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Dear Mr. Parker, I am an English language editor who knows nothing about flying.  My author writes as follows:

"The fuselage of the transport shudders when the pilot cants the propellers as assistance to the manual brakes in slowing down, and stopping the air-monster."

The pilot is doing a sharp descent to avoid terrorist ground-to-air missiles.  Is the use of the phrase "cants the propellers" correct? Is there a better or more correct way of saying what he means?

I would be very grateful for your help.
yours sincerely, Lianda

He is talking about changing the pitch of the propellor blades.  On the ground we do this in a way which causes the air to be driven in the opposite direction to aircraft travel which we call reverse.  This feature is not available when the aircraft is in the air because of the danger.  Selecting the engines to idle will cause the props to be in a position which does cause drag when descending.  You could say "with the engines at idle"


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Kevin Parker


I will do my best to answer any question related to my experience. If I don't know, I promise to help you find the answer. Every question deserves an answer.


I have 30 years experience in Commercial Type Rating training, program development, human factors, instructor training, flight simulation and flying large aircraft in general. Operated L188, DC8, B747, B757, A320, A330 and A340 aircraft. Involved in cockpit design, flight testing and type certification.

Aviation college, military flight instructor, ATPL, check airman, maintenance test pilot, Simulator Test and Evaluation Pilot, Production Chief Pilot

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