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Alert area

An area in which there is a high volume of pilot training or an unusual type of aeronautical activity.

Almanac data

Information the global positioning system (GPS) receiver can obtain from one satellite which describes the approximate orbital positioning of all satellites in the constellation. This information is necessary for the GPS receiver to know what satellites to look for in the sky at a given time.


See approach lighting system.

Alternate airport

An airport designated in an IFR flight plan, providing a suitable destination if a landing at the intended airport becomes inadvisable.

Alternate static source valve

A valve in the instrument static air system that supplies reference air pressure to the altimeter, airspeed indicator, and vertical speed indicator if the normal static pickup should become clogged or iced over.


A flight instrument that indicates altitude by sensing pressure changes.

Altimeter setting

Station pressure (the barometric pressure at the location the reading is taken) which has been corrected for the height of the station above sea level.

Altitude engine

A reciprocating aircraft engine having a rated takeoff power that is producible from sea level to an established higher altitude.

Ambient pressure

The pressure in the area immediately surrounding the aircraft.

Ambient temperature

The temperature in the area immediately surrounding the aircraft.

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