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DiegoSS02
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Are non-stop flights between LPB and Europe technically possible?

Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:42 pm

As many people here knows, LPB (La Paz, Bolivia) is the second-highest commercial airport in the world, at 13,325 feet over sea level. I've been wondering if flights between LPB and Europe (for example, LPB-MAD or LPB-CDG) are technically possible, considering the limitations high altitude imposes in an airplane's range. Until recently, AA operated LPB-MIA with a 757, with an intermediate stop in VVI (possibly also because commercial reasons, as the demand is there), so I assume flights to Europe would require an intermediate technical stop.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Are non-stop flights between LPB and Europe technically possible?

Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:57 pm

Not possible due to performance limits at LPB, not to mention LPB-MAD is 5,000 nautical, outside a 757 range from sea level. It’d be interesting to see a 787-8 runway analysis at LPB, though.

GF
 
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ClipperYankee
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Re: Are non-stop flights between LPB and Europe technically possible?

Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:42 am

I seem to remember LH flew 747s out of LPB and they would rumble down the runway for what seemed like five minutes before they could get airborne? I don't know if they flew non-stop to Europe or made a fuel stop somewhere though, I would guess they stopped.
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AirlineCritic
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Re: Are non-stop flights between LPB and Europe technically possible?

Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:26 am

I think even the US flights depart La Paz and head for the capital Sucre, a short flight... which reduces the amount of fuel you need to pack in.

On topic, here's a pic from landing in La Paz. Check out the cabin altitude (shown in meters):

Image
 
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AirlineCritic
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Re: Are non-stop flights between LPB and Europe technically possible?

Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:19 am

(And that was *before* landing when we were still in air)
 
stratclub
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Re: Are non-stop flights between LPB and Europe technically possible?

Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:09 pm

How does your watch register altitude? Could it be by GPS or other means or is their an actual altimeter in the watch? You watch may not be reading actual cabin BARO pressure to determine altitude. IIRC, When we did high altitude testing out of El Alto (La Paz), if the crew set the ECS (pressurization) landing altitude to field elevation, the oxygen masks would deploy on landing.
Last edited by stratclub on Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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rjsampson
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Re: Are non-stop flights between LPB and Europe technically possible?

Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:33 pm

stratclub wrote:
How does your watch register altitude? Could it be by GPS or other means or is their an actual altimeter in the watch? You watch may not be reading actual cabin BARO pressure to determine altitude. IIRC, When we did high altitude testing out of El Alto (La Paz), if the crew set the ECS (pressurization) landing altitude to field elevation, the oxygen masks would deploy.


Many smartwatches carry pretty effective altimeters. That said: you can't set the ambient baro from 29.92 so the actual cabin altitude could have been lower than your watch suggested, hence no deployment of oxy masks.
"..your eyes will be forever turned skyward, for there.." yeah we know the DaVinci quote. But GA is so dang expensive these days! :(
 
stratclub
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Re: Are non-stop flights between LPB and Europe technically possible?

Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:56 pm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergency_oxygen_system
"Most commercial aircraft that operate at high flight altitudes are pressurized at a maximum cabin altitude of approximately 8,000 feet (6000 feet 787). On most pressurized aircraft, if cabin pressurization is lost when the cabin altitude is above 14,000 feet, compartments containing the oxygen masks will open automatically, either above or in front of the passenger and crew seats, and the oxygen masks will drop down in front of the passenger".

So I guess the watch must not have been reading actual cabin altitude barometric pressure inside the cabin.The aircraft I was referring to in my first post is the 787 which may have a lower emergency O2 mask deploy cabin altitude than the general info above.

El Alto field elevation: Elevation AMSL 4,061.5 m / 13,325 ft
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Are non-stop flights between LPB and Europe technically possible?

Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:37 pm

Usually the O2 system has a high elevation selection which raises the mask deployment to a higher value, usually a function of the FMS LDG ELEV

GF
 
stratclub
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Re: Are non-stop flights between LPB and Europe technically possible?

Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:52 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Usually the O2 system has a high elevation selection which raises the mask deployment to a higher value, usually a function of the FMS LDG ELEV

GF

Is what I was referring to possible if the crew selected landing altitude manually and landing altitude set is within the range of deploying the masks? I'n not a pilot, but am referring to a possible event as related to my by others. The event may have never actually happened but may have been just hypothetical based on how the systems function.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Are non-stop flights between LPB and Europe technically possible?

Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:17 pm

No, the FMS accounts for the landing elevation (LDG ELEV) and internally changes the mask deployment altitude. If the crew entered an incorrectly high landing elevation, the cabin should depress up the the safety valves which likely would deploy the masks. At least, that’s my guess how it would work.

GF
 
DBCooper
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Re: Are non-stop flights between LPB and Europe technically possible?

Sun Oct 14, 2018 3:30 am

AA initially served LPB on a MIA-PTY-LIM-LPB-ASU routing.

This became MIA-LPB-VVI-MIA. The triangle routing achieved several objectives:
1. Addressed payload considerations ex-LPB
2. Provided a more hospitable crew overnight for the sea-level based MIA crews; F/As really struggled with the LPB stop while the C/P crew stayed on supplemental oxygen for most of the 1:10 stop
3. Freed up seats MIA-PTY & MIA-LIM that could easily be filled
4. ASU was then served via GRU on a USA-GRU-ASU routing

The LPB flight ops training tape AA inherited from EA was quite something to watch. Keep in mind that EA served the MIA-PTY-LIM-LPB-ASU route with the 72S - equipped with -17R engines. AA used the better hot & high 757.

-DBC
 
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AirlineCritic
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Re: Are non-stop flights between LPB and Europe technically possible?

Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:52 pm

stratclub wrote:
How does your watch register altitude? Could it be by GPS or other means or is their an actual altimeter in the watch? You watch may not be reading actual cabin BARO pressure to determine altitude.


The watch uses pressure (in this case cabin pressure). I.e., there is actual altimeter.

The photo was taken maybe a minute before landing.

There was no way to calibrate the altimeter in this case to current weather, so the numbers could be a bit but not significantly off. LPB altitude is 4061m.

stratclub wrote:
IIRC, When we did high altitude testing out of El Alto (La Paz), if the crew set the ECS (pressurization) landing altitude to field elevation, the oxygen masks would deploy on landing.


I remember reading about how some other aircraft treat oxygen masks in La Paz, but I forget what they did. It is certainly a thing that they have to handle somehow. I do remember that per at least someone's rules, the pilots are required to use oxygen masks. I don't know if everyone does though, 4000m is not that catastrophic for most people. Did you or your pilots use masks?

The better hotels in La Paz have oxygen service for people who feel ill because of the altitude, I'm told. I wouldn't know, I went camping at 5000 meters that day :-)
 
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Re: Are non-stop flights between LPB and Europe technically possible?

Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:59 pm

stratclub wrote:
Is what I was referring to possible if the crew selected landing altitude manually and landing altitude set is within the range of deploying the masks?


I've also read stories about accidental mask deployment in La Paz, I presume it is indeed possible.
 
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Re: Are non-stop flights between LPB and Europe technically possible?

Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:01 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Usually the O2 system has a high elevation selection which raises the mask deployment to a higher value


Thanks. This sounds familiar, and was what I had read about this earlier.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Are non-stop flights between LPB and Europe technically possible?

Sat Oct 20, 2018 1:14 am

Any 787 pilots that might be able to run a runway analysis and range estimate out of LPB? It’s 5,000 nautical and about 10.6 hours great circle, so it might just be doable.

Also, LPB normally has an above standard barometer, reducing its pressure altitude.

GF
 
FrmrKSEngr
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Re: Are non-stop flights between LPB and Europe technically possible?

Sat Oct 20, 2018 4:10 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Any 787 pilots that might be able to run a runway analysis and range estimate out of LPB? It’s 5,000 nautical and about 10.6 hours great circle, so it might just be doable.

Also, LPB normally has an above standard barometer, reducing its pressure altitude.

GF


The 787 Airport planning document has some performance charts (linked below). Knock your self out.

https://www.boeing.com/resources/boeing ... ps/787.pdf
 
VSMUT
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Re: Are non-stop flights between LPB and Europe technically possible?

Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:54 pm

rjsampson wrote:
stratclub wrote:
How does your watch register altitude? Could it be by GPS or other means or is their an actual altimeter in the watch? You watch may not be reading actual cabin BARO pressure to determine altitude. IIRC, When we did high altitude testing out of El Alto (La Paz), if the crew set the ECS (pressurization) landing altitude to field elevation, the oxygen masks would deploy.


Many smartwatches carry pretty effective altimeters. That said: you can't set the ambient baro from 29.92 so the actual cabin altitude could have been lower than your watch suggested, hence no deployment of oxy masks.


Dont forget that pressurization systems also change the altitude at a different rate from the aircrafts actual height, as a matter of comfort. Following a fastish descent, the cabin will likely be lagging a bit, so showing a slightly higher level.
 
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AirlineCritic
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Re: Are non-stop flights between LPB and Europe technically possible?

Tue Oct 23, 2018 12:43 pm

Yes, but in this case the cabin altitude *rises* (and pressure drops) as we prepared for landing. Usual cruise altitude is what 7000 ft, which we also had earlier in the flight but in the landing phase that rose up. As we were physically descending, but had to synchronize with outside pressure in a place higher than 7000 ft.
 
AntonioMartin
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Re: Are non-stop flights between LPB and Europe technically possible?

Sun Jun 30, 2019 6:28 pm

ClipperYankee wrote:
I seem to remember LH flew 747s out of LPB and they would rumble down the runway for what seemed like five minutes before they could get airborne? I don't know if they flew non-stop to Europe or made a fuel stop somewhere though, I would guess they stopped.

I think Lufthansa stopped at SJU between La Paz and Frankfurt at one point.

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