During a commercial flight yesteray I pondered the following items, offered here to the SDMB in hope of receiving answers:
-How does a commercial pilot find his way around an airport to the correct gate? Suppose I’m a pilot who has never landed at Denver International Airport before, and now I touch down there with a plane full of passengers. How do I get to my gate? I assume I’m under tight supervision from the folks in the tower, but are they giving me instructions on how to get to my assigned gate, or am I expected to know how to find my gate, and it’s up to me to request permission from the tower to turn left here and right there and so on until I’ve arrived at my gate?
-Presumably the crew on a long-haul cargo flight must eat from time to time. Do they get hot food, or is it cold box lunches from the fridge? If hot food, who preps it? Is there a flight attendant to take care of these things so they can focus on flying the plane, or does one of the pilots just step out of the cockpit and throw a couple of Hot Pockets™ in the microwave?
-why are spoilers on a commercial airliner so much closer to the trailing edge of the wing than the leading edge? Given that their purpose is to disrupt airflow across the upper surface of the wing, it would seem desirable to have them located much nearer to the leading edge. There’s rarely (if ever) a need to eliminate the vast majority of lift in mid-flight, but I would have expected that this would be useful as soon as the wheels hit the runway. As it is, the spoilers pop up as soon as the wheels touch down (to get the weight on the wheels and allow heavy braking), but it seems like if they were nearer to the leading edge, they could kill even more of the lift, thereby getting more weight on the wheels ASAP.