Index of Popular “Ask The Pilot” Topics [Updated 2021]

Pilots in aircraft cockpit

“Ask The Pilot” is one of the most popular threads on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum. In fact, since it was started in 2011, there have been well over 15,000 posts!

The Ask The Pilot thread is a place where AFF members can ask questions to real-life pilots. We have several regular pilot contributors including jb747 and AviatorInsight who tirelessly answer questions relating to how aircraft work and the life of a pilot. Our pilot contributors have been very generous with their time and knowledge, and we’re very grateful for that!

AviatorInsight is a current Virgin Australia Boeing 737 pilot and jb747 retired in 2019 after a distinguished career with Qantas, where he was an Airbus A380 captain. He was also the captain of QF30, a Boeing 747-400 flight that made a successful emergency landing in Manila in 2008 after an oxygen tank exploded in the cargo hold causing significant structural damage to the plane. You can read more about his career here: jb747 Reflects on a Stellar Career with Qantas

If there is a question you’ve always wanted to ask a pilot, this is your chance! You can ask your question and check out the previous discussion here: Ask The Pilot | Australian Frequent Flyer

There’s also a new AFF thread started by jb747 called “Tales from the Air”, where you can read lots of aviation stories from him and other pilots: Tales from the Air | Australian Frequent Flyer

As a quick reminder, we ask non-pilot members to refrain from answering any questions on the “Ask the Pilot” thread. The special rules of this thread are outlined in Post #1.


Index of common topics

With 15,000+ posts in the “Ask The Pilot” thread, there’s a good chance that a topic you’ve been wondering about has already been asked! To help you navigate this thread and point you towards some of the previous discussions on a range of topics, we’ve created an index of popular Ask The Pilot topics.

Some of the links are directly to posts that answer a question on that topic, while other links will take you to the first in a series of posts discussing that topic. Note that some discussions continue over several pages.

Simply click on any of the links below to go directly to the discussion relating to that topic on the “Ask The Pilot” thread!


Air Traffic Control (ATC) & navigation

Emergencies & irregular operations


Flight controls & aircraft systems

Flying the plane


Life of a pilot



Pilot roles

Pilot training

Flight simulator sessions
Air Force/military training




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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]


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Now you’ve done it. Giving me all those links has just torn up hours of productive work time for me. I’m sure I’ll be better armed at dinner parties though.