- Nov 20, 2003
I've often wondered why they don't just change altitude and go above the storm. I know some storms can be very high but those plane's max ceiling is like 44 000 ft, at that height they should ride above most storms? And 44 000 is probably a very conservative safety number, they can prob hit 46-48k without issue - certain less issue than having the plane's components shoved and bounced around all of the place.
But in my discussions with Pilots it seems they have to obey their given flight altitude - and getting tossed about like a cheap kite is not a reason not to
44 000 ft is above most commercial airliners' service ceilings. Push the boundary and you risk entering into what's known as coffin corner.
From what I've learned, it seems to all be about profit - too expensive to fly higher. Typical...
Flying higher is actually more economical - less fuel burn. There is a fine balance though between optimal altitude and fuel load. An aircraft (especially long haul) must burn fuel in order to efficiently attain optimal fuel efficient altitude - known as a step climb.