Already a member? Please login below for an enhanced experience. Not a member? Join today
Menu

'An aviator's field guide to middle-altitude flying''An aviator's field guide to middle-altitude flying'

What you need to know about the rarer airWhat you need to know about the rarer air

If you fly an airplane that can hike itself to higher altitudes and has a service ceiling to match, congratulations. You get a lot of benefits—better range and the ability to outclimb most types of weather (except thunderstorms), to name just two.

Resource material from Aviation Supplies and Academics can help pilots properly plan for middle altitude flying. Photo by David Tulis.

Designated pilot examiner Jason Blair has chosen middle-attitude flying—the rare air between 10,000 and 25,000 feet msl—as the subject in the first of a planned series of field guides published by ASA.

There’s more to this type of flying than making sure you have an oxygen cannula, and Blair’s compact guide—just 120 pages—lays out the considerations pilots must take. Restricting the conversation to piston-powered aircraft, Blair suggests that a pilot will want to weigh the opportunities and risks and become very familiar with planning considerations, and then shows you how to do exactly that by delving into emergencies, performance and fuel planning, descent planning, and weight-and-balance planning. He also examines navigation and weather planning, observing that a pilot who’s used to conducting short flights at lower altitudes should prepare to go back to prognostic charts, significant weather charts, and surface analysis charts for pertinent information.

An Aviator’s Guide to Middle-Altitude Flying is a handy resource for the pilot who’s moving up to airplanes that can fly at higher altitudes.

Jill W. Tallman

Jill W. Tallman

AOPA Technical Editor
AOPA Technical Editor Jill W. Tallman is an instrument-rated private pilot who owns a Piper Cherokee 140.
Topics: Ownership, Pilot Training and Certification, Advanced Training

Related Articles