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CO764
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BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Tue May 07, 2013 2:37 pm

Hello all,

I just noticed on FR24 that there is a BA A320 G-EUUK (been out of commercial flights for 4 days now) at 42,600 feet near Glasgow. Is this a bug or is it legitimate performance testing?

http://www.flightradar24.com/#!/2013-05-07/13:54/BA9999


Thanks for any responses.
 
CO764
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Tue May 07, 2013 2:42 pm

On closer glance, it is positioned directly on the runway at GLA so I'm sure it's just a bug. Would be pretty cool to have A320s at FL400+ frequently on regular flights though. I recently saw an Air Asia A320 at FL410 - I hear that's not unusual for that airline? Anyone know if the A320neo will have a higher certified service ceiling?
 
vv701
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Tue May 07, 2013 2:55 pm

It's a bug.

'UK has been undergoing maintenance at British Airwats Maintenance Glasgow since 3 May.
 
MesaFlyGuy
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Tue May 07, 2013 3:10 pm

Quoting CO764 (Reply 1):

It would be cool if most planes flew that high. I was on WN & DL 73Gs recently and both got up to FL400. It was pretty cool.
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Someone83
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Tue May 07, 2013 3:27 pm

Quoting mesaflyguy (Reply 3):
It would be cool if most planes flew that high

During testing that is normal, and for instance Airbus takes most/all A380 to 43.000ft during pre delivery testing and first flight
 
KL577
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Tue May 07, 2013 3:27 pm

I have been on quite a few flights that cruise at 41000 feet. Last month on a UX flight from MAD to TFN. Passenger jets also do cruise at flight level 430 from time to time:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZ5qqaKDBVk
 
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nighthawk
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Tue May 07, 2013 3:46 pm

Quoting CO764 (Thread starter):
Is this a bug or is it legitimate performance testing?

You'd think the fact that the plane doesn't move would be a bit of a giveaway  
 
roseflyer
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Tue May 07, 2013 4:09 pm

The A320 is only certified to 39,100 ft so it has to be a glitch. I can’t think of a single reason where an airline would take an airplane higher than the service ceiling because that would require a lot of paperwork and regulatory approval.

[Edited 2013-05-07 09:09:58]
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abrown532
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Tue May 07, 2013 4:28 pm

Last time I flew EZY from LGW to BFS it went all the way up to FL370 which I thought was really high for such a short flight, pretty nice views all the way though as the route was predominantly cloudless.
 
silentbob
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Tue May 07, 2013 6:58 pm

Quoting nighthawk (Reply 6):
You'd think the fact that the plane doesn't move would be a bit of a giveaway

Flights like that normally only happen in the desert near Las Vegas   
 
B747forever
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Tue May 07, 2013 7:08 pm

Quoting abrown532 (Reply 8):

Last time I flew EZY from LGW to BFS it went all the way up to FL370 which I thought was really high for such a short flight, pretty nice views all the way though as the route was predominantly cloudless.


Two months ago I flew ONT-OAK on Southwest and we went up to FL400. ONT-OAK is only 12 mi longer than your route.
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flaps30
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Tue May 07, 2013 8:25 pm

Quoting mesaflyguy (Reply 3):
I was on WN & DL 73Gs recently and both got up to FL400. It was pretty cool.

I fly WN regularly between SLC-LAX and many times recently we have been cruising at 41000. I was watching the WN flight tracker on the WiFi and then confirmed it with the captain after we landed. I was curious to see if we were actually flying that high and we were. The captain said that the 737-700 could cruise even higher than that.
every day is a good day to fly
 
factsonly
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Tue May 07, 2013 8:29 pm

Other BA news......tonight.

BA234 - B767-300 G-BNWI operating Moscow-LHR on 7 May 2013, diverted to AMS tonight due to smoke / fumes in the cockpit.

The flight has been cancelled and aircraft remains in AMS.
 
Viscount724
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Tue May 07, 2013 8:34 pm

Quoting mesaflyguy (Reply 3):
I was on WN & DL 73Gs recently and both got up to FL400. It was pretty cool.
Quoting flaps30 (Reply 11):
I fly WN regularly between SLC-LAX and many times recently we have been cruising at 41000. I was watching the WN flight tracker on the WiFi and then confirmed it with the captain after we landed. I was curious to see if we were actually flying that high and we were. The captain said that the 737-700 could cruise even higher than that.

It can't legally cruise higher than 41,000 feet as that's the maximum certified operating altitude according to the FAA type certificate for all 737NG models (-600 through -900). It's 37,000 feet on previous 737 models.

[Edited 2013-05-07 13:36:18]
 
Type-Rated
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Tue May 07, 2013 9:04 pm

I flew F9 SEA-DEN on an A319 some time ago and we cruised along at 41,000 feet. The air in the cabin did seem a bit stuffy.
I wonder what the cabin equivalent was at that altitude?
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cubastar
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Tue May 07, 2013 9:12 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 13):
e maximum certified operating altitude according to the FAA type certificate for all 737NG models (-600 through -900). It's 37,000 feet on previous 737 models.

Ahhhh, sure do miss those 727's at 42,000ft. Good old birds
 
A342
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Tue May 07, 2013 9:14 pm

At least the executive/VIP variants of the A320 family such as the ACJ are certified to FL410 by incorporation of a service bulletin. I don't know what would prevent that SB from being applied to normal passenger aircraft.
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
My16sidedoffice
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Wed May 08, 2013 1:14 am

42,000? Not really an assignable altitude, it's neither westbound or eastbound. Maybe it was in a block.
 
SEA
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Wed May 08, 2013 1:32 am

Quoting type-rated (Reply 14):
I flew F9 SEA-DEN on an A319 some time ago and we cruised along at 41,000 feet. The air in the cabin did seem a bit stuffy.

The A320 family is certified for 39,800'

BUT

I've been on the exact same flight before and have seen 41,000 as well. Can anyone comment on why this may be? I fly SEA-DEN on F9 once a month generally.
 
CO764
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Wed May 08, 2013 1:36 am

Quoting nighthawk (Reply 6):



Yeah, I should have looked more closely before starting the thread.   I have a slow connection so sometimes FR24 stops for several minutes then starts back up. Also, the altitude was fluctuating which made it seem as though it may have been a real flight. However, if you look closely at it for several seconds, it's fairly obvious that it can't be a real flight.
 
warden145
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Wed May 08, 2013 1:45 am

Quoting silentbob (Reply 9):
Flights like that normally only happen in the desert near Las Vegas

No they don't...any radar track that looks like that is just a figment of your imagination. Now, take a look at this red light...

 
ETOPS = Engine Turns Off, Passengers Swim
 
YLWbased
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Wed May 08, 2013 4:03 am

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 7):

The A320 is only certified to 39,100 ft so it has to be a glitch. I can’t think of a single reason where an airline would take an airplane higher than the service ceiling because that would require a lot of paperwork and regulatory approval.

I'm a frequent flyer on Air Asia, and they quite often fly at 41,000ft.

YLWbased
Hong Kong is not China. Not better or worse, just different.
 
CO764
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Wed May 08, 2013 9:01 am

I've logged around 65 flights since I started recording them (three years ago) and I've only been at FL400 three times: twice on SK (B736/B73W) and once on DL (B75W). Never been up to 410. I've been at FL390 on an A319 at FL380 on an A320 several times.

Let me repeat my earlier question : Does anyone know if the A320neo have a higher service ceiling than the 'ceo'? Also, will the 737 MAX have a higher service ceiling than the regular NG?
 
B747forever
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Wed May 08, 2013 9:06 am

Quoting CO764 (Reply 22):
logged around 65 flights since I started recording them (three years ago) and I've only been at FL400 three times: twice on SK (B736/B73W

Funny that you mentioned SAS, because I have noticed on FR24 that SK always seems to be cruising around FL400/410 especially with their 736s. Have flown them on short 1hr domestic flights were we went all the way up to FL410
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CO764
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Wed May 08, 2013 10:09 am

Quoting B747forever (Reply 23):
Funny that you mentioned SAS, because I have noticed on FR24 that SK always seems to be cruising around FL400/410 especially with their 736s.

That's simply because there are more of the SAS planes in the sky. SAS has 53 B736/B737 aircraft, which is quite a lot compared to other European operators. (eg. AB has 21, KL has 18, and TUI has 10). Those two particular variants typically fly higher than their larger counterparts (I'm pretty sure that it's because of their smaller size and/or lower weight).

WN has over 380 737s and WS has over 80 736s and 737s and you see them up there at FL400/FL410 all the time.

Whenever I fly CDG-OSL on an SAS 737, it's always a joy taking off because I know that I'll almost certainly make it up to at least FL390.  
 
Virginblue4
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Wed May 08, 2013 11:39 am

Was looking at FR24 yesterday and set it to only show mw aircraft at FL40+ and there were around 20 aircraft. A TOM 752 was at FL42.

Just had a quick look and Lufthansa A380 D-AIMD NRT-FRA is cruising at FL43.

And a private aircraft (BD700 Global Express) 9H-VJB is at FL47!

[Edited 2013-05-08 04:44:37]
712 738 744 752 762 763 764 223 319 320 321 332 359 DH4 E75 F70
BA BE BT BY DL IB MT PC U2 V7 VS WA ZB 6Y
 
speedbird128
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Wed May 08, 2013 11:49 am

Quoting CO764 (Reply 22):
Let me repeat my earlier question : Does anyone know if the A320neo have a higher service ceiling than the 'ceo'?

I might be digressing too, however, the A319ACJ is certified for F410/41,000'.

I have not seen anything on the NEO. Or whether other non-ACJ A319 are also rated to F410.
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CO764
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Wed May 08, 2013 12:16 pm

Quoting virginblue4 (Reply 25):
Just had a quick look and Lufthansa A380 D-AIMD NRT-FRA is cruising at FL43.

Very impressive IMO! I always thought that the A380 was certified to 43,100 feet "just because it's possible" (similarly to the MD-11, 767, and 777) but almost never went above FL410 in regular service. Must be pretty heavy as well.
 
EricAY05
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Wed May 08, 2013 12:28 pm

Quoting CO764 (Reply 22):

Everyone prepare for a very dumb question, not directly aimed at CO764. How do you guys know that you're at let's say FL410 compared to FL390? Most narrowbodies and especially those mentioned (SK's 737's) don't have monitors, so that's not it. Do you check it online afterwards or is it possible to just by looking out of the window know the altitude? 
 
CO764
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Wed May 08, 2013 1:26 pm

I personally always check on FR24 afterwards. I also find the cruising altitude is very often relayed to us passengers by the flight crew on SK as well.  

I have a nerdy obsession that I always have to see the exact flightpath whenever possible.
 
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RyanairGuru
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Wed May 08, 2013 1:33 pm

Quoting abrown532 (Reply 8):
Last time I flew EZY from LGW to BFS it went all the way up to FL370 which I thought was really high for such a short flight
Quoting B747forever (Reply 10):
Two months ago I flew ONT-OAK on Southwest and we went up to FL400. ONT-OAK is only 12 mi longer than your route.

I've made 36 on SYD-CBR, which is less than half the distance of LGW-BFS. You can practically walk from one to other!
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
gilesdavies
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Wed May 08, 2013 1:35 pm

About 7-8 years ago we was on a A320 Virgin Sun flight, flying ZTH-LGW and the pilot advised we was cruising at 42,000ft above Croatia...

I mentioned this on here back then, and I was rubbished, with everyone telling me this was not possible.

I am pleased it was not me that imagined it and how other A320's fly at similar heights.

I can't remember anything about the cabin atmosphere, but from what I recall seemed a normal flight.
 
speedbird128
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Wed May 08, 2013 2:05 pm

Quoting gilesdavies (Reply 31):
About 7-8 years ago we was on a A320 Virgin Sun flight, flying ZTH-LGW and the pilot advised we was cruising at 42,000ft above Croatia...

As an Air Traffic Controller I have never in my life had a regular A319/A320/A321 over F390.

Furthermore, there is no such level as F420.


RVSM is: F400/F410/F430.
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hivue
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Wed May 08, 2013 2:16 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 13):
It can't legally cruise higher than 41,000 feet as that's the maximum certified operating altitude according to the FAA type certificate for all 737NG models
Quoting A342 (Reply 16):
At least the executive/VIP variants of the A320 family such as the ACJ are certified to FL410

So are aircraft officially certified to max altitudes or max flight levels? I know it's a small difference, but at the margins I imagine it could be important. I assume it's altitude in an international standard atmosphere (the equivalent, I think, of FL) but I may be wrong.
"You're sitting. In a chair. In the SKY!!" ~ Louis C.K.
 
BA677
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Wed May 08, 2013 4:19 pm

Quoting Speedbird128 (Reply 32):
Furthermore, there is no such level as F420.


RVSM is: F400/F410/F430.



Look at the video at reply 5 and you will find out that there is. Not all countries accept it as he is asked to leave the level ready for the next sector.
 
speedbird128
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Wed May 08, 2013 4:37 pm

Quoting BA677 (Reply 34):
Look at the video at reply 5 and you will find out that there is. Not all countries accept it as he is asked to leave the level ready for the next sector.

F420 doesn't exist. That would have been a non-standard cruise level assigned (for comfort/turbulence, or for fuel burn, or even just for fun given their excitement of reaching F430), which is why the controller wanted to know if he would like F410 or F430 if Reims Centre don't accept the F420 "level"

I have issued many a non-standard cruise level, or a block level even. And I promise you that F420 doesn't exist. Yes you can select 42000 in the MCP. So can you select 44000. Doesn't mean it exists.
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vv701
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Wed May 08, 2013 4:42 pm

For what its worth - and apart from the £4.5 million it raised for Comic Relief it is not worth much - British Airways set a new Guinness World Record for both the "Highest Harlem Shake" and the "Highest Concert" when 763 G-BNWW "cruised" at FL430 for 22 mins 36 secs on 10 March last. The aircraft routed from LHR over Huddersfield, Glasgow, the Mull of Kintyre, the Isle of Man, Liverpool and Birmingham before doing two circuits in the Bovingdon Stack and then returning to LHR. The concert performers were Kim Wilde and Tony Hadley (of Spandau Ballet).

More here:

http://press.ba.com/?p=3056
 
Tristarsteve
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Wed May 08, 2013 5:36 pm

Anyway this was a BA A320 (which was on maintenance at the time).
BA A320 are limited to 39800ft max altitude by the Flight Manual.
Most other BA aircraft are limited to 43100ft. This applies to the B767 B777 B787 and A380.
The B744 is limited to 45100ft and the B737-400 to 37000ft.

But why? Is this a factor of the oxygen system?
Why are BA A320 at 39800, when other operators go higher?
 
B747forever
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Wed May 08, 2013 7:00 pm

Quoting CO764 (Reply 24):
That's simply because there are more of the SAS planes in the sky. SAS has 53 B736/B737 aircraft, which is quite a lot compared to other European operators. (eg. AB has 21, KL has 18, and TUI has 10). Those two particular variants typically fly higher than their larger counterparts (I'm pretty sure that it's because of their smaller size and/or lower weight).

WN has over 380 737s and WS has over 80 736s and 737s and you see them up there at FL400/FL410 all the time.

Never thought of it that way. It is true that Boeing aircraft have higher cruising altitudes.
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Boeing77W
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Wed May 08, 2013 7:33 pm

Quoting Tristarsteve (Reply 37):
Why are BA A320 at 39800, when other operators go higher?

Under EASA Type Certification the maximum operating altitude for an A320 is 39,100ft or 39,800ft if a modification to the pressurisation controller is made.

So any operator registered under EASA shouldn't exceed these altitudes.

The A321 has the same limitations. The A319-112/115/132/133 is certified to 41,000ft with modifications.

[Edited 2013-05-08 12:35:56]
 
Viscount724
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Wed May 08, 2013 10:05 pm

Quoting cubastar (Reply 15):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 13):
e maximum certified operating altitude according to the FAA type certificate for all 737NG models (-600 through -900). It's 37,000 feet on previous 737 models.

Ahhhh, sure do miss those 727's at 42,000ft. Good old birds
Quoting My16sidedoffice (Reply 17):
42,000? Not really an assignable altitude, it's neither westbound or eastbound. Maybe it was in a block.

On dozens of 727 flights I can't recall ever going above 39,000 ft, and it was usually more like 37,000.
 
L0VE2FLY
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Wed May 08, 2013 10:22 pm

Quoting EricAY05 (Reply 28):
Everyone prepare for a very dumb question, not directly aimed at CO764. How do you guys know that you're at let's say FL410 compared to FL390? Most narrowbodies and especially those mentioned (SK's 737's) don't have monitors, so that's not it. Do you check it online afterwards or is it possible to just by looking out of the window know the altitude?

FR24, Flightaware, etc...I thought all fellow a.netters knew about flight tracking websites!



Quoting Speedbird128 (Reply 32):
Furthermore, there is no such level as F420.


RVSM is: F400/F410/F430.

If the higher FL430 exists and the RVSM separation is 1000' Why not have FL420?!
 
cubastar
Posts: 314
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Wed May 08, 2013 11:25 pm

Quoting cubastar (Reply 15):
Ahhhh, sure do miss those 727's at 42,000ft. Good old birds
Quoting My16sidedoffice (Reply 17):
42,000? Not really an assignable altitude, it's neither westbound or eastbound. Maybe it was in a block.
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 40):
On dozens of 727 flights I can't recall ever going above 39,000 ft, and it was usually more like 37,000.

Well, it was a little tongue-in-cheek comment on my part. The 727 was certified to 42,000 ft (at least the -200 was). It was no problem getting to FL420 if you were light enough and the temperature was cold enough. (All of our 72's had the -15 engines.) Twenty to twenty five years ago, there never was much traffic above 390 and ATC would usually accommodate you if at all possible and usually a block 39 to 41 was easy and kept you clear of chop when everyone below you was screaming for smoother air. Lot more fun in the old days.
 
speedbird128
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Thu May 09, 2013 9:46 am

Quoting L0VE2FLY (Reply 41):
If the higher FL430 exists and the RVSM separation is 1000' Why not have FL420?!

As far as I am aware its due to the ever thinning air... F410 is the last RVSM level then conventional levels continue above - F410 then 430 then 450 etc every 2000.

My point was that after F410 the gap becomes 2000 feet again.
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Viscount724
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Thu May 09, 2013 6:52 pm

Quoting EricAY05 (Reply 28):
Everyone prepare for a very dumb question, not directly aimed at CO764. How do you guys know that you're at let's say FL410 compared to FL390? Most narrowbodies and especially those mentioned (SK's 737's) don't have monitors, so that's not it.

KLM 737-700s have drop-down video monitors with moving map and flight info displays. I've been on quite a few KL 73G flights at FL400 or 410, and often on 1-hour flights or slightly longer (e.g. AMS-GVA 368 nm).
 
BA677
Posts: 84
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Fri May 10, 2013 3:45 pm

Quoting EricAY05 (Reply 28):
Everyone prepare for a very dumb question, not directly aimed at CO764. How do you guys know that you're at let's say FL410 compared to FL390? Most narrowbodies and especially those mentioned (SK's 737's) don't have monitors, so that's not it. Do you check it online afterwards or is it possible to just by looking out of the window know the altitude? 
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 44):
KLM 737-700s have drop-down video monitors with moving map and flight info displays. I've been on quite a few KL 73G flights at FL400 or 410, and often on 1-hour flights or slightly longer (e.g. AMS-GVA 368 nm).



Or discreetly use an air band scanner.   
 
Sketty222
Posts: 904
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RE: BA A320 Over Glasgow FL430.

Sat May 11, 2013 12:17 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 44):
KLM 737-700s have drop-down video monitors with moving map and flight info displays. I've been on quite a few KL 73G flights at FL400 or 410, and often on 1-hour flights or slightly longer (e.g. AMS-GVA 368 nm).

If you look at Planefinder or FR24 you regularly see KL aircraft between AMS-NCL/EDI/GLA/ABZ at FL39 through to FL41 and these are the flights normally operated by 737/8's
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