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MACH: The ratio of true airspeed to the speed of sound; varies with altitude

MACH TUCK: A condition of transport aircraft high speed flight in which transsonic shock waves begin to impinge on the control surfaces in such a way as to force the nose down.

MAGNETO: An engine-driven aircraft generator of electrical impulses for purposes of firing spark plugs.

MAGS: Abbreviation of "magnetos".

MAP: Missed Approach Point, a point along an instrument approach at which a missed approach must be started if the required visual reference has not been seen

MARKER: A navaid beacon transmitting straight up, allowing a plane with the proper equipment to determine when a specific point on an instrument approach has been passed

MASTER: Abbreviation of "master switch", i.e. the electricals master on/off switch.

MAIN SPAR: The largest of the internal beams running from wing root to wingtip. It is the wing's principal load-carrying structure.

MAYDAY: When repeated three times it is the official international aviation declaration of an in-flight emergency involving imminent loss of life or the aircraft. See also "pan pan pan".

MCA: Minimum Crossing Altitude, the lowest altitude at which a plane on an instrument flight can cross a specific fix

MDA: Minimum Descent Altitude, the lowest altitude (MSL) to which an instrument landing approach may go before visually acquiring the airport or beginning a missed approach

MDL FILE: Model file, often referred to simply as a ".mdl". Contains the 3D mesh data that defines the visible appearance of a simulated aircraft.

MEA: Minimum Enroute Altitude, for instrument flight the lowest altitude between navaids which assures acceptable navaid signals and safe obstacle clearance

MEAN CHORD: See "chord". The average of the wing chord measured at the root and at the wingtip.

MEATBALL: The carrier-based approximate functional equivalent of a PAPI or VASI. Its purpose is to provide the pilot with visual approach path guidance information.

MESH: Terrain mesh scenery became available starting with FS2000. The "mesh" is the ground altitude coordinates which are derived from real world data allowing for more accurate elevations that previously.

MHA: Minimum Holding Altitude, the lowest altitude for a specific holding pattern which assures navaid reception and obstacle clearance

MIA: Minimum IFR Altitudes, minimum altitudes for instrument flight as published on IFR charts

MINI BOSS: The "tower" departure controller on an aircraft carrier. He is junior to the Air Boss, who is the tower controller for approaches.

MINIMUMS: weather condition requirements for a particular type of operation

MINIMUMS: Weather conditions that determine whether flight is possible; when below minimums landing and taking off is not allowed

MISSED APPROACH: A predefined maneuver used when an instrument approach fails

MIXMASTER: Korean War era jargon for the Piasecki "flying banana" helicopter that featured contrarotating tandem rotors. (Mixmaster was a brand of kitchen blender featuring contrarotating egg beaters.)

MIXTURE: A control for changing the fuel-to-air ratio of an internal combustion engine.

MM: Middle Marker, a radio beacon along an ILS landing approach, normally located at or near the decision height

MOA: Military Operations Area, an area identified where non-hazardous military air traffic operates

MOCA: Minimum Obstruction Clearance Altitude, the minimum published altitude with 22 nm of a VOR which meets obstacle clearance requirements

MODEL: Usually the visual 3D model of a simulated aircraft, sometimes referred to as a ".mdl" file, though it might also refer to the flight dynamics of the simulated aircraft

MOUNTAIN ROTOR: A horizontal tornado-like rotating airmass found on the lee side of mountains over which air is flowing swiftly.

MRA: Minimum Reception Altitude, the lowest altitude at which an intersection can be determined using the navaids that define the intersection

MRU: Message received and understood.

MSA: Minimum Safe Altitude, the minimum altitude that meets legal requirements, typically 1000 feet above obstacles

MSFS: Microsoft Flight Simulator

MSL: Altitude above Mean Sea Level

MTR: Military Training Routes, predefined airspace where military flights may operate at speeds in excess of 250 knots

MUSIC: Radar jamming signals transmitted by military aircraft, as in "Clean 'em up, green 'em up and start your music." (Drop your external fuel tanks, arm your weapons systems and turn on your jammers.)


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