Dictionnaire & vocabulaire aéronautique

2018 – PP #9 to #20

Practice 14/12/2018

1 – vocabulary

Brush up your vocabulary on navigation with this extract  from L’Anglais pour voler.


2 – crossword

Then review some of the words with this crossword  published in the Info-pilote’s March 2012 issue.


3 – reading comprehension

The UK Civil Aviation Authority publishes a series of safety leaflets aimed at general aviation pilots. These leaflets help pilots improve their airmanship and they provide good reading for anyone who wants to improve his/her aeronautical English.


First, on www.caa.co.uk, go to the General Aviation page, and more specifically to the Safety Guidance and Resources chapter. Then, towards the end of the page, click on the link leading to the safety leaflets summary and select the leaflet on VFR navigation (SafetySense Leaflet 05, published in December 2008).


Read the leaflet and answer these questions:

a – What do some pilots think VMC stands for? (caution, British humour!) p.1

b – Give two reasons why it is not advisable to fly below 1500 ft AGL. p. 3

c – What is a FREDA check? p. 5


4 – listening comprehension

For the listening comprehension exercise, we will borrow a tip from  PilotWorkshops, entitled « Direct-to or not« ?


Listen to the audio:



Then answer these questions:

a – What is always good?

b – Name 2 of the 4 situations mentioned by Bob Martens.

c – During his fatal flight to Martha’s Vineyard on July 1999, JFK Jr. flew mainly over water. In which way did it create a situational awareness issue?


Read the full transcript here.


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


5 – general English corner

Confused about lay and lie? Well, you are not the only one! These 3 verbs – yes, 3 – are treacherous!

To lay means to place something down in a resting position, to set down. It is a regular verb, but the spelling of the past tense and of the past participle is laid (not layed). It requires a direct object: you lay something down.

To lie is to be in a flat or horizontal position, to recline. It is an irregular verb and its past tense his lay, which is part of the problem. It doesn’t take an object: you lie down.

To complicate things, to lie also means to not tell the truth. In this case, it is a regular verb, its past tense is lied.

Here is a recap:

verb to lay (to set down) to lie (to recline) To lie (to not tell the truth)
past simple laid lay lied
past participle laid lain lied


In this exercise, find which verb is used.




Practice 16/11/2018

1 – vocabulary

Review the vocabulary on medical emergencies with this extract  from L’Anglais pour voler.


2 – crossword

For a little more fun, find the typo in one of the clues!


3 – listening comprehension

First listen to two recordings from www.liveatc.net:


Then find the missing words in the transcript.


4 – reading comprehension

Read this « In English, please » article published in the October 2010 issue of Info-pilote, entitled « In-flight medical emergencies », then answer these questions:

– What is a rpk?

– Why is there a 24-hour waiting period between scuba diving and flying?

– How can you reduce the risk of blood clot occurence?


5 – general English corner

Get ready for the Holiday season, and prepare for an all aviation-themed party with « Ho, Ho, Ho! « , an article published in Info-pilote some years ago. Apart from the site offering personalized caricature drawings, it has not aged a bit. You might just add « drones » to the list of possible gifts!

No questions here, just try to memorize the vocabulary.




Practice 19/10/2018

1 – vocabulary

Review the vocabulary on maintenance with this extract  from the « aircraft » chapter of L’Anglais pour voler.


2 – vocabulary review crossword

aircraft maintenance


3 – reading comprehension

Read this January 2017 « In English, please » article on aircraft maintenance  and answer these questions:

1 – how long does it take on average to complete the 50-hour check?

2 – what can increase the delay in completing the maintenance tasks?

3 – why are the majority of aircraft owners happy not to assist during the scheduled maintenance?

4 – what can temporarily suspend work on an aircraft undergoing an Annual?


4 – listening comprehension

Listen to this former Tip of the Week  from the Pilot Workshop



then answer these questions:

1 – when inspecting a propeller, which nicks and dents are okay, and which are not?

2 – why?

3 – What can a growing crack result in?


Read the full transcript here


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


5 – general English corner

Go to this Connexion article  and answer these questions:

1 – what is fly tipping?

2 – what new tools are being used to catch offenders?


Again, sign up for their newsletter www.connexionfrance.com


Practice 14/09/2018

1 – vocabulary

With the help of a 2008 « In English, please » article, review the control and instrument panel vocabulary, along with its pronunciation.


2 – listening comprehension

Make a full transcript of this Hong Kong airport’s ATIS recorded  last year during the typhoon season.


3 – reading comprehension

Take this quiz on airport markings from www.boldmethod.com .

Will you ace it?


4 – general English corner

Play a slideshow at  www.dictionary.com to learn a few facts about texting acronyms. Then answer these questions:

– Which one is in French?

– What answer might you get if you become verbose?

– What does this one mean?


 5 – wordsearch

we’ll end this session with a wordsearch  yielding an inspiring hidden message.



Practice 03/08/2018

Eliot is on vacation!



Sign up for his newsletter at


to be the first to know when he is back.


Enjoy your summer and see you soon.

Practice 06/07/2018

1 – reading comprehension

Go to www.boldmethod.com to get 8 tips for circumnavigating thunderstorms. Then answer these questions:

– What can you expect to find below a thunderstorm?

– How far away from a thunderstorm is it recommended to stay?

– How do you fly around a thunderstorm ahead of you?


2 – listening comprehension

Watch this fun Top Gear BBC video on what happens when a car is struck by lightning, then answer these questions:

– Where is the Siemens High Voltage Lab located?

– How much voltage can the tranformers generate?

– How many volts will hit the car?

– What is a Faraday cage?


BTW, read myth #5 on this interesting post . Would you be safe in your car or would you be fried to a crisp?


3 – vocabulary review wordsearch



4 – further reading

For further reading go to  www.metoffice.gov.uk , the UK equivalent of Meteo France, to learn more about thunderstorms, thunder and lightning.


5 – grammar

Let’s finish this session with a short exercise on prepositions here.



Practice 01/06/2018

1 – listening comprehension

Brush up your knowledge on turbulence and work on your listening comprehension skills with this previous « In English, please » article:   Riding the tiger



2 – reading comprehension 

Go to www.skybrary.aero

In the category « wake vortex turbulence », find – and read – the article on … wake vortex turbulence.

a – when does an aircraft generate wake turbulence?

b – how long do wake vortices persist?


Scroll down the page to the UK CAA Safety Sense Leaflet 15c:

c – when is the vortex strongest?

d – what is the diameter of a B747’s wingtip vortex?


3 – vocabulary

If you have read the « In English, please » article in Infopilote’s June 2018 issue – entitled « Words are the basic building blocks of language » – then you are now convinced of the importance of learning new vocabulary.

Nothing forbids a bit of fun while doing it, and here is a way:  create your own high-frequency vocabulary lists.

Go to www.tocloud.com. Paste a URL in the field « Page », or a text in the field « Text ». In the « Display » menu, select « By Frequency » and tick the « Display Frequencies » box. Finally, click on « Create tag cloud ». The result is a list of the words that appear in the text, ranked in order of frequency.

Let’s try it! Go back to www.skybrary.aero . In the category « weather », open the article on « turbulence » (https://www.skybrary.aero/index.php/Turbulence) . Copy the article URL address, and follow the instructions described in the previous paragraph.

Cool, isn’it?

You can also add a second page to the search. Keep the same URL in the first « Page » field, then add the URL of the « Clear Air Turbulence » article (https://www.skybrary.aero/index.php/Clear_Air_Turbulence) in the « Page 2 » field. Below are the 19 more relevant words extracted from the first 8 lines of the word cloud:


turbulence, severe, occur, light, extreme, moderate, altitude, structural damage, attitude, injured, terrain, wind shear, vicinity, category, mountain waves, accidents, vortex, clear air turbulence, strong.


 4 – wordsearch

Find these 19 words  in the grid here.


5 – general English corner

Emojis are the little smileys that originated in Japan around 2000 and have conquered our smartphones since. In their ever-shifting world, some of them see their meaning change quickly. Check the latest evolution at www.dictionary.com and look for the goat emoji. What does it stand for?


Practice 06/04/2018

1 – vocabulary

Go back to Practice Paper #5 to review some vocabulary on piston engines and watch the funny video explaining how they work.

Learn more vocabulary on the subject with this extract  from L’Anglais pour voler.


2 – quiz

Then practice at www.boldmethod.com with this « do you know these 6 aircraft engines parts »  quiz.


3 – listening comprehension

Listen to the audio from www.pilotworkshop.com on what to do in case of an alternator failure at night: continue to your home Airport if it’s not too far away or  land at a closer Airport?

Then answer these questions:

– What is the consequence, at night,  of turning off non-essential electrical loads?

–  What is  a « stealth arrival »?

–  What is Wally Moran’s final advice?


The transcript is available  here .


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


4 – reading comprehension

In the audio above, Wally Moran says: « proceeding to our destination is a strong pull since we pilots always like to complete the mission ». This state of mind has a name: get-there-itis. Read this December 2012 « In English, please » article  to learn more about it, then answer a few questions.

–  What is the technical term for get-there-itis?

–  What are the three cases analysed in the article?

–  What is the ultimate barrier?


5 – general English corner

So, here we are, back to the old days in junior school, ready for a phonetics lesson. But don’t fret, it has been upgraded for the 21st century.

First go to  www.onestopenglish.com   to work on an interactive phonetic chart.

The phonetics addict could even download Adrian Hunderhill’s Sounds: The Pronunciation App   to be able to practice from anywhere, anytime.


Then practice with these exercises:

– 1 – listen and circle the word you hear in each sentence.


1.I can’t fill/feel that.

2.Where are the bins/beans?

3.Can you hit/heat this for me?

4.She always seems to be slipping/sleeping.

5.You can pick/peek now.

6.Where do you want me to sit/seat?

7.I’m not sure if I could live/leave here.

8.Is the pitch/peach ok?


– 2 – listen to the recording below, as many times as necessary, until you hear the difference between cheeky/chick, green/grin, feet/fit


Jilly’s a cheeky chick,

I love her green eyes and her grin.

Jim’s feet still fit his shoes.





Practice 23/03/2018

1 – vocabulary

Review the vocabulary that can be found in weather-related messages with this extract  from L’Anglais pour voler « phraseology » chapter.


2 – reading comprehension

Go to the Wikipedia article on ATIS, then answer these questions:

– What does ATIS stand for?

– What is the main benefit of the ATIS system?

– What is a D-ATIS


3 – listening comprehension

Learn more about VOLMETs  and train your ear with this July 2016 Info-pilote « In English, please » article.


Listen to the audio below and find the missing words.


4 – quiz

Let’s finish on a lighter note with 16 multiple-choice questions  on the vast subject of meterology


5 – general English corner

Easter is looming large on the horizon and is one of the most important Christian holy days. But do you know:

– How is the date of Easter chosen every year?

– What is Lent?

– What is Shrove Tuesday?

– How long does the whole Easter festival last?

Check your answers in the « answers » section below or at www.whyeaster.com , where you can also learn (a lot) more about it.



Practice 08/03/2018

1 – vocabulary

The « Incidents » chapter in L’Anglais pour voler has 13 sections. Review the vocabulary on engine and systems emergencies with this extract  from the book.


2 – crossword

Thirty words that spell trouble


3 – reading comprehension

Read this « In English, please » article- published in Info-pilote in October 2010 – on in-flight medical emergencies, then answer the questions below:

1 – How many in-flight medical emergencies are likely to happen?

2 – What is an rpk?

3 – What are the contributing factors to the occurrence of unexpected medical problems?

4 – What problems can arise because of low pressure in the cabin?

5 – What is a pinch hitter course?


4 – listening comprehension

We worked on the first half of the video in the PP #5. Let’s tackle the second half now.

Go back to this AOPA’s Air Safety Institute video: Engine Out! From Trouble to Touchdown. Listen to the second half, starting 5 mn and  20s into the video, and find the missing words in the transcript  here

As a bonus, there are also a few questions to answer at the end of the article to check your reading comprehension.


5 – grammar

Go to www.dictionary.com to check the difference between whose and who’s. Watch the short video, then make sure you read the attached text to the end to also learn about its and it’s.

Practice here.



Practice 16/02/2018

1 – vocabulary

Review the vocabulary on flight information  with this extract from L’Anglais pour voler « Phraseology » chapter.


2 – reading comprehension

Listen to this audio from www.pilotworkshop.com offering tips on how to  find traffic:



Then answer these questions:

– at 1000 feet, how many degrees below level is the horizon?

– how many degrees is a finger width?

– where do you look to spot approaching traffic that matters for your flight?


For practice, you can also try to note down as many numbers as you can.

The full transcript is available 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.



3 – listening comprehension

Read this former « In English, please » article: Traffic information – to help you see and avoid

Then listen to the recording below and find the missing words.



4 – general English corner

 As everybody knows, homophones, are words that sound the same but have different meanings. This exercise  will help you review vocabulary and pronunciation at the same time.


5 – riddle

Some words can be read forward and backwards. They are palindromes if it’s the exact same word both ways (noon, civic, racecar …), and semi-palindromes or semordnilap (“palindromes” spelled backwards) if the two words are different. Find a semi-palindrome that can fit the following definition:

If you are the first, enjoy the second, it might help if you have a sweet tooth!



Practice 02/02/2018

1 – vocabulary

Review the vocabulary on radio operations with this section from L’Anglais pour volerRadio – ATS .


2 – crossword

Radio operations


3 – reading comprehension

Read this February 2013 Info-pilote article: icing, a winter delicacy , and answer the following questions:

– What are the two types of structural icing?

– What does rime ice look like?

– What is the other name for clear ice?

– What are the four categories of icing intensity?

– What does FIKI means?


4 – listening comprehension

Using the second part of the same article as support, listen to the recording below and find the missing words.


5 – The General English corner

Check what a contranym is here.

Now, let’s transform the General English corner into a French corner. Do you know the French translation for contranym? Try to find some examples.


Practice 19/01/2018


Let’s start with a riddle, to get back in the game after this rather long interruption:

you grow them when you learn to fly,

then spread them further and further with time.

What are they?

Wings, of course.


And wings are what this practice paper will be all about.




1 – vocabulary

Review the vocabulary on the subject with this  section from L’Anglais pour voler: wings and tail unit .


2 – Then test your knowledge with this crossword .


3 – reading comprehension

Read the article « This is how winglets work » on www.boldmethod.com, then answer these questions:

– what do winglets do?

– how do they do it?

– when are wingtip vortices the strongest?

– why are the winglets even more efficient now?


4 – listening comprehension


Sorry, this link was broken.

We are working on a replacement


5 – grammar

« Then » or « than »? That is the question.

Learn more about it and practice here.