Aeronautical Terms beginning with F

False horizon

Inaccurate visual information for aligning the aircraft, caused by various natural and geometric formations that disorient the pilot from the actual horizon.

Federal airways

Class E airspace areas that extend upward from 1,200 feet to, but not including, 18,000 feet MSL, unless otherwise specified.

Feeder facilities

Used by ATC to direct aircraft to intervening fixes between the en route structure and the initial approach fix.

Final approach

Part of an instrument approach procedure in which alignment and descent for landing are accomplished.

Final approach fix (FAF)

The fix from which the IFR final approach to an airport is executed, and which identifies the beginning of the final approach segment. An FAF is designated on government charts by a Maltese cross symbol for nonprecision approaches, and a lightning bolt symbol for precision approaches.


Staring at a single instrument, thereby interrupting the cross-check process.

Flight configurations

Adjusting the aircraft control surfaces (including flaps and landing gear) in a manner that will achieve a specified attitude.

Flight director indicator (FDI)

One of the major components of a flight director system, it provides steering commands that the pilot (or the autopilot, if coupled) follows.

Flight level (FL)

A measure of altitude (in hundreds of feet) used by aircraft flying above 18,000 feet with the altimeter set at 29.92" Hg.

Flight management system (FMS)

Provides pilot and crew with highly accurate and automatic long-range navigation capability, blending available inputs from long- and short- range sensors.

Flight path

The line, course, or track along which an aircraft is flying or is intended to be flown.

Flight patterns

Basic maneuvers, flown by reference to the instruments rather than outside visual cues, for the purpose of practicing basic attitude flying. The patterns simulate maneuvers encountered on instrument flights such as holding patterns, procedure turns, and approaches.

Flight strips

Paper strips containing instrument flight information, used by ATC when processing flight plans.

Form drag

The drag created because of the shape of a component or the aircraft.

Fundamental skills

Pilot skills of instrument cross-check, instrument interpretation, and aircraft control.

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