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Reason for low initial cruise altitude


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I just started using PFPX again after quite some time and I am glad about the new futures of v2.

 

Yesterday I was planning a flight from KSFO to EDDM using NG2003 airac and RAD Restrictions and Directs 2004 1.0.0 and the following data:

 

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using these route settings:

 

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giving me the following result:

 

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I was trying to find out the reason for the low initial cruise altitude of 17000ft, but I could not find one. The restriction page did not show any Altitude/FL Restrictions. To my knowledge, the US airspace is not as regulated as the European one in general. The RAD Restrictions and Directs 2004 1.0.0 file does not contain any US restrictions. However, PFPX does not want me to climb higher for the first approx 170NM. Can anyone help out with an explanation?

 

Thanks in advance.

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Thanks for your reply. I trust your word, but do you have a public source to check that on my own for the future? I found an eight pages big PDF via Google containing airway T331, but maybe there is a general place to look for?

 

Why does PFPX decides for these airways, when I select "Upper Airspace" in the advanced routing finder? There definitely are alternatives in the upper airspace, e.g. SNTNA2 ORRCA Q120 BPI. Also, I calculated the same route with the "OPEN OPT" option to verify if it is because of an altitude restriction and it still gave me 17000ft initially. I thought this function is supposed to ignore altitude restrictions?

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The route editor summary page will list the available airway altitudes as derived from the AIRAC.

 

Mousing over the airways when enabled on the map will also return the altitudes.

 

PFPX as a planner rather than a simple route finding tool is going apply an optimization based on Cost, FUEL, TIME or distance when finding a route. Having run several scenarios on your airport pair the original departure is most effective.

 

The OPEN OPT is likely to override designated altitude restrictions found in Europe for example rather than the available levels of airways.

 

Automatic route finding relies on links either via airways or directs. For Europe's expanding Free Route Airspace users should be extremely grateful for David's RAD restrictions and Directs files that expand on the airways published in the AIRAC as directs are not included. To improve route finding elsewhere I would suggest adding any known directs to a USER database using the waypoints and airways editor.

 

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Hi Julian,

 

A bit of topic but you can get RW FPLs for routes in the USA and to and from the USA. From Flightaware the KSFO EDDM would be :

 

SNTNA2 ORRCA Q120 GALLI PARZZ Q121 PIH DIK HML J515 ZOMTA 5500N/08800W IRLAV JELCO GRIBS LIBOR 6300N/05000W 6300N/04000W 6300N/03000W 6300N/02000W 6200N/01000W GUNPA LINVI ATTUS ABGUS ALOSO T703 LULAR T105 EXUSI

 

Of course this route could change with the tracks but it could help for planning. 

 

Regards,

 

JP

 

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Hi JP,

 

thanks for the reply, I often use Flightaware for routes from and to the US already. Unfortunately, SFO-MUC is currently suspended from both Lufthansa and United because of COVID-19 travel restrictions, on this account there was no real world route available for today. And since winds and therefore optimal routes can change every day, I decided to build a route on my own. Otherwise a great source for up to date real world flight plans!

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