The following Glossary is centric to Flight Simulation Training Devices (FSTDs) and although many terms and abbreviations have similar, or the same meaning in other parts of the aviation industry, the following is specific to FSTDs.  The list has been created from many sources plus the valued input of the colleagues of Training Technology International (Canada) Ltd.  Every effort has been made to make sure it is accurate, but as with all documents of this type it is quite possible that errors exist.  If you find one of those, or have a suggestion for improvement, please contact us here…


Above Ground Level

AGL means height measurement referenced to the ground (m or ft)

Acceleration due to gravity

Acceleration due to gravity (m or ft/s/s). 1g = 9.81 m/s/s or 32.2 ft/s/s

Acceptable change

‘Acceptable change’ means a change to configuration, software etc., which qualifies as a potential candidate for alternative approach to validation.

Acceptable means of compliance

AMC means a procedure, process or standard acceptable to the NAA evaluating a FSTD

Advisory Circular

Advisory circular (AC) refers to a type of publication issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to provide guidance for compliance with airworthiness regulations, pilot certification, operational standards, training standards, and any other rules within the 14 CFR

Advisory Circular Joint

Advisory Circular Joint – An advisory circular used by the JAA as a joint body

Aeroplane / Airplane

A powered flying vehicle with fixed wings and a weight greater than that of the air it displaces; an aeroplane or airplane.

Aileron (Angle)

The angle of an aileron with reference to its rigged position.

Air Data Computer

An air data computer (ADC) is an essential avionics component found in modern aircraft. This computer, rather than individual instruments, can determine the calibrated airspeed, Mach number, altitude, and altitude trend data from an aircraft’s pitot-static system.


A generic term for powered flying vehicle with fixed or rotary wings and a weight greater than that of the air it displaces. Also see airplane, aeroplane, rotary wing & helicopter.

Aircraft performance data

‘Aircraft performance data’ are performance data published by the aircraft manufacturer in documents such as the aircraft flight manual (AFM), operations manual, performance engineering manual, or equivalent.

Aircraft/Airplane Flight Manual. 

An Aircraft Flight Manual is a manual, associated with the Certificate of Airworthiness, containing limitations within which the aircraft is to be considered airworthy, and instructions and information necessary to the flight crew members for the safe operation of the aircraft.

Aircrew Program Designee. 

An Aircrew Program Designee ( APD ) or a Designated Flight Engineer Examiner ( DFEE ) is designated to conduct certification within a specifically-approved Aircrew Designated Examiner ( ADE ) program. An ADE program is associated with an operator which conducts its own program of airman qualification.


‘Airspeed’ means calibrated airspeed unless otherwise specified (knots).

All engines operating

Self explanatory


‘Altitude’ means pressure altitude (m or ft) unless specified otherwise. Where identified it can mean height above ground.

Angle of attack (degrees)

The angle between the airplane longitudinal axis and the relative wind vector projected onto the airplane plane of symmetry. AOA is sometimes presented in FSTD data as the wing angle of attack rather than the fuselage or body angle of attack.

Angle of the AOA Vane

The angle of the AOA Vane (L, R)

Approved Training Organisation

An Approved Training Organisation (ATO) is an organisation staffed, equipped and operated in a suitable environment offering approved flying training, and/or synthetic flight instruction and/or theoretical knowledge instruction for specific flight training programmes (aeroplane or helicopter).