General Aviation Terminology

If you haven’t noticed, aviation has plenty of terms, abreviations that sometimes sound as a new language! In this post I will tell you what are they and what they mean.

Remember that this terminology is also that you learn during your initial course, but you keep learning it. Some on them are important to know by heart (memorize) but others you learn as you repeat them and see it often. So, it is not something that is mandatory but necessary to know.

  • ABP : Able bodied Passenger. This is a type of passenger that will help in case of emergency, in case cabin crew is unable and those who sit at emergency exit. To qualify for an ABP, it is ideal to be from the army, police, nurses, doctors, paramedics. If you are not any of those, there is no problem either, but know that in case of emergency, if you are seated at emergency exit you might be required to operate the door without the help of the cabin crew. To sit in emergency exits you also need to be able to fasten your seatbelt. It looks rough to speak like this, but if a passenger can’t fasten, it won’t be a help in case of evacuation. So, to be an ABP, you need to be confident that you can help when required or asked.
  • A/C: Aircraft. I believe no one needs explanation on this one.
  • AOG: Aircraft On Ground. For several reasons, but mainly technical, the aircraft can be on ground. That term means that the A/C needs to be repaired, fixed, or anything that can be necessary for the aircraft.
  • APU: Auxiliary Power Unit. The APU is providing electricity to the aircraft systems when the engines are not running. Because of this, lights and airco can be on even if the engines are not running. During the flight, the running engines are providing electricity to the aircraft systems, so when the engines are not running, the APU will provide electricity to the aircraft.
  • CAT: Clear Air Turbulence. Many people do not understand why we have turbulence even if there is no clouds outside. This type of turbulence comes unexpected in a clear sky.
  • CCM: Cabin Crew Member. Is the name for flight attendant, cabin crew, air hostess. The right term would be Cabin Crew Member.
  • ETA: Estimated Time of Arrival. Normally used when we need to know when the A/C will land approximately. That works for all of us when giving the time to someone for example.
  • EVAC: Evacuation. Evacuation occurs when flight crew gives the authorization to start evacuation or when the circunstances are endangering the passengers, crew and A/C; when is life threatening.
  • INOP: Inoperative. Anything that is not working in the A/C.
  • P/A: Public Address. Part of our duties is to direct announcements to the passengers. That will go from sales annoucement, to safety announcements. Anything that requires attention from the passenger. Will be done also in case of emergency to alert passengers and instruct them.
  • PAX: Passengers.
  • SOS: Save Our Souls. SOS sign will be used when emergency landing occurs in places where communication will not be easy. Can be done with any materials that is left from the emergency landing.
  • STBY: Standby. In aviation is common to be standby. With crew, when we are stanby, means that we can be called to operate a flight if something occurs. For example, if crew becomes sick, if there is such a big delay that the actual crew is not allowed to fly anymore or any other reason that comes up. Also, in case crew is standby at home, upon being called, crew have one hour to reach the airport.
  • UM: Unaccompanied Minor. Many airlines will allow pax under 16 to fly by themselves; they will require someone to help them to find the gate, to go into the A/C and during the flight a CCM will help the pax in case of need. Minimum age for Ryanair pax to fly is 16 and no UM are allowed in Ryanair flights.
  • Y: Economy Class. In our days, as traveling became simple, quick and easy, most of the airlines will have only economy class. You probably saw on your ticket an Y too.

There are many more terms to be said and explained. Those here are just a few that are a bit more common and easier to see and know. This way, a whole sentence, communication can be done efficiently with no doubts. In aviation can’t be any doubts. Those operating in aviation must be certain of what they are writing or saying.

In the next post, I will be running a bit outside of the topic and will be writing about where we stayed during our course, tell a bit about the surroundings and how was to live during 6 weeks in that building.

Stay Tunned!

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