How high are you?

Steven Clougher, over at MysteriousNZ, in regards to the cruising altitude of NZ domestic flights, states that…

When on internal flights, around 27,000ft is common
36,000ft for international flights, as I recall

Is this true, I wonder? (Surely it is, after all, Steven is on record as being vehemently against conjecture). How about a quick check on to find the altitude of planes over NZ airspace at the moment?

It lists one domestic flight – AirNZ Flight 526 from Christchurch to Auckland. Its altitude…?


Click to embiggen

And actually, as I write, I can watch Jetstar flight 261 from Auckland to Wellington (the plane just south of Waiuku in the image above) climbing out of AKL to a height of … 30000ft (as it gets close to passing over New Plymouth).

But, hey, don’t let reality get in the way of your assumptions, eh?


10 thoughts on “How high are you?

  1. Thought I’d keep an eye on other flights over the next couple of hours as well.

    These are the max heights I eyeballed as I took the occasional look at the Flightradar screen — they may well have been higher during other periods of their flights (all heights in feet)…

    Flight #: FROM->TO: Max observed height

    JQ251: AKL->CHC: 38000
    NZ524: CHC->AKL: 37025
    NZ428: WTN->AKL: 34975
    JQ267: AKL->WTN: 27200
    JQ250: CHC->AKL: 37025
    NZ457: AKL->WTN: 36000

    So, over a couple of hours, only one domestic flight had a maximum altitude of less than ~35000ft. Go figure.

    • Well, I’m not impressed with your scientific integrity.
      Nor with your cowardice and snobbery
      You have at least the honesty to post the 27,000ft figure which proves my point.
      No investigation of the factors which might influence the decision to fly higher or lower….headwinds or tailwinds perhaps?
      Having a degree confers arrogance
      Use your brain, don’t rest on some Kellogg’s boxtop qualification.
      Think. Think.

  2. Your pretty much bang on there Hemi. Northbound flights will 99% of the time be flying at an odd flight level FL350 and FL370. Southbounds take an even number FL340 FL360 and FL380 the most common. On the shorter legs serviced by jets WN-CH-WN or CH-QN-CH, FL250 or FL270 really common northbound, and the other way FL240 and FL260. Not much point in going higher because as soon as they get up there its time to come down.

    Regards, Anon

  3. Basically jet a/c try to fly as high as possible – and on long international flights they will change altitude higher as they burn off large amounts of fuel, become significantly lighter, and can get higher.

    As anon said – on shorter flights they often simply lack time to climb as high as they might, but if you look at my post on the KAL129 item you’ll see they don’t actually need as much space as ppl might think to decend from considerable heights.

    Just another example of chemmies not really understanding what they are looking at! 😦

  4. Your sample of altitudes is ridiculously small
    So much for your self-proclaimed rationality !
    More to the point, your posting of my name tagged with “stupidity” amounts to character assassination, and will be treated as such.
    Now go and play on the road

    • Accurate labels are good for the rest of us though.

      As for sample size – you made some assertions as to altitudes – what was your sample size for figuring those out??

      No attempt was made to draw statistical significance from the small sample size on here, so what’s your actual beef? These things are not hard to figure out – how about if you don’t like the sample you go online and get a bigger one and let us all know how it looks??

  5. “Now go and play on the road”

    Yep, that about sums up this blog methinks as it’s obviously maintained by people with a perpetual youth complex (that’s a nice way of saying boys who never grow up – the continuation of juvenile behaviour traits way into adulthood that no amount of academic educational pursuit can ever alter).

    ‘Tis a very sad indictment on the human race that so many people are like this today – the desire to prove others wrong, the desire for instant fame & fortune, a constant holier-than-thou attitude as a result of the socially engineered elitist mindset (basic psych 101 really!). Those who truly see see it very clearly here but we do not criticise, get angry or wish you’d go away. We feel sorry for you and hope that one day you will experience actual love for yourselves & for others because ALL others are your equal WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT.

    “The few will not prosper for long… and their systems shall fail…”

    Hans Bischer

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