Finding The Best Aviation Dictionary

An aviation dictionary is an indispensable tool for students but also for pilots, instructors, accomplished mechanics and other maintenance personnel. There are some good online dictionaries and books available.

What makes an effective dictionary?

Of course, it should be comprehensive for all users. This means, it should have a balance between terms used by the aerospace engineer student and typical terms that you can find in a flight instruction or maintenance training program.

An online dictionary with a very large number of terms is easier to use when it has a search option incorporated. If it does not have a search component, the online dictionary should be easy to navigate so that terms can be found quickly.

It should consist of images, at least for commonly used terms. A picture is worth a thousand words and this is especially true when we talk about a complex topic like aviation safety.

Finally, the pages should not be loaded with unnecessary scripts, banners and code that slow down the loading of the page. I can't think of anything that is more annoying then slow loading pages. A good online aviation dictionary should be light and basic so you can quickly find what you're looking for.

Here is a list of popular aviation dictionaries:

But let's not ignore printed dictionaries!

The Jeppesen Aviation Dictionary for Pilots and Aviation Maintenance Technicians (ISBN 978-0884873839) is the most comprehensive dictionary of aviation available. It contains over 10,000 technical definitions, acronyms, JASC codes, and FAR part 1 definitions.

Dictionary of Aeronautical Terms (ISBN 978-1560276104) is a strong alternative, with 10,000 aviation-specific terms, phrases, and acronyms. Hundreds of images, tables, and lists supplement the explanations of aviation terminology in this book.

An Illustrated Dictionary of Aviation (ISBN 978-0071396066) compiles terms and illustrations from the general aviation, commercial airline, and military sectors. The book can be used as a dictionary, reference, or learning tool.

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