Nwafflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 1050 posts, RR: 2 Posted (8 years 4 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 2370 times:
A great little plane, but I'm curious why it has been restricted to 28,000 feet. Sure, there aren't many of them left, but still curious why the altitude restriction, the last ones I was on (all NWA), seemed to climb like they wanted to keep going up forever
OPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 1, posted (8 years 4 months 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 2280 times:
Just a hunch, but they may not be equipped to comply with the new RVSM airspace that recently took effect, the floor of which starts at 29,000 and goes to 41,000. (RVSM allows for 1,000 foot spacing versus the previous 2,000 feet). If an aircraft is not RVSM equipped, it has to stay out of RVSM airspace, and 28,000 would be its max altitude...
If NWA does indeed have their DC-9-10 fleet certified for RVSM ops, the particular aircraft you were on may have been non-compliant that day due to an inter-related MEL item, and may have thus been limited for a day or two until the offending item could be repaired...
LongHauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4316 posts, RR: 36 Reply 3, posted (8 years 4 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 2061 times:
If you encounter any onboard malfunction while flying in RVSM airspace that affects your RVSM legality, then you must advise ATC right away. You may not have to descend, but the airspace ATC uses around you will reflect your reduced reliability/capability.
Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
Argonaut From UK - Scotland, joined Dec 2004, 417 posts, RR: 1 Reply 6, posted (8 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 1853 times:
It's likely it has to do with the age of the aircraft (by now most series 10s are at least 35 years old, with airframe hours to match). To prolong the fatigue life of the airframe, the permitted cabin pressure differential may have been reduced; in turn, this would restrict the aircraft's operating ceiling. I know such limitations have been imposed on other aircraft types as they reached high hours and cycles.
The RVSM airspace explanation is certainly another possibility. In either case, the DC-9-10 is unlikely to be the only type affected, as there are plenty of elderly and old-technology aircraft still in service.
Nwafflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 1050 posts, RR: 2 Reply 7, posted (8 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1807 times:
Tonight, I was on a dc-9 out of FNT to DTW -- miserable weather, de-iced in FNT, then we were in the air close to 1 1/2 hours, landed on a very slippery runway in DTW (kudo's to the captain, beautiful landing). Then, another dc-9 to IND -- de-iced in DTW again, sorry, I don't remember the take off because I fell asleep, but I've been on many dc-9's at 36,000 feet (not the 10, granted)