lehpron
Posts: 6846
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Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Sat Nov 01, 2003 5:13 am

Being that which you have achieved in a vehicle piloted by you (dont havt to be in it) in a sustained horizontal path for a brief while. Parabolic apexies are okay too.

Tell us all what was your experiences like? Was it illegal? What it an emergency [to go up]?
The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
 
cancidas
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Sat Nov 01, 2003 5:54 am

14000,ft with supplemental oxygen.
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
 
salim
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Sat Nov 01, 2003 6:22 am

A poor 8500ft in a Robin Dr400....but i'm 17 and have only about 68 flt hours logged so i have time to go higher
 
USAFHummer
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Sat Nov 01, 2003 6:55 am

11,500 ft. in a C172SP on a dual XC with my CFI from UNV to LOM...it was a fun flight...

Greg
Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru
 
futureualpilot
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Sat Nov 01, 2003 7:53 am

11500ft. for me as weel coming over the mountains from PSP to MYF a couple years ago. We werent there fort much kore than 10min., and it felt pretty muhc normal except for looking at the altimeter showing a real high altitude. Im 16 with about 55hrs., so I too have plenty of time to go higher!
Life is better when you surf.
 
Woodreau
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Sat Nov 01, 2003 8:07 am

I can't believe I'm answering this one...

13,200ft in a PZL-KR03 Krosno glider at Morrisville VT.
11,000ft in a BE-76 Dutchess from Mojave to Montgomery Field
7,000ft in a C172 from Providence RI to Portland ME and from Ontario CA to Montgomery Field.
and a measly 1,800ft in a R-22B helicopter at St Augustine FL.

Woodreau / KMVL
Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
 
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Francoflier
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Sat Nov 01, 2003 12:09 pm

A couple of times I got to climb to 15000 ft on a twin-turboprop commuter to avoid some weather.

I know, nothing unusual here. The thing is the pressurization was kaput and we had no O2...

Boy, were the pax quiet that day! I myself started to feel a bit euphoric after a while...
I'll do my own airline. With Blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the airline.
 
flyf15
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Sat Nov 01, 2003 12:16 pm

13,980 feet...in a 210hp Cessna 172.
 
Arch89U
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Sat Nov 01, 2003 12:17 pm

One nice thing about flying in the Northeast is you don't have to go high.

My highest was 9000 ft. from Pittsburgh International to Rochester in a Cessna 182, with most of the flight just above the cloud tops.

 
goboeing
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Sat Nov 01, 2003 12:58 pm

In the C172R, I made it up to 11,000' on a very cold day on a solo flight. The OAT was something like -15C.

Nick
 
Illini_152
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Sat Nov 01, 2003 2:23 pm

Hot day and a long (part 141 required) x-c. Wanted to cool off, it was 85F at 6500, went up to 13000 for a few minutes, then back down to 12,500. That poor cherokee was dogging it those last few thousand feet. When I got down I ran the numbers; 12500 pressure alt + 60F = Density alt of 150000. No wonder the poor girl was only getting 200 fpm!
Happy contrails - I support B747Skipper and Jetguy
 
erj-145mech
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Sat Nov 01, 2003 4:25 pm

I made it to FL 510 once in a 731 Jetstar (L-1329)between Galveston and Corpus Christi on a maintenance test flight.
 
AJ
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Sat Nov 01, 2003 5:49 pm

42,000' in a Boeing 767 (1,100' below maximum altitude).
 
ismangun
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Sat Nov 01, 2003 6:28 pm

When I was still flying those reciprocal singles: 10,500ft flying long-range (C172-wise). At night, it was really HARD to make your eyes stayed open. Good experience, though.
If it's an Airbus, I'll take the bus
 
danielbk
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Sat Nov 01, 2003 6:52 pm

11,500 feet, in my commander.. Night cross country in complete IFR conditions BOS-ISP.

it was and still is one of my most interesting flights alone in that plane..

Danny.
cockpit? it's that little room in the front of the plane where the pilots seat.. but that's not important now
 
Guest

RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Sat Nov 01, 2003 11:23 pm

14,000 in a Diamond Katana. I was out just goofing off, trying to finish up the last few hours of the needed 250 for the Commercial Certificate. It was a beautiful fall day in the mountains east of SLC. I heard the glider pilots talking about good lift on the local airport's CTAF (36U), and so I decided to see what I could do. I found an area of rising air, backed the power off a bit, and let the bird go upstairs. Had to level at 14,000 because I had no oxygen, but she would have kept going. The view was spectacular, filled with yellows of fall aspens, light snow on the mountains, and columns of virga stretching from the sky to earth.

Actually, this was one of those moments that defy total description. It was one of the most magical experiences I've ever had in an airplane.

-Normal
 
Guest

RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Sat Nov 01, 2003 11:43 pm

We routinely operate at FL410 and higher in our bizjets. The highest for me personally is FL450 and I've been there many times. There are many bizjets certified to FL510 and they are able to operate there. The big problem with those kinds of altitudes is if you loose the cabin you're dead - the time of useful consciousness is just to freaking short to allow any type of response.

My, highest flight in a glider was 17,500 feet - I had the O2, but ATC wouldn't open the window for me to climb any higher. In a normally aspirated aircraft I've "soared" a 65 hp Aeronca 7AC Champ to 14000' a couple of times.

Jetguy
 
fspilot747
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Sun Nov 02, 2003 3:25 am

9,500 in a 172SP heading back from Santa Ynez to Fullerton Muni. I love cruising high, but I s'pose I shouldn't do that too much. I could have done it at 5.5 if I wanted to but...I wanned 9.5. great views.


FSP
 
Dufo
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Sun Nov 02, 2003 3:57 am

14200ft in a Piper Arrow (non-turbo), 13800 in a Cessna 172.. natually-aspired breathing!

Regards,
Jernej
I seriously think I just creamed my pants without any influence from any outside variables.
 
XFSUgimpLB41X
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Sun Nov 02, 2003 3:58 am

FL260 in the King Air 200- and she still definitely wanted to climb higher, what a great airplane.... soon to be topped once I get on the line in the CRJ.  Smile
Chicks dig winglets.
 
Guest

RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Sun Nov 02, 2003 3:59 am

I did about 16,000 feet to cross the Andes from Mendoza, Argentina, to Santiago, Chile... Mountain passes are at or about 13,000 feet, and you fly around the highest peaks of the continent... Aconcagua is 6,960 meters high (22,900 feet) - This is in my little Piper L-21... 150 hp engine.
This is the prettiest mountain scenery I ever saw in my life...
xxx
For info, the 747 are certificated to 45,100 feet.
A Learjet 31 I fly occasionally is certificated to 51,000 feet...
xxx
Happy contrails  Smile
(s) Skipper
 
sushka
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Sun Nov 02, 2003 7:26 am

13,300 in a Katana is my best so far

I fly all the time at around 11,500-12,500 when I go on XCs
Pershoyu Spravoyu Litaki!
 
SQ325
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Sun Nov 02, 2003 7:35 am

35.000ft on the RJ85 = max. certified Altitude!
 
JBirdAV8r
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Sun Nov 02, 2003 8:04 am

13,999 in a 260hp Cessna 182  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
 
Soulman
Posts: 107
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Sun Nov 02, 2003 11:55 am

They're not records of my own - mearly a couple of topic-related jokes. Hope you enjoy them!

A really rough day at altitude. Various heavy jets are on the frequency asking for higher or lower flight levels to avoid turbulence. Basically, it's as rough as guts up there.

Earwigging is a Navy F/A-18, cruising along at max altitude. He gets on the mike and says "Hornet 26; hey you guys, the ride is real smooth here at FL540."

A moments silence, then an unknown voice replies "How's the pay-cheque, Hornet 26?"

Nothing further heard from the F/A-18.  Crying


And this one:

A USAF SR-71, callsign "Habu 21". He gets on the radio and asks a controller, who obviously doesn't know exactly what aircraft he is dealing with, for clearance to FL680.

"Centre, Habu 21, request flight level six eight zero"

"Habu 21, Centre....sir....if you think you can make it, you're cleared to flight level six eight zero...and please advise when reaching."

"Centre, Habu 21. Roger, descending to flight level six eight zero and will advise."  Smokin cool

Cheers,

Soulman.


 
fly727
Posts: 1752
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Sun Nov 02, 2003 1:53 pm

FL230 In a Piper Cherokee.
In a single engine Cessna... I think it was 9,500 MSL.

RM  Smile
There are no stupid questions... just stupid people!
 
SSTjumbo
Posts: 2579
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Sun Nov 02, 2003 2:32 pm

Triple G, errm... nevermind, that's trumpet Embarrassment

The highest I ever got in a Cessna 152 sadly was 6,500'. I tried 8,500' from Lewis University to Whiteside Co., but only got so high due to the hot day and my fear of flying above a cloud deck. I'll be trying for higher at some point.
I don't know, so this is my signature.
 
gabep
Posts: 48
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2003 6:07 am

RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Sun Nov 02, 2003 5:44 pm

16' off of a high diving board and a rapid descent into a cold pool.

(If I only had wings)
 
CX Flyboy
Posts: 6039
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 1999 6:10 pm

RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Mon Nov 03, 2003 12:54 am

43,000ft, on a 777-300, which was 100ft below max altitude!
 
fspilot747
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Mon Nov 03, 2003 2:14 am

Fly727, you got FL230 in a Cherokee? That must have been a hell of an experience!

Surely you had oxygen..


FSP
 
JBirdAV8r
Posts: 3454
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Mon Nov 03, 2003 6:21 am

Surely you had oxygen..

And a turbocharger  Laugh out loud
I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
 
fly727
Posts: 1752
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2003 8:27 am

RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Mon Nov 03, 2003 9:31 am

Gosh !!!!! I gave wrong information !
It was a Cheyenne !!!!! I have no idea why I put Cherokee instead. You see? Hypoxia occurs also in the ground ! hehehe Big grin

RM  Smile
There are no stupid questions... just stupid people!
 
XFSUgimpLB41X
Posts: 3961
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Mon Nov 03, 2003 10:17 am

I was about to say.... didn't think a cherokee could make it above 14,000, much less FL230, haha.  Smile
Chicks dig winglets.
 
ba299
Posts: 182
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Tue Nov 04, 2003 12:41 am

FL430 on a 777 to GRU to avoid a divertion.
 
707CMF
Posts: 4698
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2002 5:39 pm

RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Tue Nov 04, 2003 2:01 am

FL100 in DR400.

Solo flight, it was 6500 ft (DR221)

707
 
learpilot
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Tue Nov 04, 2003 2:11 am

51,000 (FL 510) in a Lear 31 over the Gulf on the way to Cancun. Just for fun. She didn't want to stay up there for very long, though.

Woodreau, did you fly the R-22 with Ken Stockdale at SGJ? I flew lears out of there for about 6 months, and Kenny flew contract for us occasionally.
Heed our warnings or your future will be underpant free!
 
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c172akula
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Tue Nov 04, 2003 3:11 am

15,000' in a TBM-700

Other than that been up to 12,500 in a 172sp. And up to 13,000 over the rockies in the Diamondstar.
 
ben
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Tue Nov 04, 2003 3:15 am

Hi Jetguy,

There are many bizjets certified to FL510 and they are able to operate there. The big problem with those kinds of altitudes is if you loose the cabin you're dead - the time of useful consciousness is just to freaking short to allow any type of response.

The Bristol ATPL manuals suggest wearing the masks hanging around your neck for that very reason. Is that what you do? Or are you just resigned to your fate if you do lose the cabin?

Would you have to be carrying pressure-breathing sets for flights that high (since even 100% O2 will not prevent hypoxia during depressurisation at that altitude, according to the books) ??

I am aware that text from the official syllabus may not reflect reality, that's why I'm curious...

Cheers,
Ben
 
jhooper
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Tue Nov 04, 2003 3:43 am

17,000 in a C340 flying right seat.
11,000 in a C172RG training for Instrument Rating
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
JBirdAV8r
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Tue Nov 04, 2003 3:49 am

Jhooper, you nursed an RG up to 11,000???!

I have a newfound respect for you. You must have been really bored. LOL
I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
 
Guest

RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Tue Nov 04, 2003 11:05 am

Ben...
We use the Scott Eros Mask System which uses the inflatable straps. At altitudes above FL430, as far as I'm concerned, it's mandatory to have one, if not both pilots, on 100% O2. Assuming the worst failure, any pressurization problems at FL450+ would probably have to be considered fatal - if not for the crew then for the passengers. Like I said the TUC is just too short to have any type of meaningful response.

As far as what flight crews actually do when it comes to wearing masks...

Let's just say that pilots probably take more liberty with the O2 regulations than any other.

This is probably a good time to put in a plug for altitude chamber training. All of you guys who are flying high performance aircraft (or hope to someday) should get yourselves schedule for a ride in an altitude chamber. The cost is VERY reasonable (read: cheap) and you'll walk away with a new found respect for your physical limitations. There are several chambers located around the country, I'd just give your local FSDO a call and get them to point you in the right direction.

Jetguy

 
subzero
Posts: 62
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Tue Nov 04, 2003 3:28 pm

Ok.. I guess I'll add mine...

Piper Archer III (PA/28-181) at 12,500
for a couple minutes between ABQ and PHX.

Richard Marriner
Never fly in the same cockpit with someone braver than you.
 
wing
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Tue Nov 04, 2003 6:34 pm

FL 410 with 737-800
follow me on my facebook page" captain wing's journey log"
 
Night_Flight
Posts: 183
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Tue Nov 04, 2003 11:35 pm

16,000' MSL in a Baron from DEN-SHR WY. There was a forest fire with a TFR up to to 15,000. It was either divert an extra 40nm or climb to 16,000. We threw on the O2 and up we went. With non-turbo engines, it was pretty quiet!

Sushka- 13,300 is quite good for a Katana!

-Night_Flight-
Remember when sex was safe and flying was dangerous?
 
saab2000
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Wed Nov 05, 2003 9:08 pm

Jetguy,

I once saw a videotape of a pressure chamber demonstration. The subjects were fellow students at my flight school and the video was eye-opening. It would be more so if I were to have done it myself, but the fact is that you are right, our personal limitations regarding oxygen requirements are plain to see when we see something like this.

Back to the question at hand: I flew the Saab 2000 to FL310 many times before European RVSM was implemented. Our company decided not to certify us for RVSM so afterwards we were restricted to FL280. The Saab is a bit faster a FL280 anyway and our segments are so short that going up to FL310 is not really needed anyway. When the Saab was new they flew longer segments and so it made sense from a fuel-consumption perspective, but when the Embrear 145s came online with Crossair the Saab went onto the shorter legs making FL310 a bit excessive.

I have been on board a SWISS Airbus 330 at FL410 and I think I saw FL430 once also. Personally, in Europe my favorite route was BRN(Bern)-CDG as we were filed for low-level (FL160) and were often cleared to descend to 6000 feet very early and got to see the countryside near Paris. Same applied for flights to and from London City - got to see England from 4000 feet! Very nice!
smrtrthnu
 
707CMF
Posts: 4698
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2002 5:39 pm

RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Wed Nov 05, 2003 10:40 pm

bit more than 8,000 ft yesterday (still in my taildragger : http://www.airliners.net/open.file/440269/L/ ), though I probably descended a tad too fast (more than 1000 ft/min), and ended up with a head ache.

Next time I'll aim for 12,500 ft (no more, that would be illegal)

707
 
Bellerophon
Posts: 516
Joined: Thu May 09, 2002 10:12 am

What's Your Highest Altitude

Thu Nov 06, 2003 3:47 am

Lehpron

Okay, I wasn't going to join in, but Jetguy has added an interesting post, on which I’d like to comment, so here goes.

FL600, you guess which aircraft type!

Jetguy

"...The big problem with those kinds of altitudes is if you loose the cabin you're dead - the time of useful consciousness is just to freaking short to allow any type of response...

I know you are also a very experienced pilot, but with respect, I find that statement rather misleading and a touch over-dramatic.

We need to keep a sense of proportion about the risks involved in operating aircraft at these altitudes. It certainly isn't something to be treated lightly, as you rightly imply, but as someone who was trained for (and until last week operated at) those sorts of altitudes, I do not believe the problems are as dangerous as you suggest.

If by "...loose the cabin..." you mean the cabin has completely depressurised to 51,000 ft, that the aircraft is still flying at 51,000 ft and the flight crew haven't donned their O2 masks, then I would agree with you. They would have minimal TUC, and their chances of surviving such an encounter would be negligible.

However, aircraft pressure hulls, other than when a catastrophic failure occurs, do not suddenly depressurise to ambient atmospheric pressure (even if it may feel like it to the occupants), they take time to depressurise.

In those rare cases of a catastrophic breach of the pressure hull, the altitude at which it occurs is largely irrelevant, as in all probability the aircraft will no airworthy - the early Comet accidents being a case in point.

For all the other depressurisations, whether due to pressurisation system failure, discharge valve failure, a small hull breach, a door or window blow-out, or just plain human error, the cabin will take time to climb, often a considerable amount of time.

It is this time which provides us with a safety margin, precious seconds, during which we must act positively.

Firstly to protect ourselves (pressurised O2 masks) next to analyse the situation (what warnings?, what cabin rate-of-climb?) then to rectify if possible (re-instate packs, select alternate systems, close errant valves manually) or if control of the cabin has been lost, initiate an emergency descent.

The cabin altitude on my aircraft would typically be at about 5,000 ft during cruise. In common with most commercial aircraft, various flight deck warnings will occur as the cabin altitude rises through 10,000 ft, and again passing 14,000 ft, to alert me to the problem, assuming my own eyes, ears, sinuses and lower intestine have not already done so!

There are many protection devices fitted that should ensure that the cabin altitude never exceeds 14,000 ft, but even if they all fail, and even if the cabin were climbing at 10,000 fpm, it would still take 18 seconds before it exceeded 8,000 ft and 55 seconds before it exceeded 14,000 ft.

Ample time for the crew to don their O2 masks, whilst still at normal cabin altitudes, and to initiate an emergency descent. The cabin altitude would never get near 60,000 ft in this scenario.

Even if the cabin were climbing at a much higher rate, say 30,000 fpm, a horrendous cabin rate of climb, it would still be 30 seconds before the cabin altitude exceeded 20,000 ft, plenty of time in which to don a mask, and well within the TUC available at that cabin altitude.

The point I would like to emphasise is that if we are to talk about TUC, then it should be the TUC for the cabin altitude by which the O2 mask is likely to be have been donned, not the TUC at the aircraft cruise altitude.

I believe that it is on this basis that the aviation authorities in the US, UK and France have all decided that high altitude commercial operations do not pose any undue risk to passengers or crew and have licensed them accordingly.


…All of you guys who are flying high performance aircraft…should get yourselves a ride in an altitude chamber...you'll walk away with a new found respect for your physical limitations…

My thoughts exactly, I totally agree. Such training should be mandatory.

The ability to recognise the onset of hypoxia can only really be learned in an altitude chamber, and likewise the experience of what hypoxia does is best learned by sitting in an altitude chamber opposite someone who is experiencing it - you won’t remember your own experience, even when shown it on video.

To those of you thinking of flying high performance aircraft, and especially for those of you who occasionally fly higher than you should without oxygen, this could be the best money you’ll ever spend on aviation training.

It will certainly change your views, it may one day save your life.

Best regards

Bellerophon

[Edited 2003-11-05 19:53:47]
 
mandala499
Posts: 6459
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2001 8:47 pm

RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Thu Nov 06, 2003 4:16 am

10,000ft on a Cessna402 with a camera hole.

Unfortunately, the instructor had a health restriction and was restricted to below 10,000ft.

What was illegal wasn't our altitude, but the fact that I was flying the plane Big grin

Mandala499
When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
 
Guest

RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Thu Nov 06, 2003 4:19 am

Bellerophon:
Hmmm...
FL600 eh? My guess would be you either flew a souped up Turbo Tripacer or Concorde. Am I right?

"...The big problem with those kinds of altitudes is if you loose the cabin you're dead - the time of useful consciousness is just to freaking short to allow any type of response..."

I know you are also a very experienced pilot, but with respect, I find that statement rather misleading and a touch over-dramatic.


You are absolutely correct, but I intended it to be a "touch over-dramatic". Personally, I feel that there are far too many pilots out there that approach high-altitude flight with a careless and cavalier attitude. In reality, there has never been (that I am aware of) a castrophic (total, sudden, & complete) pressurization failure with any aircraft certified to operate at those attitudes. Have there been failures? Of course, but they are very manageable. Does that make the real dangers of high altitude flight any less significant? In my opinion the problem is one of inadequate training. One trip to an Altitude Chamber is a very eye opening experience and they only take civilians to 25000'.

As always, your post and comments are spot on. Thank you for taking the time to write what I should have written.

OK, so will you miss Concorde? (Hey, I know that's a really dumb question.)

Jetguy

[Edited 2003-11-05 20:23:12]
 
lehpron
Posts: 6846
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RE: Hey Pilots: What's Your Highest Altitude

Thu Nov 06, 2003 7:18 am

I always assumed that one must travel faster at higher altitudes, can a slow plane do it with the right?

My friend James went to 13,500 feet in a Cessna 172 under 200Hp this last August. He has pictures.
The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.

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