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Hi all in the forum....I guess i am the classic "armchair pilot", but i do want to know real procedures.I am confused about Flight levels. I understand the levels. but not which countries use particular levels and criterea. On two seperate occasions now vatsim ATC has asked me to change to an even FL because of the direction I was flying. so i guess vatsim uses semi circular rules. but i have downloaded internet data that says above FL290 all altitudes flown are odd, and only the seperation rules change. As i fly mainly european flights, could someone please tell me what are the flight level rules above FL290 for europe, and if they are any different in say america. and if there is a general rule that vatsim follows. Thanks in advanceJohn Calleja BAW352

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Europe, in real life, has gone to something called RVSM -- Reduced Vertical Separation Minimums -- which applies between FL285 and FL410 and allows for 1000' vertical separation at those altitudes. As a result, the rule for odd vs. even flight levels now extends all the way to FL410. This was not the case when many of the training aids available on the internet were written as RVSM is relatively new.The US does not currently implement RVSM in real life and thus it is not applied online either. The US is scheduled to implement it on January 20, 2005 though that is still subject to revision at the last minute.

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Hi RichardThank you for such a quick and very informative reply.Hopefully i can now make my flight plans a little more realistic now i understand the rules. It's a shame that we seem to have two sets of rules across each side of the pond so i am glad i am an armchair pilot in that respect as my mistakes only hurt my pride lol.John Calleja BAW352

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Mind you, in France and Spain (I'm not sure about Portugal) the rule for odd vs. even flights don't apply, as in the rest of Europe, for eastern vs. western directions, but rather for northern vs. southern directions. At least these are the rules as applied by VATSIM controllers in those countries.Regards,Hans

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IIRC Hans it's France, Spain, Italy, Switzwerland and Portugal that have a North/South divide. With luck each relevant VATSIM site should indicate if they use the N/S system ;-)

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