A pilot reveals the meaning of 11 secret flight code words

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For most of us, flying is still a fundamentally mysterious matter.

To shed some light on the world of commercial aviation all of its own, spoke to Patrick Smith, a writer and pilot.

Smith, who wrote the book “Cockpit Confidential”, also created a kind of online dictionary, with widely misunderstood airline jargon. The collection can be found on the Ask the Pilot website.

According to Smith, some of the terms are highly technological, others are quite humorous, and some are even a little absurd.

Here is a selection of the terms.

Editor’s note: The on-board staff communicate across airlines in English, which is why we have left the generic terms in the original language.

A pilot reveals the meaning of 11 code words that passengers do not understand

This article was published by in May 2019. It has now been reviewed and updated.


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