I love aviation, but there are several terms or phrases that drive me nuts. Many of these phrases are used regularly by pilots and even some have official FAA definitions. I will rant about several of these during this BLOG Post.
My favorite term is "Near Miss". This phrase is used by pilots when 2 airplanes nearly have a midair collision. It might be uttered in this context. "I was flying along when all of a sudden another airplane flew right in front of me. It was a 'near miss'." Well that is not a near miss. A midair collision is a "near miss". In other words, you nearly missed, but did not, and are about to make an unscheduled end to your flight. Anyway, when 2 airplanes collide, it is a "near miss". Better luck next time.
Another great phrase is "Uncontrolled Airport". I can think of nothing worse to say to a non-pilot than, "We are about to land at an uncontrolled airport for lunch". It sounds like anarchy in the air. Maybe they let the local state hospital folks roam around the airport for the day, or Stephen King beings are wandering the runway. No matter how you cut it, uttering those words to non-aviation folks may strike significant fear. Maybe Pilot-Controlled is better and possibly more accurate.
Here's another term that is not accurate of the situation and also would cause concern to non-aviation folks, "Dead Stick Landing". For starters, the stick was never alive, so calling it dead is at most, disingenuous. We, pilots, use this phrase when an engine quits and we must glide to land. Here's my point, and rave. The stick was never alive, and now it is not dead. In fact, the stick continues to work just as well as it did before the engine quit. The main difference is that when you pull back on the stick, the plane does not climb (without the engine). But it is still performing all of its functions flawlessly. Now if you continue to pull back on a stick in this situation, then you might stall, spin, and die. At any rate, the stick is not dead.
Here's another term that must have been invented by a bunch of FAA guys on their ninth beer, a "Complex Airplane". To be fair, the only thing complex in my life are relationships. But airplanes don't even come close. Airplanes are predictable and do mostly the same thing in the same situations. Exceed critical AOA, and you will stall. Cross control and exceed AOA and you will spin. Do this at low altitude and you will die. Airplanes are even cool under pressure. In most pilot-induced situations, if the pilot takes his/her hands and feet off the controls, the plane will fix itself. Try doing that in a relationship. Anyway, I ramble on. The FAA defines a complex airplane as an airplane with a constant speed propeller and retractable gear. What's complex about that. The prop spins at the same RPM against different throttle positions. And your gear retracts and un-retracts. Sounds pretty simple. Complex would be that the prop changes its RPM for no reason, and/or the gear retracts/extends based on phases of the moon and atmospheric pressure. Nothing complex about it, except how the FAA came to that conclusion. They should have called it "Faster Airplanes".
Lastly, for now, my last term is "Mooney". After all, most people think of a "cult" when they think of Mooneys. Well, I guess they are right about this one. Cancel my rant on this term. We are a cult. We love airplanes and constantly feel the need for speed. We even lie about how fast our Mooneys fly and on how little fuel we consume. We do love our Mooneys too much, by half.