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Altitude v Flight Level

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Hi guys,What is the difference between the two?I've searched for this but can't seem to find an answer.Why am I at altitude at 17000 feet, but at Flight Level 190 at 19000 feet?No doubt there's a simple, sane answer to this. I also think the altitude/FL parameters change around the world too.19000 is 19000, and calling it an altitude, flight level or a fish shouldn't change that.BTW - this is not anything to do with Barometer readings - that I'm happy with.Looking forward to being educated.ThanksAllblack

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Howdy Allblack,For starters, you can't be at 17,000 ft. and at FL190 at the same time. 18,000 is know as a transition altitude. once you're below that, then the entire number is used, such as 17,000. Once your are above 18,000 then it's called a FL(Flight Level). Such as FL190 which is 19,000 ft. I don't know if the default transistion altitude(in the sim or in real life) changes around the globe or not, but I don't think it does. So far, I have flown(simmed) very little outside the US. I hope that helps explain it some without being confusing. By the way, what is your skin color? :-laugh1Jim

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IMOUsually anything above and at 18000 feet is called FlightLevel 180 and above FLT190 etc..Sometimes I hear ATC say that some aircraft is at FLT110 (11000 feet) when they talk about AI Traffic besically there really is no difference just the way they call it.One point might be that at FLT180 (18000) and above you should change your Altimiter to 29.92 always, below that you use what Altimiter really is 30.82 or whatever it might be.Andy

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Hi Jim,White, although I have olive skin which tans well in summer!The Allblacks are New Zealand's national rugby team, and the greatest in the world. ( I have delusions of grandeur ).This will be proven at the Rugby World Cup this year.Though in this over-the-top politically correct country you could be locked up for asking that question!!!!However, I'm still non-the-wiser. I know what happens, I'm after why.CheersAllblack

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G'Day allblack,Ok, thanks for for the info. :) Good luck to your rugby team!Cheers,Jim

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A Flight Level is flown with reference to an altimeter setting of 29.92"hg.An Altitude is flown with reference to a local altimeter setting.In the US, aircraft use Flight Levels above 18000'. In other countries, that border can be at other altitudes, and can change daily.

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AllblackThe transition altitude does vary from country to country. in the UK its 3000 feet, over the water in Ireland its 6000 feet, in the USA its 18000 feet.These are the altitudes where you change from the height above sea level setting to a common pressure setting.The reason for this is to have all aircraft using the same artificial setting so that you dont get the situation that say an aircraft flying from say a low pressure area to a high pressure area doesnt meet an aircraft doing the reverse and not having the seperation they think they have.Countries which have high mountain areas tend to have higher transition altitudes as for obvious reasons it would be dangerous to fly at artificial flight levels which could put you dangerously low.Peter

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