Commercial aircraft typically fly between 31,000 and 38,000 feet — about 5.9 to 7.2 miles — high and usually reach their cruising altitudes in the first 10 minutes of a flight, according to Beckman. Planes can fly much higher than this altitude, but that can present safety issues.
What height do transatlantic planes fly at?
According to USA Today, the common cruising altitude for most commercial airplanes is between 33,000 and 42,000 feet, or between about six and nearly eight miles above sea level. Typically, aircraft fly around 35,000 or 36,000 feet in the air.
Why do planes not fly over the Pacific?
The primary reason airplanes don’t fly over the Pacific Ocean is because curved routes are shorter than straight routes. … Whether a commercial airline is flying from the United States to Asia or elsewhere, it will have the fastest and most fuel-efficient flight by performing a curved rout.
Does flying east to west take longer?
The main reason for the difference in travel time is due to the jet stream. The jet stream is high altitude wind that blows from the west to the east across the globe. Airplanes fly into the jet stream at 30,000 feet and then travel with these winds. … This will cause your flight to take around 7 to 8 hours.
Why do planes fly at 35000 feet?
The “sweet spot” of flying is regarded as between 35,000 and 42,000 feet – too high and the oxygen becomes too sparse to fuel the engines, too low and the air resistance is greater. This optimum height is linked to the usual weight of a commercial jet – that is, heavier planes fly lower, and lighter higher.
Do planes fly over Everest?
Airplanes often avoid air paths that take them over Mt Everest or the Pacific Ocean. … This is because “the Himalayas have mountains higher than 20,000 feet, including Mt Everest standing at 29,035 feet. However, most commercial airplanes can fly at 30,000 feet.”
How cold is it at 35000 feet?
How cold is it up there? The higher you get, the colder it gets, up until 40,000 feet. If the temperature at ground level was 20C, at 40,000 feet it would be -57C. At 35,000 feet the air temperature is about -54C.
Is it safe to fly over the ocean?
Can a plane land on water in case of an emergency? Yes it can, but it is not designed to do so, and an emergency landing is always better on land at an airport. … However, as long as sea conditions are smooth and the ditching is performed in a proper way, an aircraft can land on the sea and remain afloat.
Why can’t planes fly over the South Pole?
Firstly, there’s a lack of any real need to fly over the South Pole. There’s a lot less airline traffic in the far reaches of the southern hemisphere than the northern hemisphere. For example, the southern hemisphere doesn’t have the equivalent of those typically busy sub polar routes between North America and Asia.
Is becoming a pilot worth the cost?
The cost, time and effort you spend training to become a pilot also have a significant opportunity cost to you as well, that is, you won’t be able to do other things. … Whilst nothing is impossible, it’s best to set realistic goals, and the simple fact is you need to sacrifice quite a lot to become a successful pilot.
Why do planes only fly east?
The jet stream is the real reason your flight time varies depending on the direction of your destination. Jet streams are air currents that happen at very high altitudes, including those which planes frequently fly in. … These jet streams tend to move in a wavy pattern from west to east, aided by the earth’s rotation.
Why are flights faster going east?
The reason for quicker flights while flying eastwards are jet streams. Put simply, they are fast-flowing, narrow air currents in the atmosphere found at high altitudes.
Can a plane fly faster than the Earth rotates?
At the equator, the Earth spins about twice as fast as a commercial jet can fly. That rate slows the closer you get to the poles, but regardless, it’s always going to be faster than a plane.
What happens if a plane flies too high?
When the plane gets too high, there is insufficient oxygen to fuel the engines. “The air is less dense at altitude, so the engine can suck in less and less air per second as it goes higher and at some point the engine can no longer develop sufficient power to climb.” …
What is the highest a plane has ever flown?
On February 17, 1986, The highest altitude obtained by a soaring aircraft was set at 49,009 ft (14,938 m) by Robert Harris using lee waves over California City, United States.
Are planes checked before every flight?
Some people think that before taking off in an airplane the pilot simply has a casual glance at it. Perhaps he kicks the types, checks the fuel gauges to makes sure he has enough fuel, and then just departs. But this is very far from the case. All good pilots use pre-flight checklists before every flight.