Can You Pass the FAA Pilot's Exam?

By: John Miller
Estimated Completion Time
3 min
In order to obtain a pilot's license, candidates must do what?
Learn to drive a tractor
Bribe instructors after failing the knowledge test
Receive medical clearance
Before you receive that coveted pilot's license, you have to visit a doctor. Without medical clearance, you won't be taking off anytime soon.

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How do pilots measure wind speed?
Miles per hour
Knots
Aviation measures windspeed in knots. You can convert 1 knot to 1.15 MPH.
With a ruler

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What should you do if your aircraft stalls?
Pitch the nose down.
It's not uncommon for certain types of aircraft to stall. It's not necessarily time to panic, but you do need to pitch the nose down​ to regain airspeed.
Press the brake pedals.
Cross your fingers and close your eyes.

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What's one purpose of spoilers?
To increase thrust
To slow the plane
Spoilers are hinged plates integrated into the top area of the wings. When raised, they can help the plane descend, and they can also reduce the aircraft's speed.
To make a plane look sporty

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The attitude indicator shows the aircraft's location relative to what?
The horizon
Pilots constantly evaluate the position of the aircraft with regard to the horizon. The attitude indicator shows which direction the plane is tilted and to what degree.
The North Star
Airspeed​

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Pilots use the longitudinal axis to perform what?
A roll
Think of the longitudinal axis as a piece of twine through the center of the plane from tail to nose. It allows the plane to roll as it remains horizontal, while the body rotates diagonally.
A tailspin
A bombing run

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What data does the heading indicator provide?
Pitch
The direction in which the plane is going
The heading indicator shows which direction the plane is going. It looks like the face of a compass.
Speed in knots

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What does the transponder do?
Relays your position and altitude to air traffic control
The transponder is a critical communications tool. It uses radio signals to send your altitude and position to air traffic controllers, helping them to keep the skies safe for everyone.
Controls fuel flow
Keeps the plane level

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What is the fuselage?
The main​ body of the plane
The fuselage is the main body of the plane. Pilots are taught to visually inspect the fuselage of their aircraft to make sure it's not cracked or damaged.
The fuel tank
The leading edge of the wings

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Where would you find the plane's elevators?
Near the galley
On the control panel
On the tail
The elevators are located on the plane's tail section. When the elevators go down, the plane goes up, and vice versa.

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Where is the inboard wing flap located?
On the wing near the fuselage
Many large planes have two sets of wing flaps. The inboard flaps are the ones nearest the fuselage -- the outboard flaps are closer to the wingtips.
In the rudder
On the tail

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What's the purpose of a plane's vacuum pump?
To make the throttle work
To operate the heading and attitude indicators
An aircraft's vacuum pump is incredibly important. Without it, the aircraft's attitude and heading indicators don't work properly.
To keep cookie crumbs out of the pilot's seat

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What's a TGL?
Toggle for landing gear
Targeted launch
Touch-and-go landing
Many pilots practice TGL (touch-and-go landings) in their early days. This continual repetition of landing and taking off again helps them to better control their aircraft.

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The height of the aircraft is denoted by which term?
Elevation
Altitude
Pilots always have to keep a close eye on their altitude, the height of their plane above sea level. Because otherwise, you know, boom.
Velocity

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On a circuit, the base leg comes right before what?
Last rites
F​inal leg
Each landing circuit is made up of several legs. The base leg is the part of the circuit you fly just before descending into the final leg.
Final destination

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The shape of the aircraft's wings determines what?
Attitude
Potential speed and altitude
Wing shape is incredibly important to the aircraft's overall capabilities. It has a direct bearing on the plane's maximum speed and altitude.
Dive angle

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What does "fly by wire" refer to?
Plane control systems
In the old days, pilots used the yoke and pedals to literally move the parts of the plane. These days, these controllers are all electronic, and the computer instead activates motors that move the rudders, wings, etc.
Automatic pilot
Kite string

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What's the name for winds that are perpendicular to the plane's direction of travel?
Tailwind
Headwind
Crosswind
Pilots must always be aware of current weather conditions. A crosswind is any wind that moves perpendicular to the aircraft's direction, and it can have a major impact on flight dynamics.

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Before you take off in cold weather, you must make sure there's no ice buildup on which part of the plane?
Fuselage
Wheel
Ailerons
The ailerons are what make the wings work. Ice buildup on this critical component can have all sorts of tragic consequences.

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What does the lateral axis allow the aircraft to do?
Accelerate
Rotate
Pitch
The lateral axis allows the nose of the plane to move up or down. This happens in a diagonal motion.

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Which direction do you turn in a circuit?
Right
Left
In a standard circuit, pilots turn left. But for many reasons, it's often necessary to perform a right-hand circuit, so you must be well-versed in both.
Down

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What is a typical circuit altitude?
1,000 feet
Pilots must learn to fly circuits well if they want to land safely. A typical circuit altitude is around 1,000 feet.
8,000 feet
14,000 feet

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A remote pilot's license allows you to do what?
Fly only large aircraft
Fly in very remote mountainous areas
Operate unmanned aerial vehicles
The FAA offers multiple levels of pilot licenses. A remote license only allows you to fly UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles).

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What's a circuit?
Part of the yoke
Electrical component
Airfield traffic pattern
In aviation, "circuit" refers to airfield traffic patterns. As with all aspects of flying, there are good and bad ways to execute a circuit.

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What does the normal axis do?
Creates lift
Allows the plane to yaw
The normal axis allows the plane to yaw. Yaw is the when the aircraft moves left or right but remains on a horizontal plane.
Reduces load

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Every runway has a two-digit number on it. What does the number stand for?
Simply denotes the airstrip number at the airport
Runway length
Compass direction
Every American runway features a two-digit number. That number refers to the compass direction, and is listed as degrees magnetic. Three-digit numbers are rounded to two digits (i.e. 220 degrees would be 22).

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During takeoff, the wing flaps should be in what position?
Up
Down
During takeoff, the wing flaps should be in the down position. This helps increase lift, which helps the plane ascend into the skies.
Completely horizontal

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What happens if a pilot deploys only one spoiler?
The plane begins to roll.
Pilots may use only one wing's spoiler at a time. In doing so, they induce a rolling motion to help change the plane's direction.
The plane's yaw drastically changes.
The plane disintegrates.

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VOR stands for what?
VHF omnidirectional range
VOR stands for VHF omnidirectional range, a type of short-range radio guidance system. The system helps the pilot use a series of ground-based radio beacons to pinpoint location.
Velocity recorder
Vector operational radar

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VOA ground stations have what approximate range?
Two miles
20 miles
200 miles
VOR ground stations help pilots determine their location, and without them, things can get dicey in certain situations. The stations only have a signal range of about 200 miles.

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