Dictionnaire & vocabulaire aéronautique

2017 – PP #1 to #8

Practice 24/11/2017

1 – reading comprehension

Read this article from The Connexion, about an aircraft which almost took off from a taxiway.

– Where did it happen?

– What type of aircraft was it?

– What was its destination?

– How could the pilot mistake the taxiway for a runway?


2 – listening comprehension

Read this « In English, please » article published in the May 2014 issue of Info-pilote, entitled « Taxiing around an airport, an orienteering exercise ».

The second half of the article is a listening comprehension exercise. Listen to the recording below and find the missing words in the text.


3 – vocabulary

Visual landing charts


4 – general English corner

Listen to this shortened version of a 6-minute recording on « How quickly can you learn English? »

Then answer these questions:

– What is the real thing?

– In the 21st century, what seems to be the main method of learning?

– How much time do Rob and Finn advocate you commit to their course every day?

– What are the two tips given by Richard Hallows?


The full recording and the script, if needed, are available here.

www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/ is quite helpful to English learners and while at it, why not take the opportunity to browse through the site and check out their various courses on vocabulary and grammar.


5 – wordgames

Try different crosswords at www.dictionary.com.  You might find them challenging at first, but if you choose the « regular » level, the computer will help you avoid making mistakes and also give hints if you ask for them.



Practice 10/11/2017

1 – vocabulary

Review the classification of aircraft with the help of an old book, published in 1963. In this diagram place the following words in the right boxes:

single engine A/C; multi engine aircraft; biplanes; monoplanes; rotary wings; seaplanes; gliders; turbojet A/C; lighter than air A/C; power driven A/C; non power driven A/C.


Learn more vocabulary on the subject with these  two sections from L’Anglais pour voler: aircraft types (1) and aircraft types (2)


2 – crossword

Things that fly …


3 – reading comprehension

Read a wikipedia article to find more information on this type of aircraft. You’ll find the answer to the following questions in the introduction and  the first paragraph, entitled « principle of operation »:

– What is it called, who invented it, and when?

– What are its characteristics?

– In which configurations can the propeller be placed?


4 – listening comprehension

All numbers and letters have been erased from this script . Listen to the original recordings below and fill in the gaps. One dash corresponds to a number or a letter.


5 – general English corner

Practice Paper #7 ends on a light note with a riddle from www.dictionary.com at: www.dictionary.com/e/s/haveincommon_6_15/#baobab



Practice 27/10/2017

1 – Vocabulary

Let’s start with a review of some helpful vocabulary used to describe your environment as seen from above :

in-flight landmarks

Coming soon: click on each word to hear its pronunciation.


2 – Crossword

In-flight landmarks


3 – listening comprehension

Listen to this recording from www.pilotworkshop.com explaining the meaning of the code UP:



Then answer these questions:

– What does UP stand for?

– Where is it found?

– What would be needed to make a proper determination?


Read the full script here .

And remember that you can sign up for their newsletter at www.pilotworkshop.com  to get the tip every week, directly into your mailbox.


4 – Grammar

The ‘s in English serves 2 main purposes: to show possession or to make contractions. It is alo used to form plurals such as in « the 90’s », but this aspect won’t be discussed today.

In this exercise, you’ll have to decide if the ‘s stands for the verbs « have » or « be » in the third person singular (it’s Monday, she’s got the flu), the personal pronoun « us » (let’s go to the movies), or if it’s the mark of possession (Eliot’s newsletter).

If you are longing for more, read this article from www.chompchomp.com on the different uses of the apostrophe  (not only the ‘s) in English.


5 – Reading comprehension

Typoglycemia is the name given to our ability to understand a sentence even if the words have been scrambled such as in: « yuo’re Albe to Raed Tihs ».

Discover why, and what the limits are at: www.dictionary.com/e/typoglycemia/

Then answer these questions:

– What has the email got right?

– In the following examples, why is the first version of the scrambled words easier to read than the second: « porbelm » vs. « pelborm », « toattl » vs. « talot », « aoccdrnig” vs  “aocdircng »?



Practice 06/10/2017

1 – Vocabulary

Following the Air France A380’s spectacular incident early this week, there has been a lot of talk about aircraft engines, and  this seems as good a time as any to check your knowledge on the subject.

Start with a review of vocabulary on piston engines.

And see how they work with this You Tube video (caution, British humour!)


2 – Reading comprehension

Then read this article on jet engines and answer a few questions:

– What is the other name for jet engines?

– What is the core of a gas turbine engine?

– In a turbofan, what is the bypass air used for?

– Why do turboprop engines need a reduction gearbox?

And see how they work with another You Tube video.


3 – Word search


4 – Listening comprehension

The listening comprehension exercise is going to take you where pilots are not too keen on going: engine failure.

Watch this AOPA’s Air Safety Institute video: Engine Out! From Trouble to Touchdown, at first preferably without turning on the subtitles, then listen again to check your comprehension and find the missing words in the transcript of the first half of the video here .


5 – General English corner

If you sign up at www.dictionary.com for their « Word of the Day », you’ll receive a new word each day with its definition, audio pronunciation, origin and more! Most of the time, the words are not the kind you’ll be able to use on a regular basis, but the emails are a daily reminder of the importance of regular practice and they can also be fun to read.

One of last week’s words was « pangram ».

Let’s finish Practice Paper #5 with a game: try to find a pangram on an aviation theme and send your result(s) to d_defossez@orange.fr . They will all be published in a newsletter to come!


Have fun and I hope I’ll be hearing from you soon!



Practice 22/09/2017

1 – Vocabulary

From Typhoon Hato, in Hong Kong and South China at the end of August, to hurricanes Harley, Irma, Jose, and Maria in the Carribean Sea in September, there has been a lot of talk these past few weeks about severe – even extreme – weather.

But do you know the difference between a hurricane and a typhoon? Do you know the definition of a tornado, a waterspout, or a gustnado?



Let’s find out here: severe weather


2 – Wordsearch

Find the following words:

blizzard, cyclone, funnel cloud, gustnado, haboob, hail, hurricane, lightning, microburst, monsoon, sandstorm, squall line, thunderstorm, tornado, typhoon, waterspout, windshear,

in this grid: severe weather wordsearch.

Pick out the words from left to right, top line to bottom line. Words can go horizontally, vertically and diagonally in all eight directions.

When you are done, the unused letters in the grid will spell out a hidden message.


Read more about these phenomena on Eurocontrol’s Skybrary Weather Portal.


3 – Listening comprehension

Watch the You Tube video  « Anatomy of a Hurricane », preferably without turning on the subtitles, and answer these questions:

– When do hurricanes that impact the US develop?

– In the Northern Hemisphere, how do cloud masses rotate? Why?

– What immediately surrounds the eye of a hurricane?

– When does a hurricane die?

– Name some of the by-products of a hurricane


4 – Grammar: How

Let’s delve into the mystery of asking questions with “How”, a very useful three-letter word!

– Use How to introduce questions: How was your flight? How do you do that?

– Use How to get information about numbers and quantities, for example to find out about age, size, length, … : how old, how long, how big, how often?

– Use How much to ask about cost. Also use How much with uncountable nouns.

– Use How many to ask about countable nouns.

– Use How in exclamations before adjectives, adverbs and verb phrases: How nice! How odd! How funny!

– Use How about + noun phrase and How about + -ing form in informal speech to make suggestions: how about going to the movies?

Let’s check your understanding with this short exercise.


5 – Further reading

A hundred years ago this month, on September 11th 1917, the WWI flying ace Georges Guynemer disappeared during a mission over Belgium. His death was officially announced on September 25th.



Read more about Georges Guynemer at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Guynemer and answer these questions:

– How old was he when he died?

– How many victories did he achieve over enemy planes?

– How was his aircraft called?

– Where is it kept now?

– What mottos is he famous for?



Practice 08/09/2017


1 – Vocabulary

Check your knowledge of airport-related vocabulary,

Soon to come: click on a word to check its pronunciation.


2 – Airport crossword


3 – Listening comprehension

Listen to the recording and find the missing words in the text here:  Airport shutdowns. One dash is a word.


4 – Grammar: There, their, and they’re

Those three words sound exectly the same but are used completely differently. Here are some tips and tricks, from  http://deceptivelyeducational.blogspot.fr/

There: within this word is another word: here. There usually represents a place. Very often, if you can substitute here in place of there, you’ve used it correctly.

Their: this is a possessive pronoun. If you can replace their with our and the sentence still makes sense, you’ve used it correctly.

They’re: among these three words (there, their, and they’re), this is the only one that is a contraction. It’s an abbreviation for they are. If you can put they are in place of they’re, you used the right word.

Let’s put your knowledge to the test:  There, their and they’re .


5 – Further reading

To finish on a light note, read  two humorous posts and answer a few questions:

Questions post #1

1 – What are the usual answers to the border guard question?

2 – What is an open-ended question?

3 – What is the opposite of an open-ended question?

4 – What is the meaning of “deadpan”?

Questions post #2

5 – Why is the traveler who is posting the story delayed?

6 – How long is the flight from Edmonton delayed?

7 – What does “get tasered” mean?



Practice 18/08/2017


1 – Word game

Find the anagram for the following five words : seat, thorn, sore, stew, shout. Then find the odd one out.


2 – Vocabulary

Practice your weather-related vocabulary  with this crossword on  Clouds, winds and more  :

Find 31 weather-related words, then transfer the letters to the crypted line at the bottom according to matching numbers to discover a very well-known English idiom.


3 – Listening comprehension

Today, the listening comprehension exercise will take you to Ogden, near Salt Lake City (Utah) to listen to the ATIS:

Then answer these questions:

– What is frequency 125.55 for?

– What is frequency 118.7 for?

– Why is runway 7/25 closed?

– How are the PAPIs on runway 21 functioning?


4 – Grammar

Let’s start a review of the different prepositions, starting with « at » and « to », here.


5 – Further reading

At www.metoffice.gov.uk you’ll access a leaflet published by the British equivalent of Meteo France, where you can find, in English, everything you need to know about the weather.



Practice 03/08/2017



1 – wordgame

Start with this word game to warm up your brain and switch it into English mode.


2 – vocabulary

It will be followed by a review of aircraft-related vocabulary as well as its pronunciation.


What are these?


3 – listening comprehension

Next  train your ear with this listening comprehension exercise:


4 – grammar

Then, keep up the good work with some easy grammar.


5 – reading comprehension

Last, but not least, this reading comprehension exercise, in the form of an article from The Connexion, will take you to Roissy and Orly.

Read the article here: border delays at Paris airport 

and answer these few questions:

  • How long can passengers have to wait at border checkpoints?
  • What has exacerbated the problem?
  • According to the head of the border police, what is just not possible?