Test Pilot

August 1, 1999


  1. What is the difference between an outside loop and an inverted outside loop?
  2. A pilot makes a forced landing in the boondocks and the aircraft is destroyed. He knows that parts of the wreckage can be used to enhance his likelihood of survival until a rescue team arrives. How can he best make use of the tires?
  3. Why can overpriming an engine cause a loss of compression?
  4. A person can take dance instruction, martial arts instruction, or various other types of personalized instruction. When, then, is it said that a student pilot takes dual instruction?
  5. What is the relationship between dihedral, anhedral, and cathedral?
  6. Cabin heat in most single-engine airplanes is obtained by using hot exhaust gasses to heat ambient air flowing through a muff. Considering that many twins have cabins that are no more voluminous than many of these singles, why are they equipped with expensive, gasoline-fired heaters to achieve the same result?


  1. Which of the following does not belong?
    1. decalage
    2. open cockpit
    3. sesquiplane
    4. stagger
  2. From reader Hal Fishman: What was the name of the group of daring and flamboyant American pilots that was organized by Claire Chennault and operated in China between 1937 and 1941?
    1. Confederate Air Brigade
    2. Flying Tigers
    3. Lincoln Brigade
    4. 14th VBS
  3. The greatest wind speed ever measured near the surface of the Earth is
    1. 268 mph (233 knots).
    2. 318 mph (277 knots).
    3. 368 mph (320 knots).
    4. 418 mph (363 knots).


  1. Other than during an emergency, a private pilot not current at night is legally qualified to land a passenger-carrying airplane at 1920 (local time) on a day when sunset occurs at 1830 and the end of civil twilight occurs at 1900.
  2. An airplane in a constant-rate, coordinated turn while maintaining a constant altitude at a fixed airspeed is not accelerating.
  3. A pilot can experience blackout when exposed to sufficient positive Gs. The opposite of a blackout occurs when exposed to sufficient negative Gs and is called a red-out.
  4. Afterburners produce a burst of additional jet thrust on some aircraft. This is accomplished by igniting unused fuel and oxygen that escape from the combustion chamber(s) and flow through the turbine(s) and into the tailpipe of such an engine.


  1. Not much. The outside loop is begun by pushing the stick forward at the top of the loop and while right side up; the aircraft becomes inverted at the bottom of the loop. The inverted outside loop is begun by pushing the stick forward at the bottom of the loop while inverted; the aircraft becomes right side up at the top of the loop.
  2. Burning tires generate a substantial amount of black smoke, which increases the likelihood of being located by search-and-rescue personnel.
  3. The excess raw fuel washes oil from the cylinder walls and dissolves the oil seal normally formed between the piston rings and the walls.
  4. Early pilots were given instruction in airplanes with a single set of controls. When airplanes became available with dual controls, instruction in such airplanes became referred to as dual instruction.
  5. Dihedral can be either positive or negative. Positive dihedral is called anhedral, and negative dihedral is called cathedral.
  6. Ducting heated air for such a lengthy distance (from the nacelle of a wing-mounted engine to the cabin) usually results in excessive and unacceptable heat loss.
  7. (b) The other three items relate exclusively to biplanes. Decalage is the difference in the angles of incidence between the two wings. A sesquiplane is a biplane on which one wing has less than half the area of the other (such as the Nieuport 27 of World War I).
  8. (d) The 14th Voluntary Bombardment Squadron was the forerunner of the Flying Tigers, which became so named by the Chinese in December 1941 following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
  9. (b) Using a truck-mounted Doppler radar system, scientists measured the rotational wind speed of a tornado that struck Oklahoma City in May 1999. This is 1 mph less than that required for a tornado to be classified with a Fujita rating of F-6 (maximum severity).
  10. True. Although it might not be safe for a pilot not current at night to land without the aid of twilight, Part 61.57(b) allows him to do so while carrying passengers as long as he lands within an hour after sunset (irrespective of how dark the sky might be).
  11. False. A turning airplane is in a state of acceleration caused by the horizontal com-ponent of wing lift (the turning force). Otherwise, it would continue in a straight line. It can be said that an airplane is in accelerated flight whenever its load factor is other than plus 1 G.
  12. True. A blackout is caused by blood draining from the brain. The opposite occurs during negative Gs and is called red-out because excessive blood is forced to the brain; the pilot really does see red.
  13. False. Fuel is injected into the tailpipe and burns because of unused oxygen in the exhaust. (Less than half of the available oxygen is consumed during normal combustion.) Afterburners are called reheaters in Great Britain.