Category Archives: How Stuff Works

Aircraft Pressurization Beginner’s Guide

splashHow and why are airplanes pressurized?

It’s easy to take flying for granted. We hop onboard a comfy airliner and fly high in the stratosphere without giving breathing a second thought. The aircraft’s pressurization system makes it possible. Here’s how the magic works…

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How Your Broken Plane Can Fly Safely: Part 1

Peggy Webber Screaming

Relax. Everything will be JUST fine.

As you relax sipping ginger-ale on your next flight, here’s something to ponder: The airplane you are riding in might have stuff broken. It might even have parts missing! Starting to lose that warm and fuzzy feeling? Don’t worry, we fly with stuff broken or missing all the time.

Join me at NYC Aviation to find out how we can fly with stuff broken while keeping you perfectly safe!


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If you’ve read Part 1, don’t lose sleep waiting for Part 2! Find out right now what airline pilots do when stuff breaks while in flight. How Your Broken Plane Can Still Fly Safely: Part 2

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How Your Broken Plane Can Fly Safely: Part 2

Bandaid on front panel

Sometimes stuff breaks in flight.

In Part 1 (featured at, I talked about what happens when stuff on an airliner breaks while we sit at the gate. What do airline pilots do when there is a mechanical malfunction while airborne? Airliners are really complex machines. Just like in your car, sometimes stuff stops working the way it should. Read on to see what we do and how redundant systems keep you safe even when stuff stops working in flight.

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Aviation’s Crazy, Mixed Up Units of Measure

Thinking MetricOne of the challenges of international flying is handling different units of measure in different countries. In aviation, the battle between imperial and metric units continues. Feet, meters, statute miles, nautical miles, inches of mercury, millibars, hectopascal, knots, meters/second – it can get a little confusing! Read on and I’ll scramble your brain with international aviation units!
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Hydraulics: Big Power In A Small Package!


757 nose gear actuator

Airliners have a lot of moving parts. The control surfaces, brakes, landing gear and many other components need a lot of power to move them. A very simple device is used to do much of the heavy lifting: the hydraulic cylinder (or actuator). It’s a lot of power in a small package…

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Come Along As We Cross the Pacific!

Join me on the flight deck as we fly across the Pacific! Head over to and I’ll show you how we prepare for an oceanic flight and what we do during the 8+ hour journey. Today, we are flying 80,000 pounds of cargo and packages from Anchorage, Alaska to Incheon/Seoul, South Korea. Along the way, we’ll fly over Japan then get a very close peek at the North Korean border!

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Simulators – Ultimate Video Games!

Baltic Aviation B737 Simulator

Thales Simulation B-737 Simulator

At the heart of every airline training program is an amazing, multi-million dollar machine. A “Level D” aircraft simulator is the closest you can get to flying without leaving the ground. Costing close to $20 million USD, many aviation fans would love a chance to ride in a simulator. Airline pilots, however, might prefer a root canal over their annual visit to “The Box.” Find out just how cool these machines are…

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