aviation glossary


P1 - Pilot in command.

P2 - Co-pilot; only valid in logbooks if the aircraft requires a co-pilot to operate legally (so not appropriate for PPLs 'sharing' flights in single-engine aircraft).

Pan - international radio call signalling urgency.

PAPI - precision approach path indicator, a system of coloured lights installed at the approach end of a runway which provides visual guidance to the correct glidepath. A successor to VASI, below.

PAR - precision approach radar. Primary radar equipment showing an air traffic controller the height, track and range of an aircraft on final approach, enabling him to guide it to a landing.

pax - passengers.

PED - portable electronic devices.

PFA - Popular Flying Association, the UK homebuilt and antique aircraft organisation.

PFD - primary flight display

Phonetic Alphabet - A - Alpha (Al fah); B - Bravo (Brah voh)
C - Charlie (Char lee); D - Delta (Dell tah)
E - Echo (Eck oh); F - Foxtrot (Foks trot)
G - Golf (Golf); H - Hotel (Hoh tell)
I - India (In dee ah); Juliett (Jew lee ett)
K - Kilo (Kee loh); L - Lima (Lee mah)
M - Mike (Mike); N - November (No vem ber)
O - Oscar (Oss cah); P - Papa (Pah pah)
Q - Quebec (Keh beck); R - Romeo (Roh me oh)
S - Sierra (See air rah); T - Tango (Tang goh)
U - Uniform (You nee form); V - Victor (Vik tah)
W - Whiskey (Wiss key); X - X-ray (Ecks ray)
Y - Yankee (Yang kee); Z - Zulu (Zoo loo)

PIC - pilot-in-command (also styled P1).

PINS - Pipeline Inspection Notification System.

PIO - pilot-induced oscillation. An undulating flight path brought about by over-controlling.

PLN - flight-plan

PMS - performance management system.

PNR - point of no return.

POB - (number of) persons on board. Also SOB, souls on board.

POC - proof-of-concept

POH - pilot's operating handbook, an aircraft's 'owner's manual'.

Pooley's - annually-published flight guide to United Kingdom and Ireland, named after its creator and publisher Bob Pooley.

PPG - powered paraglider.

PPL - Private Pilot's Licence. Also PPL(H) for helicopters, PPL(SLMG) for self-launched motor gliders.

PPO - prior permission only. Certain airfields or events require advance notification (by telephone, for example) of your intended arrival. Also PNR, prior notice required, and PPR, prior permission required.

PROB - probability percentage, term used in Met reports.

procedure turn - manoeuvre which reverses the direction of an aircraft's flight during an instrument approach procedure to enable it to intercept the final approach course.

psi - pounds per square inch, a measurement of pressure.

PTT - press-to-transmit (switch) on an aircraft's control wheel or stick enabling the pilot to make RT transmission 'hands on' via a headset microphone.

Purple Airspace - special temporary airways created for flights by certain members of the royal family, notified by NOTAM.