golftango
Posts: 212
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:12 pm

Why So Long To Clear Us To The Assigned Altitude?

Fri Nov 17, 2006 2:48 am

Yesterday from KPHL to KBDL on WN, we went up to a FL less than 10K (I'm assuming because our landing lights were still on) and continued at this altitude for quite some time. We just skimmed along the low cloud layer. I actually thought we were going to continue on to KBDL like this. Then after 15 minutes or so we pulled up pretty hard and climbed on up to our assigned FL, then right back down on into KBDL. Is this the norm because I've never experienced this before? Maybe ATC related?

 
futurecaptain
Posts: 1918
Joined: Sat Sep 09, 2006 1:54 am

RE: Why So Long To Clear Us To The Assigned Altitude?

Fri Nov 17, 2006 2:54 am

There are times on departure where you will be cleared to an intermediate altitude for a few minutes before being allowed to climb to cruise. Several possible reasons including conflicting traffic higher up and in case you have radio failure you will figure it out at a lower altitude and can handle it there instead of being at 30K feet.
AirSO. ASpaceO. ASOnline. ASO.com ASO. ASO. ASO. ASO. ASO.
 
jdwfloyd
Posts: 799
Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2005 10:29 am

RE: Why So Long To Clear Us To The Assigned Altitude?

Fri Nov 17, 2006 2:58 am

Between PHL and BDL is some pretty congested airspace. Perhaps the air traffic controller that you were talking to only had control to a certain altitude. Or traffic above you had to clear before you were issued a climb. There a many factors that play into altitude restrictions and clearances.
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: Why So Long To Clear Us To The Assigned Altitude?

Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:19 am

Landing lights are on below FL180 now (used to be 10,000), so you probably were higher than ten. In addition to the usual ATC variables, it could also have benn turbulence at higher altitudes. I was working the west coast yesterday, so I can't tell you for sure since I didn't have any flights in the area....
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
golftango
Posts: 212
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:12 pm

RE: Why So Long To Clear Us To The Assigned Altitude?

Fri Nov 17, 2006 4:08 am

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 3):
Landing lights are on below FL180 now (used to be 10,000)

Oh wow, is this something new? Thanks for the info everyone, most likely traffic in the Tri-State area!
 
KELPkid
Posts: 5247
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2005 5:33 am

RE: Why So Long To Clear Us To The Assigned Altitude?

Fri Nov 17, 2006 4:16 am

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 3):
Landing lights are on below FL180 now (used to be 10,000), so you probably were higher than ten. In addition to the usual ATC variables, it could also have benn turbulence at higher altitudes. I was working the west coast yesterday, so I can't tell you for sure since I didn't have any flights in the area....

Do you guys ever utilize tower-to-tower IFR in areas of the USA like these, or is that just limited to us GA folk  Wink Tower-to-tower IFR is where the entire flight is handled by adjoining control towers and/or tracon facilities exclsuively (i.e. center is never contacted). I guess if your plan is to go above FL180, then that's automatically out of the question  Smile
Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: Why So Long To Clear Us To The Assigned Altitude?

Fri Nov 17, 2006 7:17 am

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 5):
Do you guys ever utilize tower-to-tower IFR in areas of the USA like these, or is that just limited to us GA folk

Sometimes we use tower enroute, but things have to be mucho screwed up...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
baw2198
Posts: 587
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2003 11:20 am

RE: Why So Long To Clear Us To The Assigned Altitude?

Fri Nov 17, 2006 7:26 am

Give this website a look--> http://flightaware.com/live/flight/SWA2023

I don't know your flight number, but if this was your flight, you went right through NY's airspace. That would account as futurecaptain said for the delay in climb.
"And remember, Keep your stick on the ice"--->Red Green
 
flyibaby
Posts: 718
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2004 5:23 am

RE: Why So Long To Clear Us To The Assigned Altitude?

Fri Nov 17, 2006 7:36 am

Quoting BAW2198 (Reply 7):
Give this website a look--> http://flightaware.com/live/flight/SWA2023

I don't know your flight number, but if this was your flight, you went right through NY's airspace. That would account as futurecaptain said for the delay in climb.

This is absolutely correct. As an example, if you are traveling IAD-JFK, your assigned altitude will usually be FL170 because they are stacking the flights in every 1000 feet due to RVSM. I would be suprised if you ever climbed above FL170 on that route anyway.
 
PHLapproach
Posts: 1057
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 6:37 am

RE: Why So Long To Clear Us To The Assigned Altitude?

Fri Nov 17, 2006 7:38 am

Out to PHL you would have been climbed to 12k and turned to DITCH. Then switched to the DIXIE68 low sector within ZNY and if you had a higher filed altitude he would have sent you up to 240. Granted, sometimes it can take time before DIXIE68 can get you a climb out of Philly. Obviously since you can see that flight is too short, then ZNY would have been able to keep you with the low sectors but still clear the New York TRACON at 17000. It's easier for the low sectors to keep you rather than send you up and have the High sectors such as JFK56 deal with trying to sequence you in with Boston and Canadian bound traffic.
 
KELPkid
Posts: 5247
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2005 5:33 am

RE: Why So Long To Clear Us To The Assigned Altitude?

Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:07 am

Quoting Flyibaby (Reply 8):
your assigned altitude will usually be FL170

In the US, the flight levels don't begin until 18,000 feet...they may tell you to "climb and maintain 17,000 feet", but the Flight Level would imply setting the altimeter to the common datum (29.92 inches of mercury) which is only done at 18,000 feet in the US. At 17,000 feet, you would use the last altimeter setting given by ATC, or the altimeter setting received in the ATIS for the destination field.
Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
 
golftango
Posts: 212
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:12 pm

RE: Why So Long To Clear Us To The Assigned Altitude?

Sat Nov 18, 2006 3:07 am

This was my actual flight, but i appreicate all the insight

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/S...9/history/20061115/2141Z/KPHL/KBDL

Here is the log:
04:41PM 39.87 -75.28 147 1200
04:42PM 39.83 -75.38 323 4500
04:42PM 39.83 -75.37 207 5800
04:43PM 39.80 -75.45 279 8600
04:43PM 39.80 -75.43 207 9900
04:44PM 39.75 -75.42 261 10900
04:44PM 39.75 -75.40 257 12000
04:44PM 39.75 -75.42 261 10900
04:45PM 39.75 -75.30 326 19000
04:45PM 39.75 -75.28 321 12000
04:46PM 39.75 -75.18 328 19000
04:46PM 39.77 -75.15 325 12000
04:47PM 39.77 -75.07 382 19000
04:47PM 39.77 -75.05 384 12000
04:48PM 39.78 -74.92 404 19000
04:49PM 39.78 -74.77 411 12200
04:50PM 39.85 -74.63 384 16000
04:51PM 39.95 -74.57 386 19000
04:52PM 40.03 -74.47 400 21000
04:53PM 40.15 -74.37 432 21000

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