Do You Know Enough About Aviation To Be A Pilot?

By: John Miller

Do You Know Enough About Aviation To Be A Pilot?
Image: andresr/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Since the days of the Wright Brothers, millions of Americans have dreamed of soaring through the clouds in the pilot’s seat of a gleaming plane. Some would love to scream through the wild blue yonder in an F-35 fighter, while others would be perfectly content cruising along in a little Cessna. No matter your bird-like dreams, you’ll first need to understand basic aviation principles and figure out how to control various parts of an airplane. How high do you think you can fly in this inspiring aviation quiz?

Many of the basic principles of flight are relatively intuitive. You know that you’re going to need speed in order to get that 747 off the ground. Do you recall how the aircraft’s motors make this happen? And, of course, the aerodynamics of the contraption matter, too – and every plane is a little different. That means a Concorde jet handles a lot different than an Alaskan bush plane.

You may have failed physics in high school, but if you want to be a pilot, you’ll have to remember exactly how various forces come into play during flight. Lift, drag, thrust, as well as pitch, yaw, and roll are all vital aspects of safe aviation.

Climb aboard for this aviation quiz now! And please remember to buckle up, because our tough questions will create a lot of turbulence.

The curve on top of an airplane wing helps to do what?
Offers more space for missiles
Decreases pressure on top of the wing
The curve that's on top of a plane's wings reduces air pressure at that location. The bottom of the wing, however, is flat … which increases pressure, providing lift.
Controls yaw
Makes it look cooler

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What's the purpose of an altimeter?
To reduce drag
To reduce air pressure
To measure height
The altimeter is one of a plane's most vital instruments. It measures how high the plane is above sea level. So if the altimeter drops to 0 and you're still cruising at 500 MPH, you have a problem.
To measure heart pressure

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Airplanes fly by pushing what toward the ground?
Vapor
Air
Airplanes are fantastic contraptions. Their primary job is to push air toward the ground. This generates lift … which helps planes fly.
Water
Gas

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What do the floor pedals in a cockpit control?
Engine power
Airspeed​
Rudder
The pilot must deal with an entire cockpit worth of controls and buttons. The floor pedals help her control the all-important rudder.
Height

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Most airplane wings have what on the upper surface?
bald eagle insignia
a slight curve
Most airplane wings feature a gentle curve on the top surface. This is part of what's called an "airfoil," and it helps the aircraft fly.
small terrified children
vents

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What tool do pilots use to control yaw?
Fuselage
Wings
Rudder
Yaw refers to the plane's side to side turning. The rudder is what controls yaw. Unless the rudder is broken, in which case, you'll have to try to remember whether you packed a parachute for this flight.
Pressure gauge

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What happens when the pilot pushes the throttle forward?
Pilot's seat ejects
Engine power increases
The pilot must maintain careful control of the throttle. Pushing forward on the throttle increases engine power; pulling back does the opposite.
Wing angles drop
The doors lock

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What do the ailerons control?
Spirals
Dive
Roll
Each wing is fitted with an aileron that moves up or down. When one goes up and the other goes down, the plane goes into a roll.
Speed

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What happens to air pressure as your altitude climbs?
It decreases.
As planes climb into the skies, air pressure drops dramatically. So too do oxygen levels, which is why planes require pressurized cabins to provide a normal breathing environment.
It increases.
It stays the same.
Both

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A supersonic plane can exceed which speed?
350 MPH
760 MPH
Supersonic planes can, by definition, exceed the speed of sound. They can go 760 MPH or even faster.
4,200 MPH
5000 MPH

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What part of the plane creates thrust?
Engines
Your plane isn't anywhere without some type of engine. Without thrust, there is no lift, and without lift, there is no flight.
Yoke
Midsection
Wings

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What happens if a plane's engines fail?
You'll pass out from lack of oxygen.
You are going to die.
You can glide to the ground.
Modern plane engines don't often fail. But when they do, the planes still work … you just have to glide them to a safe landing area.
Sudden plummet to the ground

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What's the name of the control wheel on a plane?
Fidget
Driver
Yoke
The yoke is the "W"-shaped control wheel of the aircraft. Pilots push, pull and turn the yoke from side to side.
Axel

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The pilot pushes the top of the rudder pedals to engage what?
The brakes
The rudder pedals also serve as the brakes. These are the pedals the pilot will be frantically stomping as your out-of-control jet hurtles across the tarmac toward the long-term parking lot.
The throttle
The windshield wipers
The amount of gas

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What element do the elevators control?
Radius
Pitch
The elevators are mounted to the plane's tail section. The pilot moves the elevators up and down to control pitch.
Which floor of the plane you're on
Wings

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What happens when the pilot pushes forward on the yoke?
The plane spins.
The nose tilts down.
The nose is how pilots control pitch. By pushing forward on the yoke, the plane's nose tilts downward. Craterville, here we come!
Everyone on board screams.
The plane flies up

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Big planes experience more of what than little planes?
Gravity
Drag
Thrust gets your plane moving. Drag tries to slow it down. There are several types of drag, but bigger planes always have to overcome more drag than small planes.
Teasing
Stall

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What's it called if a plane experiences a rapid decrease in lift?
Stall
When a plane suddenly experiences a reduction in lift, you have a problem. This is called a stall, and it has caused many crashes in aviation history.
Downwash
Suicide
Drop

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What happens when you pull back on the yoke?
increases airflow under the wing
It's one of the basic fundamentals of takeoffs. Pilots pull back on the yoke, increasing airflow under the wings, thus, generating lift and sending the craft soaring.
slides the ailerons gently off the wings
creates churning sensation in stomach
the plane tilts down

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You must be at least how old to take a recreational pilot knowledge test?
10 years old
15 years old
You only have to be 15 years old to take the recreational pilot knowledge test. If you only want to fly a balloon or glider, you take the exam at just 14.
22 years old
18 years old

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Most commercial jets fall into which of the following speed categories?
Hypersonic
Supersonic
Subsonic
Commercial jets are mostly subsonic, meaning they fly between 350 and 750 MPH. And on those red eye flights, even 750 MPH never seems fast enough.
Transonic

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What's the spinning air behind a plane called?
Wake
Death spiral
Vortex
As planes zoom along, the air swirls behind them in a vortex. At airfields, pilots must be wary of the vortices caused by planes in front of them.
Hurricane

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If you have a recreational pilot's license, you cannot fly a plane that exceeds what horsepower?
180 hp
Maybe you should stick to sports cars. If you have a recreational license, you can only fly planes with engines that max out at 180 hp or less.
480 hp
2,030 hp
90 hp

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How many flight hours do you have to log to become an airline transport pilot?
At least 1,500
It takes a lot of flight time to qualify for an airline transport pilot's license. Pilots need to log at least 1,500 hours of flight time to qualify.
At least 4,000
At least 10,000
At least 500

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How difficult is it to fly an airplane?
Not very hard
In the early days of aviation, airplanes were rickety death traps. These days, anyone who applies themselves to coursework can learn to fly a plane.
Pretty tough
Impossible for ordinary people
Anyone could do it

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If you have a sport pilot's license, what is a major restriction on your flight plans?
no afterburners
no night flying
Sport pilot licenses are very restrictive. You obviously will never have afterburners at your disposal, and you'll never fly at night, either.
no flying to the moon
no flying more than 50 miles away

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Recreational pilots are only allowed​ to fly how many miles from their home airport?
50 miles
A recreation pilot's license offers very limited range. The laws only allow you to fly up to 50 nautical miles from your home airport.
500 miles
5,000 miles
100 miles

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Which part of a plane generates lift?
Every part
Every part of the plane generates lift. But the wings obviously are what create the most lift, and without lift, you're going nowhere.
Just the wings
The nose
The engine

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What's one of the most important modern flight tools?
auto-pilot
laser sights
radios
There are thousands of planes in the skies at any given moment. Without radios, the skies would resemble one big game of high-speed chicken.
yoke

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If the pilot raises the nose of the plane, he or she is changing what?
Angle of attack
Pitch
By raising (or lowering) the nose of the plane, the pilot adjusts pitch. As you can imagine, pitch is one of the most basic (and important) flight fundamentals.
Specific gravity
Height

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You Got:
/30

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