Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Pilot?

About this Quiz

Achieving pilot status is no easy task. Not only do you need to pass difficult aviation exams, but you also need to log hours and hours of flight practice in all kinds of weather conditions before getting your certificate. The good news? You're gonna do it the fast way today, with this quiz!

Do you know what kind of plane can go on land and sea? Just how young can you be before you get your sports pilot certificate? Do you know what kind of aircraft has no motor? Could you fake it until you make it in the air, or will you and your career make a crash landing?

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1. All pilots have logbooks. What information should you store there?

Monika Wisniewska / Shutterstock.com
  1. Sleep patterns
  2. Length and frequency of flights
A pilot's logbook records the pilot's flying hours, detailing the length of flights, the number of landings and more.
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2. If you pilot an airplane that only carries commercial goods, you pilot a:

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  1. Seaplane
  2. Cargo plane
Planes that only carry goods are known as cargo planes. Most are equipped to hold between 40,000 and 45,000 pounds!
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3. Named after animals with similar capabilities, these planes can take off on land and in water:

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  1. Bear plane
  2. Amphibious planes
A plane that can take off and land on both land and water is called an amphibious plane. They are constructed with special floats that buoy the plane up when on water.
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4. A successful flight depends on four things, including:

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  1. The length of the pilot's arms
  2. Lift
The four forces that facilitate flight are lift, drag, thrust, and weight. All of them play a part in a plane being able to take off and stay in the air.
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5. How accurate should your vision be as a pilot?

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  1. 20/20
  2. 20/200
Pilots must have 20/20 vision in order to hold the position. If they have 20/200 vision (a severe visual impairment) they must wear corrective lenses in order to fly.
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6. This aircraft -- often a flying advertisement -- has a motor, but no wings! By golly, it's a:

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  1. Blimp
  2. Light Passenger Jet
Blimps are airships and thus, have no wings. They usually have messages displayed on their sides.
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7. Pre-flight checks include:

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  1. Inspecting uniforms, calling family, and recording last wishes
  2. Checking weather, fuel quantity, and flight controls
Pilots have to sign off on documents, go over the flight's route, make sure the crew is fit to fly and review other flight information.
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8. An altimeter helps measure:

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  1. The plane's altitude
  2. The plane's weight
A plane's altimeter measures altitude, or how high up in the air the plane is.
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9. You're never alone! When you're in the air, you'll be in touch with:

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  1. Active Thermal Control
  2. Automatic Train Control
  3. Air Traffic Control
  4. Automatic Temperature Compensation
Air Traffic Control mainly helps maintain safety, but it also helps minimize delays.
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10. Don't go speed crazy! What does the red line on your airspeed indicator mean?

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  1. Another plane wants to contact you
  2. The plane's air temperature is too cold
  3. You've hit the speed limit
  4. It's time to check the manual
The red line on an airspeed indicator denotes the maximum airspeed allowed for the plane.
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11. When should you use autopilot?

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  1. During takeoff
  2. For most of the flight, between takeoff and landing
  3. Whenever you want to take a nap
  4. During landing
Believe it or not, planes are on autopilot most of the time they are in flight! Pilots only manually fly planes during takeoff, landing, turbulence, and any other unforeseen occurrences.
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12. This aircraft drifts along, because it has wings, but no motor:

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  1. A glider
  2. A cargo plane
Most gliders have no motors/engines. Those that do have small engines use them for extending flights by maintaining altitude.
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13. Take it easy! That was just turbulence caused by:

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  1. Gremlins
  2. Heavy winds
Turbulence can be caused by many things, including wind, jet streams, thunderstorms, other planes passing, and more.
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14. It's getting dark in here! Airplanes' position lights should be on from sunset to sunrise to:

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  1. Make them visible in the dark
  2. Make them look like stars
Position or navigation lights should be turned on between sunset and sunrise and also during the day when there's bad weather. They help other pilots see your position.
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15. Safety first! During a flight, you must turn on the airplane's:

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  1. Anti-collision lights
  2. Reading lights
Anti-collision lights are the flashing lights located on the top and bottom of the airplane's wing and tail tips. They should be on whenever the engine of a plane is running and the plane is in the air.
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16. Airplanes take off by pushing THIS toward the ground:

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  1. Air
  2. Water
  3. Electricity
  4. High hopes
When a plane takes off, it pushes air rapidly over its wings and then down towards the ground. This generates an upward force that negates the plane's weight and keeps it in the sky.
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17. Suddenly, your plane's engine fails!

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  1. Glide and begin descent
  2. Order one last cocktail
  3. Parachute out of the plane
  4. Tell passengers it's all over
When an engine fails, a plane loses some of its power and must land as soon as possible. The good news is that planes are able to glide, even after losing engine power. Dual engine failure is almost unheard of.
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18. Sports pilots, who operate light aircrafts, can't fly during:

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  1. The night
  2. Holidays
A sports pilot license is the easiest to get! In addition to not being able to fly at night, sports pilots can't go above 10,000 feet and can't carry more than one passenger.
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19. When you're pushing the throttle forward, you're:

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  1. Decreasing the engine's power
  2. Increasing the engine's power
Think of a plane's throttle as you would a car's gas pedal. When you're pushing it forward, you're increasing the speed and power.
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20. A plane's control wheel is named after the wooden beam that holds a pair of oxen. What is it?

Nadezda Murmak / Shutterstock.com
  1. Shell
  2. Yogurt
  3. Passion fruit
  4. Yoke
A plane's "yoke" is also known as its control wheel. It is used for piloting fixed-wing aircrafts.
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21. How many miles do you need to log to become an airline pilot?

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  1. 1500
  2. 50
The Federal Aviation Administration requires a pilot to log in a minimum of 1500 hours to obtain their FAA Airline Transport Pilot Certificate.
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22. How many people should be in the cockpit at all times?

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  1. At least two
  2. Six
Most airlines require that each airplane has at least two persons in the cockpit at all times. That way, if one pilot becomes indisposed, the other can take care of the plane and its passengers.
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23. It's getting awfully stormy! Follow the "Visual Flight Rules" (VFR) to determine:

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  1. How to fly with your eyes closed
  2. How to fly under specific weather conditions
VFR educate pilots on how to operate the aircraft when there are clouds in the sky, along with limited visibility. The general rule? See and be seen!
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24. Which brothers were the first to fly a plane?

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  1. The Jonas Brothers
  2. The Wright Brothers
Wilbur and Orville Wright made four short flights with their aircraft, Kitty Hawk, on December 17th, 1903.
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25. To avoid hitting an approaching aircraft head-on:

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  1. It's up to them, I have the right of way
  2. Alter your course to the right
Don't panic. If you're approaching another plane head-on, alter your course to the right.
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26. Getting thirsty? That's because airplane air is as dry as:

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  1. A desert
  2. A swamp
Cabin air is notoriously dry and dehydrating. The humidity in an aircraft is usually less than 20%.
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27. At any one moment, around how many planes are flying over the United States?

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  1. 5000
  2. Less than 100
A count conducted by the FAA in June of 2019 revealed that there can be up to 5,000 planes in the sky during peak operational times.
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28. Who gives passengers the obligatory pre-takeoff briefing?

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  1. The pilot in command
  2. The immigration officers
The pilot (in command) is the one who usually gives the pre-takeoff briefing. The briefing should include information about wind conditions, and the speed and altitude at which the plane will fly.
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29. Crack! When planes pass through clouds, the static created can cause:

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  1. Air-born tidal waves
  2. Rain
  3. Lightning
  4. Gusty winds
Planes can trigger lightning when they fly through charged clouds. A static discharge is released by the plane into the clouds, provoking this phenomenon.
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30. Planes emit ______ , which kill more people than plane crashes!

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  1. Displaced suitcases
  2. Exhaust fumes
Plane exhaust fumes kill more people than plane crashes. Every year, about 10,000 people die from toxic aircraft pollutants!
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31. Careful! It's illegal to direct these at a plane:

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  1. Laser pointers
  2. Rotten tomatoes
  3. Water hoses
  4. Eyes
You can temporarily blind a pilot by flashing laser lights at an aircraft, which can cause the plane to go down. That's why it's a federal law that this should not be done.
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32. When a plane is going down, it is making its...

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  1. Descent
  2. Demise
A plane has to descend before it can land. When it's time to do that, the pilot usually gives a warning and the seat belt sign is turned on.
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33. Want to become a fighter pilot? You need to...

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  1. Be between 5 foot 3 inches and 6 foot 4 inches
  2. Be able to run a marathon
Fighter pilots need to be between 5 foot 3 inches and 6 foot 4 inches when standing. Other than that, they have to have incredible reflexes.
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34. Who's coming? An aircraft's squawk code is...

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  1. A way of communicating with birds
  2. It's identification number
A squawk code, or transponder code, is the 4-digit number assigned to aircrafts by air traffic controllers as a unique way to identify it.
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35. The clouds pictured below are dangerous. Why?

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  1. They are a sign of bad weather
  2. All clouds are dangerous
A cumulonimbus cloud has a tower-like shape with a flat base and a flat top. These clouds are usually followed by heavy rain, lightning, snow, hail, and sometimes tornadoes.
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36. It's not red, but a plane's engine makes hot air called:

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  1. Arctic winds
  2. Bleed air
Bleed air is hot, high-pressure air that escapes from the plane's gas turbine during compression.
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37. As the pilot in command, why is it necessary to have your medical certificate on you?

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  1. To prove that you're healthy enough to fly
  2. So you can skip customs
Even if a pilot is a familiar face at an airline, it's still important that they carry their current pilot and medical certificates with them, in order to prove that they are qualified to fly.
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38. Why should you dim your airplane's lights when landing?

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  1. It allows for a stealth arrival
  2. To allow the passengers' eyes to adjust
A plane's lights are dimmed before landing to allow passengers' eyes to adjust. This measure is especially helpful in cases where a plane has to be evacuated immediately upon landing.
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39. Take a deep breath. These help passengers if the pressure in the cabin drops:

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  1. Emergency lights
  2. Water
  3. Hand sanitizer
  4. Oxygen masks
Oxygen masks flow for about 12 to 15 minutes at a time. During that time, it flows constantly, even if the bag doesn't inflate.
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40. Pick up some peaches at the world's busiest airport:

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  1. Atlanta
  2. Bali
  3. Siberia
  4. Reykjavik
The world's busiest airport is the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The airport handles over 100 million passengers a year. It's been the world's busiest airport since 2000!
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41. When a pilot says "crosscheck":

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  1. The airplane staff checks each other's work
  2. The airplane staff checks if everyone got a blanket and pillow
When a pilot asks airplane staff to "crosscheck", they are asking their staff to cross-check each other's work before take-off.
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42. When you raise the nose of a plane, you're changing its...

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  1. Pitch
  2. Baggage
Elevators located on the tail of the plane help it go up and down, something called pitch. When the pilot wants to pitch up, they tilt the elevator up.
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43. Did you hear that?! You're piloting a supersonic airplane:

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  1. It's faster than the speed of sound
  2. It's Batman's airplane
  3. It's faster than the speed of light
  4. It's faster than heatwaves
A plane that's supersonic can fly faster than the speed of sound. Doing this is currently illegal over US soil.
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44. Sometimes during safety tests, these dead birds are thrown into the plane's jets:

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  1. Chickens
  2. Peacocks
Dead chickens are thrown into different components of an aircraft to simulate high speed bird strikes. This is so that the plane can be certified against bird strikes.
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45. It sounds a bit sci-fi, but the air that spins behind a plane as it goes through the sky is called:

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  1. A hurricane
  2. A vortex
The circular patterns of rotating air left behind as a plane passes by is known as a wingtip vortex. It's the main reason for wake turbulence.
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46. Airplanes are round because...

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  1. The shape makes aircrafts fireproof
  2. The shape helps distribute pressure evenly
Sharp corners concentrate stress, but rounded shapes make sure that stress is evenly distributed across the aircraft. An airplane has to withstand significant amounts of outside pressure, which makes a rounded construction essential.
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47. Which body is in charge of ensuring safety in aviation?

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  1. The White House
  2. Federal Aviation Administration
The FAA or Federal Aviation Adminisraton is an American governmental body that regulates all things dealing with civil aviation.
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48. Drag slows a plane down. Do bigger or smaller planes experience more drag?

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  1. Bigger
  2. Smaller
Drag is the force that pushes a plane back when it's about to take off. The larger the plane, the more drag it experiences.
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49. A nose to tail inspection of a plane should happen every:

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  1. 12 months
  2. 25 years
Frequencies of plane inspections vary. Some planes are inspected every 400 to 700 flight hours. But one thing remains constant, a nose to tail -- or full plane inspection -- should happen at least every year.
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50. Older teens can take the recreational pilot knowledge test. How old do you have to be?

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  1. 13 years old
  2. 17 years old
Teens should be at least 17 years old to obtain a recreational license. Student pilot licenses can be earned as early as 14.
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51. Some pilots fly for the army. In what regiment do they operate?

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  1. Air March
  2. Air Faction
  3. Air Fleet
  4. Air Force
An "air force" is a broad term used to describe the national military branch that centrally conducts aerial warfare. More specifically, it is the branch of a nation's armed services, distinct from both the army and the navy.
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52. You're almost ready to fly, but where do passenger bags go?

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  1. Underneath the plane
  2. The nose of the plane
  3. A separate plane
  4. The wings of the plane
This question is just a matter of deduction! The nose contains the vital directional software, and the wings are far too thin for luggage to fit. That leaves another plane, which is a waste of money, so underneath the plane fits best!
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53. As a pilot, how would you pronounce the word "three"?

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  1. Free
  2. Tree
  3. Fee
  4. Tee
Aviators often speak “pilot English” to avoid miscommunications over radio transmissions. Three becomes “Tree,” five becomes “fife,” and nine becomes “niner”.
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54. As a pilot, what are you not allowed to eat while flying?

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  1. Chocolate
  2. Peas
  3. Shellfish
  4. Potato
Pilots have a great deal of responsibility on their shoulders when they fly! For that reason, they are forbidden to eat food that could potentially poison them, or that could be prepared incorrectly, like shellfish!
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55. Why do you need passengers to turn their electronics to Flight Mode while flying?

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  1. To get them to talk to each other
  2. To save their battery life
  3. To prevent interference
  4. So keep them off social media
Okay, so leaving your iPad on isn't going to bring down the plane, but there is a chance that it could interfere with incoming and outgoing signals from the plane!
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56. How long does it take to become a pilot?

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  1. 3 days
  2. 3 months
Bit of a trick question here: it takes three months to become a pilot and earn your private pilot license. However, if you want to become an airline pilot, it will take you just over two years to gain the required 1,500 hours of flight time.
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57. Which alphabet do pilots use to spell?

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  1. NATO Phonetic Alphabet
  2. Celtic
  3. Arabic
  4. Latin
The NATO phonetic alphabet is the most widely used radiotelephone spelling alphabet in the world. Its principal purpose is to clarify the individual letters of the standard Latin English alphabet, to avoid ambiguity and miscommunication.
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58. What is a "taxiway"?

Shutterstock.com / Jaromir Chalabala
  1. An airplane's flight path in the sky
  2. It's where I get a taxi into town
  3. An airport's "roadway system"
  4. Is that a chain of nightclubs?
A taxiway is a path for aircraft to travel while on the ground at an airport. Taxiways connect runways with aprons, hangars, terminals, and any other facilities a plane may need.
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59. How much fuel does the average Boeing 747 plane use every second?

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  1. 1 gallon
  2. 150,000 liters
  3. Half a cup
  4. 8 tablespoons
A typical Boeing 747 uses approximately 1 gallon of fuel (about 4 liters) every second. That's a staggering 36,000 gallons (150,000 liters) throughout a 10-hour flight!
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60. Can a plane reverse?

Shutterstock.com / Dabarti CGI
  1. Only in the US
  2. No
  3. Only sometimes
  4. Yes
No, simple. Planes do not have a reverse gear. They do have backward thrust capabilities, but this is only used when traveling at extremely fast speeds, to slow the aircraft down, never to reverse.
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