the fact of not achieving the desired goal or result - failure to do something > not doing something / The steward’s failure to remain at his station made the emergency situation worse. /  3. the fact of not passing a course, a test, or an examination / His failure in the GFT (General Flying Test) meant that he didn’t finish the course. /


fair |adjective|  1. free of clouds or storms, clear and sunny - fair weather > good weather  2. just, reasonable, free of favoritism or bias - a fair exam > an exam which tested students on what they had been taught, was of reasonable difficulty and duration and which did not trick the candidates - it is fair to say that he should have done better > it is reasonable to say that he should have done better - |verb| to join pieces so as to be smooth, even, or regular / The aircraft’s wing is faired into the fuselage. /


fairing |noun| a device to improve the flow of air over a surface / There is a dorsal fairing at the base of the fin or vertical stabilizer. Wheel fairings, called spats, are fitted to light aircraft to reduce drag. /


fairly |adverb| moderately, rather, quite - fairly high levels > moderately high levels - fairly simple > moderately simple


fall |noun|  1. a drop or lessening in amount - fall in pressure > a drop in pressure  2. the amount of rain or snow which comes down at any one time / an overnight fall of snow /  3. US autumn - |verb|  1. to become less in amount - atmospheric pressure is falling > atmospheric pressure is decreasing  2. to be included within the range of something / Aircraft fall into a number of type categories. Design methods fall into four groups. Long-range high-frequency communications fall in the frequency bracket 2–25 MHz. /  3. to drop or come down freely because of gravity / Light rain may fall occasionally. /  4. to occur at a particular time / New Year’s Day falls on a Thursday this year. / (NOTE: falling – fell – fallen)


false |adjective| not true, incorrect / Lightning may cause false readings from sensitive instruments. / - false glide path information > incorrect glide path information


familiar |adjective|  1. often seen, common / Clouds are the most familiar visible meteorological feature. /  2. known / Symbols and abbreviations which are strange at present become familiar after a time. / - to be familiar with > to have some knowledge of something / He is familiar with the procedure. /


familiarize |verb| - to familiarize yourself with > to get to know something well


fan |noun| a circular device with rotating blades, powered by an engine or motor, for moving a gas such as air / The compressor has large rotating fan blades and stator blades. /


fan-jet |noun| US same as turbofan


FANS |abbreviation| future air navigation systems


FAR |abbreviation| US Federal Aviation Regulation

far end |noun| the end of a runway at the opposite end from where the aircraft touches down or starts its take-off run

farad |noun| the SI unit of capacitance. Symbol: F

fast landing |noun| a landing made above the usual landing speed of the aircraft either because of adverse wind conditions or because the flaps are not fully extended and will probably result in a hard landing

fasten |verb| to secure or to close, as by fixing firmly in place - fasten your seat belt > put on and attach your seat belt / If in-flight conditions require the captain to activate the fasten seat belt sign, all cabin service ceases and cabin crew take up their assigned seats and strap in. /


fatigue |noun|  1. physical or mental tiredness resulting from exertion / Pilot fatigue was a contributing factor in the accident. /  2. the weakening or failure of a material such as metal, resulting from stress / Fan blades must be resistant to fatigue and thermal shock. Titanium has good fatigue resistance. / - fatigue crack > crack due to material fatigue


fault |noun| a defect in a circuit or wiring caused by bad connections, etc. / A fault in the automatic boost control unit was repaired. /


faulty |adjective| containing a fault or defect, imperfect / The faulty component was replaced. /


fax |noun|  1. an exact copy of a document, drawing, etc., transmitted and received by a fax machine connected to a telephone link  2. an electronic apparatus linked to a telephone used to send and receive a fax / Charts are transmitted by fax to meteorological offices. / - |verb| to send a fax / Charts are faxed to meteorological offices. /

FBO |abbreviation| Fixed Base Operator

FCU |abbreviation| Flight Control Unit

FDPS |abbreviation| flight data processing system


FDR |abbreviation| flight data recorder


FDS |abbreviation| flight director system


feather |verb| - to feather a propeller > to turn the blades of a stopped propeller edge on to the airflow in order to reduce drag or wind resistance / The feathered position not only reduces drag, but also minimizes engine rotation, thus preventing any additional damage to the engine. /


feathering |noun| the act of turning the blades of a stopped propeller edge on to the airflow in order to reduce drag / Feathering is accomplished by moving the pilot’s control lever. /


feathering gate |noun| a device on the propeller pitch control to prevent unwanted selection of the feathering position


feathering position |noun| a position of the propeller pitch control in which the blades are feathered


feature |noun|  1. an important, noticeable or distinctive aspect, quality, or characteristic / Sea breeze is a regular feature of coastal climates. /  2. - ground features > noticeable, important objects in the landscape which are useful aids to navigation, e.g. bridges, rivers, railway lines, etc. - |verb| to have as a particular characteristic / Many Rutan designs feature a canard wing. /


Federal Aviation Administration |noun| the body responsible for the regulation of aviation in the United States / The FAA issues licenses. / Abbreviation: FAA


Federal Aviation Regulation |noun| a regulation governing aviation in the United States. Abbreviation: FAR


feed |noun| a supply of fuel, energy, etc. provided for use


feedback |noun|  1. the return of part of the output of a process or system to the input, especially when used to maintain performance or to control a system / The LC ensures that a feedback signal of the monitored output frequency is sent back to the CSDU. /  2. a feedback mechanism

feet per minute |noun| a unit of measurement for rate of climb or descent / We are descending at 1,500 feet per minute. / Abbreviation: fpm

ferry |verb| to make a delivery of an aircraft by flying it to its operator

ferry flight |noun| a flight whose purpose is to reposition an aircraft to another location and not to transport a payload / The crew are making a ferry flight to Casablanca so that there is an aircraft in place to ensure the Casablanca-Paris flight tomorrow. /

few |adjective| 0.25 or less of the sky covered by clouds

fibre |noun| a natural or synthetic filament like cotton or nylon (NOTE: The US English is fiber.)


FIC |abbreviation| flight information center


field |noun|  1. an area of grass on farmland, in the countryside / In the event of a power failure, it is important to select the most suitable field for a forced landing. /  2. an imaginary area


field of vision |noun| the area in which something can be seen without moving the head or the eyes


fighter |noun| small, single-seat or two-seat aircraft for use in military conflict / The F16 is an American-built fighter. /


figure |noun|  1. a diagram or drawing / Figure 1 shows a cross-section of an internal combustion engine. /  2. a number, especially in mathematical calculations - a head for figures > good at figures, arithmetic, accounting, etc. - a two-figure code > a code with two numbers between 0 and 9 3. a form consisting of any combination of points or lines, e.g. a triangle


film |noun|  1. a thin skin or layer / An electrical element made of gold film is sandwiched between the layers of glass. /  2. a thin covering or coating / There is a film of oil between the piston and cylinder wall. /


filter |noun|  1. a material or device through which a liquid or a gas is passed in order to separate the fluid from solid matter or to remove unwanted substances  2. an electric, electronic, acoustic, or optical device used to reject signals, vibrations, or radiations of particular frequencies while passing others / The tuner is a band pass filter which confines the bandwidth passed to the receiver to that required. / - |verb| to pass a liquid or gas through a filter in order to remove unwanted substances / Fuel is filtered before entering the carburetor. /


filter cartridge |noun| same as filter element

filter clog |noun| the blocking by particles of a fuel or hydraulic filter

filter element |noun| a removable paper or metal component in a filter housing which must be replaced periodically / From time to time the filter element must be removed and cleaned or replaced. / Also called: filter cartridge


fin |noun| a fixed vertical airfoil at the rear of a plane, the vertical stabilizer / The fin provides directional stability about the vertical axis. / Also called: vertical stabilizer


final |noun| the end part of a series or process - |adjective| coming at the end - final assembly > the last in a series of stages of construction of an aircraft when all the pre-assembled parts are put together


final approach |noun|  1. a flight path in a direction along the extended center line of the runway on which a plane is about to land / The aspect of the runway on final approach helps the pilot to judge height and progress. /  2. the last stage of an aircraft’s descent before landing, from when it turns into line with the runway to the procedures immediately before it lands

Final Approach Fix |noun| the fix or reference point from which the final IFR approach to an airport is executed and which identifies the beginning of the final approach segment

final approach track |noun| the heading flown by the crew during the final approach / The final approach track to Runway 24 at Aomori is 231degrees. /

fine |adjective|  1. of superior quality, skill, or appearance - a fine day > a day when the weather is good - fine weather > good weather  2. very small in size, thickness or weight / Cirrus cloud has a fine, hair-like appearance. / - fine powder > powder consisting of very small particles - fine spray > a spray consisting of very small drops of liquid  3. - fine wire > very thin wire  4. referring to the pitch or blade angle setting of the propeller / Fine pitch enables full engine speed to be used on take-off and coarse pitch allows an economical engine speed to be used for cruising. /

finger |noun| an extension from the main terminal building extending into the apron and containing gates / Terminal 3 has six fingers and forty eight gates. /

FIR |abbreviation| flight information region


fire |noun| an area of burning / To guard against the risk of fire, passengers are requested not to smoke in the toilets. / - an engine fire > a fire in an engine - |verb| to shoot a gun, or to launch something such as a flare or a rocket


fire deluge system |noun| a system which extinguishes fire by spraying large quantities of water on it / A lever actuates the fire deluge system. /


fire detection system |noun| a system to detect the presence of fire in an aircraft

fire engine |noun| a vehicle for spraying an extinguishing agent or water / Request a fire engine standing by in case our brakes need cooling. /

fire extinguisher |noun| a portable device full of foam, water, powder, etc., for putting out fires

fire extinguisher squib |noun| an explosive cartridge which discharges a fire extinguisher and releases the fire extinguishing agent

fire extinguishing agent |noun| a fire extinguishing chemical

fireproof |adjective| designed to resist the effect of fire / A fireproof bulkhead is provided to separate the cool area of the engine from the hot area. /

fire station |noun| a base for a fire-fighting service and their equipment

fire triangle |noun| the illustration of the chemistry of fire as the three sides of a triangle representing fuel, oxygen and heat / If fuel, oxygen or heat is removed from the fire triangle, combustion will cease. /


first aid kit |noun| a small pack containing plasters, bandages, antiseptic cream, etc., to be used in case of an emergency


first officer |noun| the officer who is second-in-command to the captain of an aircraft. Abbreviation: F/O


FIS |abbreviation| flight information service


fishtail |verb| to move the tail of an aircraft from side to side as a way of reducing speed


FISO |abbreviation| flight information service operator


fit |adjective| in good physical condition, healthy / Keep fit with diet and exercise. / - |noun| the exactness with which surfaces are adjusted to each other in a machine / There should be a loose fit between the cylinder and the piston, the difference being taken up by the piston rings. / - |verb|  1. to be the correct size and shape for / Oxygen masks should fit the wearer properly. /  2. to put on or attach / Wheel fairings, called spats, are fitted to some light aircraft to reduce drag. / (NOTE: fitting – fitted )


fitment |noun| an act of attaching or fixing / Attachment points are supplied for the fitment of heavy equipment. /


fitness |noun| the state or condition of being physically fit, especially as the result of exercise and proper eating habits / The age and physical fitness of some passengers can be a limiting factor in an evacuation. / - fitness to fly > description of the physical or mental capabilities a person needs to fly an aircraft

fix |noun| a radio beacon that a pilot can use to identify the aircraft’s position and direction / VOR/DME fix, initial approach fix (IAF), final approach fix (FAF) /

Fixed Base Operator |noun| an American term for an airport operator. Abbreviation: FBO

fixed-wing |adjective| referring to an aircraft that has wings that do not move, rather than rotor blades


FL |abbreviation| flight level

FL 100 |abbreviation| ‘Flight Level one zero zero’ is correct ICAO standard phraseology. However, given the well-documented cases of confusion which have occurred between ‘FL 110’ and ‘FL 100’, the UK CAA and other European ANSPs have decided to adopt ‘hundred’ for all levels ending in ‘00’ (FL 100: Flight Level one hundred; FL 200: Flight Level two hundred etc.) rather than ‘zero zero’.

flag |noun|  1. a usually square or rectangular piece of cloth with a symbolic design or color / Flags are flown from the signal mast. /  2. a small visual warning or indicating device on the face of an instrument / There is a warning flag on the instrument if there is a problem. /


flame |noun| the usually yellow area of burning gases seen when something is burning / Flames were seen coming from number 2 engine. /


flame arrester |noun| a device to prevent flame from an external source from entering a fuel tank


flame out |verb| to cease from some cause other than the shutting off of fuel / Air in the fuel line can cause an engine to flame out or stop. /


flame-out |noun| the ceasing of combustion in a gas turbine engine from some cause other than the shutting off of fuel (NOTE: The word is also written flame out.)


flammable |adjective| easily ignited and capable of burning fiercely and rapidly, and therefore hazardous / Aviation gasoline is a flammable liquid. / (NOTE: Flammable and inflammable mean the same thing.)


flange |noun| the outside edge or rim of a part such as a beam or wheel / The web connects the upper and lower flanges of a beam. /


flap |noun| a movable control surface on the trailing edge of an aircraft wing, used primarily to increase lift and drag during final approach and landing / Flaps should be retracted immediately after landing to decrease lift and therefore increase brake effectiveness. / (NOTE: Flaps are not usually used for take-offs in light aircraft except when a short take-off run is required. Flaps are not primary control surfaces of an aircraft.)

flaps-up landing |noun| a landing which occurs when the crew is not able to extend the high-lift flaps. This results in the minimum speed of the aircraft being higher and so the aircraft landing at a higher speed and probably requiring a longer stopping distance.

flare |noun|  1. a stage of the flight immediately before touchdown when the nose of the aircraft is raised into the landing attitude / The approach, flare and landing can be carried out by automatic systems. /  2. a small rocket-like device with a bright light, for attracting attention


flash |noun| giving off light in sudden or periodic bursts / Lightning is accompanied by a brilliant flash. Loss of vision may occur due to lightning flashes especially at night. / - |verb|  1. to give off light in regular bursts - warning lights flash > warning lights go on and off rapidly  2. to appear or to happen suddenly / The image flashed onto the screen. /


flash point |noun| temperature at which fuel vapor or oil vapor will burst into flame


flat |adjective|  1. having a horizontal surface without a slope, tilt or curvature / It has been shown that the flat chart misrepresents the globe-shaped earth. / - flat country > country with no hills or mountains  2. having no air inside / The flat tire had to be changed because it had a puncture. /  3. electrically discharged or with no electrical charge left in it / The engine wouldn’t start because the battery was flat. /


flat spin |noun| a descent in small circles by an aircraft flying in a nearly horizontal position


flatten, flatten out |verb| to make flat / As altitude increases, the countryside appears to flatten out. The Earth is spherical in shape but it is flattened at the poles. /


flaw |noun| an imperfection in a material, often hidden, that may be an indication of future structural failure - flaw detection > a process or system by which small weaknesses in metal structures are found


flexibility |noun|  1. the amount or extent to which something can be bent or flexed / Wing structures must have flexibility in order to absorb sudden changes in loading. /  2. the extent to which a system or device can change or respond to a variety of conditions or situations / The more reliable and quick fly-by-wire system allows a much greater degree of flexibility with aircraft stability. / Opposite: rigidity


flexible |adjective|  1. not rigid, not stiff - flexible pipes > pipes made of soft material such as rubber or plastic  2. capable of responding to a variety of conditions or situations; adaptable / AC electrical energy is more flexible and more efficient than DC. / Opposite: rigid


flier |noun|  1. the pilot of an aircraft  2. a passenger on an aircraft


flight |noun|  1. the motion of an object in or through the Earth’s atmosphere or through space  2. the distance covered by a body, e.g. an aircraft, as it flies through the atmosphere / The flight from London to Paris took 55 minutes. /  3. a scheduled airline journey / Passengers for flight GF 008 to Amman should proceed to gate number 4. /


flight attendant |noun| a member of the flight crew who looks after passengers, serves food, etc. / If you need something, press the call button and a cabin attendant will respond within a few minutes. / Also called: cabin attendant


flight bag |noun| a bag used by flight crew to carry manuals, documents, headset, etc.


flight-briefing room |noun| a room where instructors talk to trainees immediately before a training flight or where a pilot talks to his or her crew immediately before boarding the aircraft

Flight Control Unit |noun| a control panel on the glare-shield which, on an Airbus aircraft, fulfills the same function as a Mode Control Panel (MCP) on a Boeing aircraft, i.e. entering altitude, heading, speed, vertical speed (rate of climb / descent) values into the autopilot and auto-thrust / auto-throttle. Abbreviation: FCU

flight crew |noun| airline staff responsible for flying the aircraft


flight data recorder |noun| an electronic device located in the tail section of an aircraft that picks up and stores data about a flight. Abbreviation: FDR . Also called black box (NOTE: It is often called the black box, although it is not black.)


flight deck |noun| a place where the flight crew of an airliner sit while flying the aircraft


flight deck instruments |plural noun| instruments used by the flight crew when flying an aircraft


flight engineer |noun| the member of the crew of a plane who is responsible for checking that its systems, including the engines, perform properly


flight envelope |noun| same as envelope

flight idle |noun| lowest engine power setting and r.p.m at which the engine can safely operate in a flight / The engine should go from flight idle to take-off power in 6 seconds for a missed approach. /

flight information region |noun| airspace with defined limits which has an air traffic control information and alerting service. Abbreviation: FIR


flight level |noun|  1. the level of constant atmospheric pressure related to a reference datum of 1013.25mb / FL 250 = 25,000 ft. / Abbreviation: FL  2. the height at which a particular aircraft is allowed to fly at a particular time


flight line |noun| the area of an airfield, especially a military airfield, where aircraft are parked, serviced, and loaded or unloaded


Flight Manual |noun| same as Pilot’s Operating Handbook


flight operations |plural noun| the use of aircraft


flight path |noun| a line, course or track along which an aircraft flies


flight plan |noun| a written statement that gives details of the flight that a pilot intends to make


flight progress strip |noun| a thin cardboard strip with information on it about a flight, which is updated by air traffic controllers as the flight progresses


flight simulator |noun| a device or computer program which allows a user to pilot an aircraft, showing a realistic control panel and moving scenes, used as training program


flight-test |verb| to test the performance of an aircraft or component in flight


float |noun|  1. a floating ball attached to a lever to regulate the level of a liquid in a tank, etc.  - float-operated switch > a shut-off valve operated by a float  2. a hollow structure fixed below an aircraft that allows it to float on water. Also called pontoon - |verb| to remain on the surface of a fluid without sinking / Because of the air-tight nature of the fuselage, most large aircraft will float for some time before sinking. /


float chamber |noun| the part of a carburetor which houses the float


float-plane |noun| a seaplane that has hollow structures attached underneath its wings and sometimes its fuselage on which it floats so that the main body of the plane is not in contact with the water.

flock of birds |noun| a group of birds / A flock of seagulls has been reported near the threshold of Runway 19L. /

flow |verb|  1. to move or run smoothly with continuity, as a fluid / Air flows over the wing surfaces and lift is produced. /  2. to circulate / Liquid coolant flows around the engine. / - |noun| continuous movement in a particular direction / The flow of fuel from the fuel tanks to the engines. /


flow-meter |noun| a device for measuring the flow of a liquid or gas / The oxygen flow-meter should blink once for each breath. /


fluctuate |verb| to vary or change irregularly / The magnetic field will fluctuate at the supply frequency. /


fluid |noun| a substance which is not solid, whose molecules move freely past one another and that takes the shape of its container - deicing fluid > a liquid for removing ice


fluorescent |adjective| referring to the emission of electromagnetic radiation of visible light / The fluorescent penetration process of flaw detection uses a penetrator containing a fluorescent dye which fluoresces in ultra-violet light. /


fly |verb| to move through the air or to cause an aircraft to move through the air in a controlled manner / An airplane may not fly over a city below such a height as would allow it to alight in the event of an engine failure. He’s learning to fly. / (NOTE: flying – flew – flown ) - to fly in formation > to fly as a group which maintains a particular pattern or arrangement in the air


fly-by-wire |noun| technology which interprets movements of the pilot’s controls and, with the aid of computerized electronics, moves the control surfaces accordingly / Using fly-by-wire technology, the stalling angle cannot be exceeded regardless of stick input. The more reliable and quick fly-by-wire system allows a much greater degree of flexibility with aircraft stability. / (NOTE: Fighters like the General Dynamics F16 and large transport aircraft such as the Boeing 777 and Airbus A320 have fly-by-wire systems.)


flying |noun| the act of making an aircraft move through the air in a controlled manner


flying boat |noun| a seaplane with a body that acts like a boat’s hull and allows the plane to float on water.


flying conditions |plural noun| the weather and its suitability for flying


flying controls |plural noun| the yoke or control column, rudder pedals and other devices used by the pilot in order to maneuver the aircraft


flying field |noun| a small airfield from which light aircraft can operate


flying instructor |noun| a trained person, a pilot, who teaches people how to fly an aircraft


fly-past |noun| the flight of an aircraft or group of aircraft over a place as a spectacle for people on the ground


FMS |abbreviation| flight management system


foam |noun|  1. a mass of bubbles of air or gas in a liquid film / Airport fire crews covered the fuselage with foam to control the fire. /  2. any of various light, porous, semi-rigid or spongy materials used for thermal insulation or shock absorption / Polyurethane foam is used in packaging. /


focal point |noun| same as focus


focus |noun| the point at which rays of light or other radiation converge / The focus of a lens is also called the focal point. / (NOTE: The plural form is foci) / - to come into focus > to become clearer as through the viewfinder of a camera - |verb|  1. to make things such as light rays converge on a central point / A parabolic reflector focuses the transmission into a narrow beam. /  2. to give an object or image a clear outline or detail by adjustment of an optical device / Focus the microscope in order to make the image easier to see. /  3. to direct toward a particular point or purpose / The crew focused all their attention on finding a solution to the problem. /

FOD |abbreviation| foreign object damage

fog |noun| condensed water vapor in cloud-like masses lying close to the ground and limiting visibility / When visibility is less than 1,000 m owing to suspended water droplets in the atmosphere, the condition is known as fog. / - evaporation fog > steam fog / Evaporation fog is usually confined to water surfaces and adjacent areas of land. /


föhn |noun| a warm dry wind that blows down the lee side of a mountain, particularly in the Alps (NOTE: The word is also written foehn .)


foil |noun| same as airfoil

follow-me car |noun| a car used to guide taxiing aircraft

foot |noun| a unit of length in the US and British Imperial Systems equal to 12 inches or 30.48 centimeters. Symbol: ft (NOTE: The plural form is feet; foot is usually written ft or ’ after figures: 10ft or 10’.)


foot-pound |noun| the ability to lift a one pound weight a distance of one foot. Abbreviation: ft-lb


force |noun|  1. the capacity to do work or cause physical change  2. power used against a resistance / In small aerobatic aircraft, considerable force is needed on the control column when performing high-speed maneuvers. /  3. a vector quantity that produces an acceleration of a body in the direction of its application (NOTE: We say centrifugal force, but the force of gravity.) - the force of gravity > the natural force of attraction which pulls bodies towards each other and which pulls objects on Earth towards its center - |verb|  1. to use power against resistance / Because of distortion to the airframe, the pilot had to force the door open in order to exit the aircraft. /  2. - to force someone to do something > to use physical or psychological power to make somebody do something they otherwise would not do / The hijackers forced the crew to fly to Athens. /


forced landing |noun| an unexpected landing that a pilot of an aircraft has to make because of an emergency situation


force down |verb| to force an aircraft to land, usually because of an emergency situation


force-land |verb| to land an aircraft before it gets to its destination because of an emergency situation, or land in these circumstances


forces of flight |plural noun| the aerodynamic forces, lift, drag, weight and thrust, which act on an object that is traveling though the air


fore |adjective| located at or towards the front - the fore and aft axis of the aircraft > the longitudinal axis of the aircraft - to come to the fore > to become important or to start to play a leading role / The jet engine came to the fore in the late forties. /


forecast |noun| a statement of what is likely to happen in the future or describing expected events or conditions - forecast weather charts > charts with information about the weather coming to a particular area - |verb| to estimate or calculate weather conditions by studying meteorological information / Rain is forecast for this afternoon. / (NOTE: forecasting – forecast or forecasted)


forecast chart |noun| same as prognostic chart / Prognostic or forecast charts are prepared, by the central meteorological office of each region, normally for periods up to 24 hours ahead. /

foreign object |noun| the general name for something which should not be there / a bird, a plastic bag, metal debris etc. are all foreign objects which can damage the aircraft /

foreign object damage |noun| damage to the aircraft from stray objects on the ground or birds in flight

form |noun|  1. a document with blanks for the insertion of details or information / insurance form, application form /  2. a kind or type / The ground automatic relief valve is a form of discharge valve. Drizzle is the lightest form of precipitation. /  3. the shape of an object / Fluids take on the form of the container in which they are found. / - in the form of a triangle > in the shape of a triangle  4. the way in which a thing exists, acts, or shows itself - |verb|  1. to come into being / In some conditions, ice forms on the leading edge of the wing. Cumulus clouds only form in an unstable atmosphere. /  2. to make a shape / Three points on the chart form a triangle. /  3. to make up or constitute / The classroom and accommodation building form the main part of the college. /


formation |noun|  1. the process of coming into being or forming - cloud formation > the natural production and development of clouds - ice formation > the natural production and development of ice  2. - to fly in formation > to fly in a group which maintains a particular pattern or arrangement in the air


former |adjective| having been in the past - a former military pilot > a pilot who used to be a military pilot - |noun|  1. the first of two things mentioned  2. a light secondary structure of the airframe which gives improved shape


formula |noun| a mathematical rule expressed in symbols / The formula for calculating speed is D ÷ T = S (where D = distance, T = time and S = speed). / (NOTE: The plural form is formulas.)


forward |adjective| at, near, or belonging to the front / the forward section of the aircraft, forward and aft exits /


forwards |adverb| towards a position in front / The throttles are moved forwards for take-off. / (NOTE: The US English is forward.)


fouling |noun| contamination of the spark plugs with oil or petrol so that they do not fire correctly / The engine should be run at a positive idling speed to prevent spark plug fouling. /


four-digit group |noun| four single numbers found together


four-stroke combustion engine |noun| an engine which operates in accordance with the four-stroke cycle /Induction, compression, power and exhaust are the four phases of the four-stroke combustion engine./


fpm |abbreviation| feet per minute


FPPS |abbreviation| flight plan processing system


frame |noun|  1. a structure that gives shape or support / Early aircraft fuselages were made of a frame covered by a fabric. /  2. an open structure for holding, or bordering


freeze |verb| to pass from the liquid to the solid state by loss of heat / In some conditions, rain droplets freeze rapidly on striking the aircraft. / (NOTE: freezing – froze – frozen )

freezing level |noun| the altitude at which the temperature in the atmosphere drops to 0° C

freight |noun| anything other than people transported by a vessel or vehicle, especially by a commercial carrier / Freight holds are usually located beneath the passenger cabins. / Also called: cargo

freight terminal |noun| a building used for the storage and handling of containers, pallets etc. their dispatch to specific aircraft and their loading onto cargo flights

freighter |noun| an aircraft designed to carry freight


frequency |noun|  1. the number of times or the rate at which something happens in a given period of time / The frequency of flights to holiday destinations increases during the summer time. /  2. the number of repetitions per unit time of a complete waveform, as of an electric current frequency


frequency bracket |noun| a range of frequencies / VHF communications are allocated the frequency bracket 118–137 MHz. /

frequency congestion |noun| radio saturation which occurs when there are too many transmissions on the same radio frequency / The pilot may have to wait for a break in transmissions to pass a message and may have to wait for a response from the ATCO. / Congestion can result in important information (clearances, flight levels, headings, times etc.) being lost or only partially heard, conditional clearances and advice to expect being taken as clearances, pilots not being able to pass urgent information, information intended for one flight being adopted by another and a general loss of communication quality with the ensuing stress.

frequent |adjective| happening or appearing often


friction |noun| a force that resists the relative motion or tendency to such motion of two bodies in contact / Energy is converted to heat through friction. /

friction tester |noun| a vehicle which can measure the braking coefficient of a runway

front |noun|  1. the forward part or surface / The entrance is at the front. /  2. the area, location, or position directly before or ahead - in front > in a forward position relative to something else / Row 23 is in front of row 24. /  3. the mixed area between air masses of different temperatures or densities


frontal |adjective|  1. referring to the forward part or surface area of something - frontal surface > the boundary between two air masses  2. of or relating to a meteorological weather front / a frontal storm /


frontal depression |noun| an area of low pressure found together with a weather front


frontal system |noun| a series of rain-bearing changes in the weather


frost |noun| a deposit of very small ice crystals formed when water vapor condenses at a temperature below freezing /Frost had to be cleared from training aircraft which had been parked outside overnight./


ft |abbreviation| foot


fuel |noun| a substance such as gas, oil, petrol, etc., which is burnt to produce heat or power / Each wing tank holds 20 gallons of fuel. A fuel system includes tanks, fuel lines, fuel pumps, fuel filters and a carburetor or fuel injection system. /


fuel / air mixture |noun| a combination of fuel and air which is ignited in a piston engine to provide power (NOTE: Aircraft engines operate at different altitudes and the pilot must adjust the mixture to produce the most efficient fuel/air mixture for the atmospheric density.)

fuel emergency |noun| running short of fuel. Fuel emergencies do not usually occur suddenly, but are the result either of incorrect automatic or manual fuel management or prolonged holding. Avianca Flight 052 remains the classic case of a fuel emergency where inadequate communication, non-standard phraseology and poor language skills by the crew led to fuel exhaustion on all four engines. Different degrees of urgency (distress – pan calls; and emergency – Mayday) are at the crew’s disposal once they have communicated their fuel endurance to ATC.

fuel farm |noun| a place where fuel tanks are located and tankers are housed and replenished

fuel gauge |noun| an instrument indicating fuel contents

fuel hydrant |noun| an underground fuel supply point

fuel injection, fuel injection system |noun| system in which fuel is sprayed under pressure into the combustion chamber of an engine


fuel injector |noun| an injector that sprays fuel into the combustion chamber of an engine

fuel manifold |noun| an aircraft fuel distribution line to which a nozzle is attached

fuel pump |noun| a device which moves fuel along pipes from the tanks to the engine

fuel tanker |noun| a vehicle containing aircraft fuel

full-stop landing |noun| a normal landing which ends with the aircraft stopping and exiting the runway rather than doing a training exercise of touch and go

fumes |plural noun| smoke, gas or vapor given off by a substance, often unpleasant or harmful / When the cabin is rapidly and completely filled by smoke and fumes, passengers will suffer from disorientation. /


function |noun|  1. a specific occupation or role / Rota planning is one of the functions of the chief instructor. /  2. purpose / Seals perform a very important function in a hydraulic system. The function of the flaps is to increase lift and drag. / - |verb|  1. to act as, or to serve the purpose of / The escape slide also functions as a life raft. /  2. to operate or to work / The system functions well. /


fundamental |adjective|  1. of or relating to the foundation or base / the fundamental laws of aerodynamics /  2. central, forming or serving as an essential component of a system or structure / Electricity is one of the fundamental types of energy that exist in nature. /


fungal growth |noun| a type of organism which lives and multiplies in particular fuels / Fuel contains chemicals for the inhibition of fungal growth. /


fuse |noun| a safety device that protects an electric circuit from an excessive current / Circuit breakers perform the same function as a fuse. /


fuselage |noun| the central body of a plane, to which the wings and tail assembly are attached and which accommodates the crew, passengers, and cargo / The fire started in the wing but soon spread to the fuselage. /

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