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Flight Level On Short Flights, Maybe For Pilots?  
User currently offlineMech From Brazil, joined Oct 2006, 0 posts, RR: 0
Posted (16 years 4 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 3661 times:

When you fly short flights like msp to ord that are only about an hour, how high do planes fly and once your at that flight level how long do you stay there before you start going down again? Do you still fly at 30000 ft ect. or is it much less on shorter flights, and how long does it take to get to cruise altitude on most flights.

8 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineBizclass From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (16 years 4 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 3567 times:

I am not a pilot but I can give you some general info from my experiences as a passanger on short flights. For example, i quite often fly from Edmonton to Calgary which, to drive it, is only 200 miles. I flew on a CAI F28 last week, our flight was scheduled to leave at 6:00 pm which actually left at 5:55.(Light load, not busy) The sceduled arrival time is 6:40 but we were at the terminal getting off the plane at 6:25 so actual flying time was somewhere just over 22 minutes. We achieved an altitude of 26,000 feet on that flight and attained for only a few minutes before we started back down. The highest altitude I have flown at from Calgary to Edmonton is 29,000 on a Westjet 737. The Dash 8 service on AC and CAI is considerably lower than that, somewhere between 16 and 20 thousand feet.

I have flown on an A340 on AC from Vancouver to Edmonton once, which is the largest plane I have ever travelled on for that short hop. Travel time for that segment can be as long as 1hr 15 minutes and I have been on a plane that did it in 47 minutes with a big tail wind. Usual service on that segment is 737/320/F28/DC9 depending on which airline. Altitudes of up to 38,000 feet are common for even that short segment.

These are just my experiences as a passenger. An experienced airline employee could probably offer a lot more info than me.

User currently offlineTimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 7227 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (16 years 4 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 3554 times:

I've heard DL 757's from SFO to LAX climbing to FL410-- also UA 757's from SFO to SNA.

User currently offlineWiL SW737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (16 years 4 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3544 times:

I was on a flight from SFO-LAS, which is about 1 hour and 10 minutes, and we were cruising at 37,000. I'm not sure how long we maintained at that level.

41,000 from SFO-LAX? That is high for such a short flight. I never knew Delta flew the 757 from SFO-LAX. I thought they used like an MD-88 or a 737 for those.

-WiL SW737

User currently offlinePanman From Trinidad and Tobago, joined Aug 1999, 790 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (16 years 4 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3540 times:

From Piarco Intl (Trinidad, W.I.) to Crown Point (Tobago, W.I.) - a flight which takes 15-20 mins - they only fly at 5500 ft in 737s


User currently offlineN754PR From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (16 years 4 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 3525 times:

I flew 41,000 from Cairns to Brisbane.


User currently offlineOnTheFly From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 51 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (16 years 4 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3519 times:

I flew LAX-SFO last week on a United B735 and our cruise altitude was 310. It took us 1hr and 20 mins due to a 20 minute holding pattern we were forced to fly because of, what else, low clouds at SFO.

User currently offlineMason From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 749 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (16 years 4 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3515 times:

I fly this route (SEA-YVR) freequently, with Air BC. Usually, we cruise at FL200. I typically use their BAe 146-200s. The flight is about 40 minutes long.

User currently offlineJet Setter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (16 years 4 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 3509 times:

The idea, even on short flights is to get as high as possible.

You actually burn less fuel by climbing up to say 31,000ft and cruising for one minute before descending than you would if you cruised at 29,000ft for 10 minutes!

On the MAN-LHR shuttle with a flying time of 30 mins. macimum altitude is around 24,000ft.


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