Trivia Testers : Your Name Up In Lights

Where might one find one’s name on an aeronautical chart?

  1. The FAA is running out of identifiers, and there are a number of additional reporting points listed in the National Flight Data Center which have some fairly common names, such as ROBERTS or JOHNSON.
  2. at an airport: Many airports have common names, and the odds are actually fairly good that if you have a common name, there is already a public or private airport using it.
  3. By looking in FAA publication 7350.7G, LOCATION IDENTIFIERS.
  4. For a $36 fee, the the ATA-100 group of the FAA at 800 Independence Avenue in Washington will send you a CD with every navigational fix, airport identifier, navaid, reporting point, and route, and you can find out.

Answer: C. It’s available free, online, and it will even tell you the latitude and longitude for ‘your’ intersection. If your first, middle, or last name has five letters, —which isn’t at all uncommon—chances are good that you already ‘have’ an intersection. That $36 in choice D gets you a listing of preferred IFR routes (though it is formatted differently than what you see in the A/FD).

Question: Those ethereal rays of light that shine through gaps or breaks in clouds are called

  1. sunbeams
  2. crepuscular rays
  3. diffraction scatter
  4. there actually is no term

Answer: B. And they’re visible because the sunlight scatters around dust and other particles suspended in the atmosphere.

Under what circumstances could a glider actually glide to the visual horizon, without the benefit of a tailwind?

  1. Never. Even a glider with carbon fiber wings and an aspect ratio of extraterrestrial proportions could not approach the necessary glide ratio of 100-to-1 in earth’s atmosphere.
  2. Using ridge lift, some sailplane pilots have soared well beyond several horizons.
  3. It might, using magnetohydrodynamics, similar to certain experimental submarines.
  4. As one ascends, the ratio of horizon distance to absolute altitude actually decreases, and well under 20,000 feet, this value actually approaches the glide ratio of some sailplanes.

Answer: D. From a yes/no standpoint, choice (A) is incorrect (though the statement about L/D not coming near 100 is true). Choice(B) is also quite correct, but not as mathematically elegant, and (C) is nonsense. At about 17,000 feet, the horizon-to-absolute altitude ratio is about 50, and at 25,000 feet, the horizon/height ratio is about 40! (Thinner air actually does nothing to a sailplane’s L/D, and some gliders have gotten quite high. The absolute altitude record for sailplanes is currently about 49,000 feet.)