Flying Across America

Promoting General Aviation

Day -6: Oh, these differences…

There are many differences between flying in Europe and in the USA. We have experience in both. Or to formulate that slightly differently, each of us has experience with one continent. Communication during flight preparation and in the cockpit will certainly be interesting…

Different cultures, different standards, different ways of flying… Our highly international crew will have to cope with that. Jason thinks in Gallons, inches of mercury, degrees Fahrenheit, and measures visibilities in Statute Miles. Vincent use to buy fuel in liters, set his altimeter in millibars, use degrees Celsius, and knows the required visibility in meters or kilometers. Naturally, each of us is used to different time offsets with regard to UTC time… In Europe, IFR flight plans must be submitted one to three hours before departure. Only a few percents of private pilots are instrument rated.

And these are the differences that we know about now, out of the book. Who knows how many other differences, how many cultural, human factors we’ll discover during the flight? This is also a fascinating experience, and we’ll have a lot to share an exchange. We’ll also talk about all these differences with other aviation enthusiasts we’ll meet at our stops. Vincent has lot to report about flying in Europe, be it about the use of different languages or flying around the Mediterranean Sea or over the Alps.

Flying is the same everywhere, from an aerodynamic point of view, and from the friendship and solidarity it creates. All the rest vary from place to place, and we’ll soon have more to say about it.

By the way, any rule of thumb for units conversion is welcome, leave your favorite ones in comments.

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