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34,000 headed east?

Posted: Sat May 19, 2018 12:23 am
by B6WNQX
I searched but didn’t see much, but on AS736 climb out above 20,000 was bumpy to our planned altitude of 33,000. We then climbed to 34,000 where it was smooth. The altitude is according to flightaware, but my understanding is going East should be odd flight altitudes. Are there rules for exceptions to this or would this be a flightaware glitch?

Re: 34,000 headed east?

Posted: Sat May 19, 2018 12:33 am
by GalaxyFlyer
ATC can “opposite direction levels”, traffic permitting. Typically, hard to get in the thirties due to traffic. Nan Canada has a policy not to use them even above F410.

GF

Re: 34,000 headed east?

Posted: Sat May 19, 2018 12:42 am
by B6WNQX
Thats interesting and makes sense. Thank you for the response!

Re: 34,000 headed east?

Posted: Sat May 19, 2018 1:21 am
by trnswrld
Very common and happens all the time. Most often you see aircraft at inappropriate altitudes for direction of flight “IAFDOF” for other traffic or to find smooth air like in your case. Sectors just coordinate from one to the other and will be approved as long as they can safely handle the aircraft at that altitude.

Re: 34,000 headed east?

Posted: Sun May 20, 2018 4:21 am
by Redbellyguppy
Let's say I'm cruising at 350. ATC might sometimes ask me... can you do 370 for traffic? If I'm heavy the answer might be no but I can do 360. If it helps the controller that might be a way to be at a wrong altitude too.

Re: 34,000 headed east?

Posted: Sun May 20, 2018 4:56 am
by 26point2
If you can only manage a 1000 foot climb then perhaps you should say “No”. No? Make the other guy move.

Re: 34,000 headed east?

Posted: Sun May 20, 2018 5:28 am
by Mir
26point2 wrote:
If you can only manage a 1000 foot climb then perhaps you should say “No”. No? Make the other guy move.


Or you might get descended or turned instead. Going up 1000 feet, if it's possible, is better for everybody.

Re: 34,000 headed east?

Posted: Sun May 20, 2018 1:42 pm
by trnswrld
26point2 wrote:
If you can only manage a 1000 foot climb then perhaps you should say “No”. No? Make the other guy move.


Redbellyguppy’s example happens ALL the time and pilots unable a 2,000ft climb, but can do 1,000ft accept that all the time. They wouldn’t accept it if it was unsafe.
Controllers analyze many factors when determining which aircraft to either climb, descend, or turn.
So there are MANY reasons an airplane might be cruising IAFDOF and it happens all the time.

Re: 34,000 headed east?

Posted: Sun May 20, 2018 6:08 pm
by N766UA
It’s called wrong (or inappropriate) altitude for direction of flight. If approved, there’s nothing preventing it. It’s just a pain for controllers as they have to continually approve it with the next sector. It’s more common in sparsely-populated airspace for that reason, but can and is regularly used everywhere for a myriad of reasons.