USAirwaysCLT
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Flight Levels And Short Distance

Sun Sep 19, 2004 7:56 am

I saw a post awhile back where someone said that if a flight was less than a certain distance, than it was restricted to FL280 and below. Can someone help me out with this? What is the distance, I have forgotten. Thanks.
 
timz
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RE: Flight Levels And Short Distance

Mon Sep 20, 2004 7:07 am

Just over certain parts of the US, you mean? Like maybe LGA-DCA or something like that? Dunno. Haven't heard one lately, but years ago I heard SFO-LAX and SFO-SNA 757s climb to FL410.
 
waketurbulence
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RE: Flight Levels And Short Distance

Mon Sep 20, 2004 9:59 am

Ya Timz, that just happened to me this summer on a flight from OAK-LAX on WN. I never thought we would go to FL 410 but there we were. And that flight is only about 50 minutes to an hour. It was interesting to say the least.
-Matt
 
ZKSUJ
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RE: Flight Levels And Short Distance

Mon Sep 20, 2004 7:00 pm

I remember we were on a flight from WLG to AKL on a NZ 733 and we were at fL360. The flight was 55 minutes or so.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Flight Levels And Short Distance

Mon Sep 20, 2004 7:05 pm

10 km of altitude isn't very much in proportion if you think that the flight is several hundred km long.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
OPNLguy
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RE: Flight Levels And Short Distance

Mon Sep 20, 2004 7:41 pm

>>>I saw a post awhile back where someone said that if a flight was less than a certain distance, than it was restricted to FL280 and below. Can someone help me out with this? What is the distance, I have forgotten. Thanks.

There is no hard-and-fast regulation that mandates this, and it's largely a function of the efficiency of the aircraft used, the actual load (weight) plus what the ATC system can handle. To some extent, getting up to FL410 on a short flight is something like getting on the freeway and going to the far left lane, only to immediately start heading to the rightmost lane to make the next exit 3/4 mile down the road. You can certainly do this if there's no traffic, but if there is any, you'll probably never get more than a lane or two away from the rightmost.

Someone mentioned a SWA OAK-LAX getting FL410, and while it happens, it's not always a certainty. Our flight planning computer looks for optimum altitudes, and had the flight been heavy, or a -300/-500, it'd have been lower, and again, ATC traffic can be a factor.

Sometimes, ATC "cap" flights (that could go higher) to lower altitudes. LAS-RNO (and vice versa) are good examples, as ATC will almost always cap you at FL280 or FL270 so as to stay underneath all the traffic in/out ofthe Bay-area airports (SFO, OAK, SJC). Ditto for PHX-SLC or SLC-PHX flights, so they can keep you underneath the transcon streams into LAS, LAX, and the other SOCAl airports.
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COFreqFlyer
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RE: Flight Levels And Short Distance

Tue Sep 21, 2004 1:13 am

Was on a flight EWR-MHT here a couple months back... because of routing and higher traffic, we stayed at 17,000 the entire flight (abt 40min), never even got into the flight levels. We were actually able to do the flight more directly, as routing via the flight levels is KEWR-ALB-KMHT.
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Convair990
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RE: Flight Levels And Short Distance

Tue Sep 21, 2004 1:18 am

On the the 7th of this month, I went between KMSP-KDTW at FL 410, and back in '99, WN flew a segment between KBNA-KCLE at FL 410 as well..
The University of Georgia Bulldogs are girlie men!!
 
ATLhomeCMH
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RE: Flight Levels And Short Distance

Tue Sep 21, 2004 1:18 am

I'm not sure about exact flight levels...what I do know is that on the CMH to CVG flights I've been on, we normally don't get up above fl180 or so...same w/ ORD-MKE. Both flights vary from between 25mins to 45mins, depending on air speed and traffic volume.

So decending down from fl280 on these short hops wouldn't make sense, be a fuel drain, and an overall pain in the a$$.  Smile
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Kohflot
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RE: Flight Levels And Short Distance

Tue Sep 21, 2004 2:53 am

As a shareholder of one airline and an employee of another, I don't like seeing their short flights way up high.. Big grin
Ask why..
 
IndianGuy
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RE: Flight Levels And Short Distance

Tue Sep 21, 2004 7:49 pm

on our last flight, the pilot announced over the PA that we were cruising at FL410. This for a 500 mile, 1:20 flight! think the pilot was bluffing!
 
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Buyantukhaa
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RE: Flight Levels And Short Distance

Tue Sep 21, 2004 8:01 pm

I once flew BRU-AMS (30 min flight time on a BAe-146). We didn't get higher the FL120, or at least that's what we were told over the PA.
I scratch my head, therefore I am.
 
VSlover
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RE: Flight Levels And Short Distance

Tue Sep 21, 2004 11:29 pm

the past week i have done MKE-ORD a few times, which is only 67 miles apart. i was surprised that we went as high as FL80 (is that 8,000ft?) since the flight lasted a whole 18minutes.
 
quickmover
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RE: Flight Levels And Short Distance

Tue Sep 21, 2004 11:32 pm

I've flown COS-DEN to make connections before and we popped up to 10k in a 737 for a few minutes.
 
venuscat2
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RE: Flight Levels And Short Distance

Wed Sep 22, 2004 6:03 am

the past week i have done MKE-ORD a few times, which is only 67 miles apart. i was surprised that we went as high as FL80 (is that 8,000ft?) since the flight lasted a whole 18minutes.

It's only considered a flight level above 18000 feet (FL 180). 19000 feet is FL190, 20000 feet is FL200, etc. Below 18000 feet, altitudes are referred to by the actual number of feet. (ten thousand, eleven thousand, etc.)
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Flight Levels And Short Distance

Wed Sep 22, 2004 6:06 am

on our last flight, the pilot announced over the PA that we were cruising at FL410. This for a 500 mile, 1:20 flight! think the pilot was bluffing!

If there's scant traffic, the plane can cruise efficiently up there at present weights and the winds aloft are favorable, this is not a problem.

Why would he be bluffing?
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo

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