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It has less to do about pressurized and more about oxygen for the pilots passengers. Here are the rules:(a) General. No person may operate a civil aircraft of U.S. registry-- (1) At cabin pressure altitudes above 12,500 feet (MSL) up to and including 14,000 feet (MSL) unless the required minimum flight crew is provided with and uses supplemental oxygen for that part of the flight at those altitudes that is of more than 30 minutes duration;(2) At cabin pressure altitudes above 14,000 feet (MSL) unless the required minimum flight crew is provided with and uses supplemental oxygen during the entire flight time at those altitudes; and(3) At cabin pressure altitudes above 15,000 feet (MSL) unless each occupant of the aircraft is provided with supplemental oxygen.Note-US registry! Also-you can go to 14,000 msl for 30 minutes or less.Get the virtual oxygen bottles out!I have taken my single bonanza to 14,000 (service ceiling 18000) when over the Rocky mountains for a brief time to cross a pass or two.http://members.telocity.com/~geof43/Geofdog2.gif

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Hello Geof,Man, that's exactly what I was looking for! I knew there had to be a way to get over the Andes with the Baron. Thanks so much for the reply.

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Geoff has it spot on.I fly a lot of high altitude in the Piper Seneca five and regulary fly at 20000 feet.The one thing to remmeber is that the more you do fly high the more tolerant you become.There are many people who live at altitudes of 10000 feet.The other point is if you are flying flight levels to check what the QNH/Regional pressure setting is so that you dont bust those levels by being higher than you think you are.There are other problems/differences/benefits in high flying, so do take someone with experience to start with (thats if you are a real pilot:-).Peter

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I wish I were a real pilot Peter but alas I'm just a virtual one. Thanks so much for replying to my question.

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OwenNo problem :-) I am glad you try to make your simming as real as it gets including following the altitude/oxygen regs.The biggest part missing in a home sim is the "fear" aspect. You know nothing will happen to you in the sim :-)the fear, adrenalin and challenge are an important aspect of real flight and one which might be added in future flight sims but its missing at present.As a side note, one guy I fly for is a heavy smoker and often lights up in the back at 17000 feet having removed his oxygen mask (which he hates wearing)I have a continual battle with him to put the thing on :-)Funny thing is his mind is as sharp as a razor on the ground and at 17000 feet minus oxygen but plus fags ;-(I had a 35 year old co pilot who was unwell at 13000 feet while another 70 year old who was with me and self tested himself writing and doing calculations at 18000 feet without problems.On another flight the same old guy lost the plot big time at 16000 feet without oxygen so it shows how careful you have to be.I must add that the Seneca is single pilot and I follow the regs to the book. the above self tests by the 70 year old were carried out without my approval infact I forced him on the second occasion to put his mask on ;-(Peter

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Peter,Thanks for posting more than we virtual pilots ask for. The high flight thread is interesting! I'm a US Private Pilot and I think I've been up to 7500 ft in a Cessna 172. It was cold (winter) and I my World got just a little bit smaller.If I may ask, how do you plan your descents, based on temperature, WX and ATC requirements?Thanks to you and Geof!

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JimI like to make the flight as efficient as possible which means descending at high speed to compensate for the slower climb.1000 fpm down can be achieved with cruise power settings which also means keeping the engines warmer in a prolonged descent.That is a nice round figure to work out a descent profile.depending on tail or headwind componants the descent speed will equate to between 3-4 miles per minute.The Seneca five will give a cruise TAS of 203 kts at altitude dropping to around 165 kts low down so initial descent speeds will fall away with dropping TAS in the lower levels.70 miles out is needed to descend from 20000 feet give or take a headwind/tailwind comnponant.Climb rate with the Seneca five is excellent with up to 2000 fpm initially (depending on air temp)Even at 20000 feet the Seneca will still climb at 900 fpm which is pretty good and beats the Malibu Mirage.As the aircraft is descending in the yellow arc you have to slow up going through cumulus cloud or if you meet clear air turbulence on the way down.The Controllers are pretty good but we have a few tricks up our sleeves to get what we want ;-)If we want to not comply with a level change, response is to give a weather problem, icing problem, turbulence problem etc.build ups are a no go area and we usually request a heading change of so many degrees "to avoid".I always feel sorry for the poor airways controllers around London when they are tring to deal with heavy traffic and getting their radar headings turned down due to CB avoidance :-(All the bestPeter

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