Cruise is the level portion of aircraft travel where flight is most fuel efficient. It occurs between ascent and descent phases and is usually the majority of a journey. Technically, cruising consists of heading (direction of flight) changes only at a constant airspeed and altitude. It ends as the aircraft approaches the destination where the descent phase of flight commences in preparation for landing.

For most commercial passenger aircraft, the cruise phase of flight consumes the majority of fuel. As this lightens the aircraft considerably, higher altitudes are more efficient for additional fuel economy. However, for operational and air traffic control reasons it is necessary to stay at the cleared flight level. On long haul flights, the pilot may climb from one flight level to a higher one as clearance is requested and given from air traffic control. This maneuver is called a step climb.

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Aviation accidents

An aviation accident is an incident in which an aircraft is damaged or destroyed as a result of a collision, fire, structural failure, or other event. Aviation accidents can be caused by a variety of factors, including mechanical failure, pilot error, adverse weather conditions, and sabotage. Aviation accidents can result in fatalities, injuries, and damage to property. 

Aviation incidents

An aviation incident is an occurrence, other than an accident, that affects or could affect the safety of aircraft operations. Examples of aviation incidents include near collisions, runway incursions, and unruly passenger incidents.

Aviation serious incidents

A serious incident in aviation refers to an event that could have resulted in an accident or that had the potential to cause serious injury or death. Some examples of serious incidents in aviation include engine failure, in-flight fires, and loss of control of the aircraft.

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