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woady
Topic Author
Posts: 399
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 3:12 am

Flight Levels

Wed Feb 22, 2006 3:40 am

Hi guys!

A bit of a noob question here;

What are the ideal flight levels for the following flights (rough estimates will be fine)?

Upto 90mins take off to land
90 mins - 2 hrs
2hrs +

Woady
 
David L
Posts: 8551
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:26 am

RE: Flight Levels

Wed Feb 22, 2006 5:24 am

It depends a lot on the aircraft type and weight.
 
DFW13L
Posts: 809
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2005 3:22 pm

RE: Flight Levels

Wed Feb 22, 2006 5:24 am

Get as high as you can. FL330-370 would be ideal, using a normal airliner.
 
futureuapilot
Posts: 1329
Joined: Mon May 24, 2004 7:50 am

RE: Flight Levels

Wed Feb 22, 2006 8:15 am

I would use the highest flight level you chould reach as well. At least FL300. Just my opinion though.

-Sam
 
Longhornmaniac
Posts: 3159
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 2:33 pm

RE: Flight Levels

Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:09 am

Woady,

Here is some comparisons for you from my experiences:

AUS-DFW (about 160 nm, and about 30 minutes in the air)- usually between FL190 and FL230

AUS-IAH (about 130 nm, and about 25/30 minutes in the air)-as low as 14,000, as high as FL 240, usually around FL 180 or FL 190

DFW-ORD (about 1:45 in the air, although weather depending, as much as 2:15)- usually between FL310-FL350, although in a 777 I've gotten up to FL410.

On the average, in a medium range, narrowbody (e.g. MD-80, 737, A320) on a flight between 1:30-3:00 in the air, anywhere between FL310-FL350 is a safe bet, FL330 is a favorite of mine. For widebodies (and 757 and 737NG) they will climb as fast as possible and get as high as they can. Like I said, on trips from DFW-ORD or vice versa I've flown as low as FL280, on the average around FL330, we got up to FL410 on a 777. Anywhere between FL370-FL430, although usually no higher than FL410 in my experiences (unless you're in the Concorde, but hey! thats not even a widebody!  Smile). Especially long haul, transoceanic flights, they'll normally cruise at FL370 or higher.

I'm sure someone on here will disagree with me, as always seems to happen  Wink but those are just my experiences and observations.

*note: if we're talking about flight sim here, I've found that you should moniter your IAS closely, because I've actually stalled out on a 777 passing through FL380. I'm not really sure why, but I left my computer, and next thing I knew I was back in my starting airport (we all know what that means...BOOM!) So its just something to watch for, because for some reason the higher I go, the slower I go, once I get to about FL330. Once I level out again it slowly increases, but on a flight from AUS-DFW I'll read over 400 knots IAS when I'm being impatient/ pushing the plane to overspeed, but when I get into those higher altitudes, I'm lucky if I can get to 300 knots IAS, however my groundspeed is much closer to what it should be.

I hope this is some idea of what you were looking for. Feel free to ask any more questions if needbe.

Cheers,
Cameron
 
aircanada333
Posts: 458
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2005 1:16 pm

RE: Flight Levels

Wed Feb 22, 2006 11:06 am

You have to know that when you are heading east, your flight level must be impair and when you are heading west it must be pair. It always as to be like that excepting if you have a special authorization from the controller.

Cheers!
Benjamin wave 
 
Mir
Posts: 19491
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:55 am

RE: Flight Levels

Wed Feb 22, 2006 1:21 pm

Quoting Aircanada333 (Reply 5):
You have to know that when you are heading east, your flight level must be impair and when you are heading west it must be pair.

In other words, if your heading is 000-179, you need to fly at odd-numbered altitudes (FL310, 330, 350, etc.). If your heading is 180-359, you need to fly at even-numbered altitudes (FL320, 340, 360, etc.). It used to be that you could get an ATC clearance to operate "wrong-way" at altitudes inappropriate for your direction of flight (back when the US had 2,000ft vertical separation above FL290), but now that RVSM applies, it's unlikely that it would be approved.

-Mir
 
Newark777
Posts: 8283
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 6:23 am

RE: Flight Levels

Wed Feb 22, 2006 1:30 pm

Look here for some examples of where the real planes fly:

http://flightaware.com/analysis/route.rvt

Harry
 
AMSMAN
Posts: 975
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 6:24 pm

RE: Flight Levels

Wed Feb 22, 2006 1:53 pm

I flew FL140 going AMS-DUB. Was in an A330 though, maybe that was why
 
A3204eva
Posts: 1041
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 4:25 am

RE: Flight Levels

Thu Feb 23, 2006 1:02 am

As said the FL you fly at depends on the a/c's weight, the distance you're flying and the cost index you set (well the cost index doesn't matter for FS).

And remember the semi-circle rule for direction of flight
 
DFW13L
Posts: 809
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2005 3:22 pm

RE: Flight Levels

Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:37 am

Quoting AMSMAN (Reply 8):
I flew FL140 going AMS-DUB. Was in an A330 though, maybe that was why

Wow, that's really low. I remember once I was flying IND-STL (like 250 miles) on a TWA 757. They said the airspace was so crowded (with aircraft heading to ORD, just 160 miles away) that we had to wait for 20mins or so for airspace to open up. Then they said that ATC was able to give us a lower altitude that was less crowded, so we went beneath all the traffic.

Maybe that's what you were doing?

Also, that's unusual for EI to put an A330 on a European flight, isn't it?
 
CVGpilot
Posts: 579
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2003 5:20 am

RE: Flight Levels

Fri Feb 24, 2006 7:31 pm

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 4):
*note: if we're talking about flight sim here, I've found that you should moniter your IAS closely, because I've actually stalled out on a 777 passing through FL380. I'm not really sure why, but I left my computer, and next thing I knew I was back in my starting airport (we all know what that means...BOOM!) So its just something to watch for, because for some reason the higher I go, the slower I go, once I get to about FL330. Once I level out again it slowly increases, but on a flight from AUS-DFW I'll read over 400 knots IAS when I'm being impatient/ pushing the plane to overspeed, but when I get into those higher altitudes, I'm lucky if I can get to 300 knots IAS, however my groundspeed is much closer to what it should be.

- Sir, you must know the difference between IAS and TAS. IAS= indicated air speed, the higher you go the lower you IAS will be. That’s why pilots typically start to monitor and USE there TAS= True Air Speed around 8k, the higher you go the higher your TRUE airspeed will be in “most cases”, in the case of FS9 here is what I do. Go into setting switch to “Display true airspeed” this will allow you to always know your true airspeed on the airspeed indicator and to get you IAS press shift Z a few times it will display at the top of the screen. So at FL330 your IAS might read 180kts however your TAS his closer to 500kts. For more info look up Air speeds in fs9 help, you may also want to look up the different types of altitudes. Hope this helps you greatly. P.s, at and below 2k agl “above ground level” IAS and TAS are typically the same and don’t start to vary until around 5k. All the check list in FS9 are in IAS.
 
justplanecrazy
Posts: 528
Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2003 11:26 pm

RE: Flight Levels

Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:38 pm

Quoting Longhornmaniac (Reply 4):

As the air is less dense the higher you go less molicules of air are being forced down the pitot tube that records the IAS. At 2,000 feet if your IAS is 200 knts then at say 12,000 feet to get 200 knts of air down the pitot tube you are going to have to fly faster.That's why your aircraft can go 250 Knts IAS at 5,000 feet without exceeding the aircrafts safe speed limit but at 33,000 feet an IAS of 250 knts would cause structual damage to your 737.
 
atco2b
Posts: 1099
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2005 5:20 pm

RE: Flight Levels

Fri Feb 24, 2006 10:32 pm

Quoting AMSMAN (Reply 8):
I flew FL140 going AMS-DUB. Was in an A330 though, maybe that was why

Coulda got FL300 out of that easily  Wink
 
CVGpilot
Posts: 579
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2003 5:20 am

RE: Flight Levels

Sat Feb 25, 2006 3:58 am

Quoting Atco2b (Reply 13):
Quoting AMSMAN (Reply 8):
I flew FL140 going AMS-DUB. Was in an A330 though, maybe that was why

Flight levels do not start until you reach 18,000feet. That then becomes FL180 and so on. By FL140 you mean 14,000feet.
 
jetflyer
Posts: 603
Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2009 7:38 am

RE: Flight Levels

Sat Feb 25, 2006 4:53 am

Quoting CVGpilot (Reply 14):
Flight levels do not start until you reach 18,000feet. That then becomes FL180 and so on. By FL140 you mean 14,000feet.

Not in Europe pal, the transition altitude on his route is 5,000ft so yes it is FL140.

I always thought the rule for cruising altitude is distance in NM equals flight level e.g:

100NM = FL100 (10,000ft)
150NM = FL150 (15,000ft)
230NM = FL230 (23,000ft)

And you get the idea.....doesn't mean you have to actually go that high though, as with the EI A330 sometimes traffic conditions mean you are limited to even lower altitudes. However, the problem with going higher than the listed distance - altitudes is because the vast majority of the flight would be taken up by climbing and that would burn excess fuel.
 
CVGpilot
Posts: 579
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2003 5:20 am

RE: Flight Levels

Sat Feb 25, 2006 5:02 am

Quoting Jetflyer (Reply 15):
Not in Europe pal

This is true, good catch buddy!

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