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Loneliest cruising altitude

People often try to avoid flying at 'standard' altitudes, and a little while ago there was a discussion about the best cruising altitude if you don't want to meet people coming the other way. What altitude would you be most likely to choose? Please don't over-think the question - just pick the number that seems best to you.

The poll is here

[fixed it up - Peter]

When flying VFR I always try to fly as high as possible. I hardly see any other traffic when flying at FL065. Most traffic advisories I hear on the radio is for traffic at around 1500ft AGL.

With a low cloud base, I try to avoid flying just below it, as that's what most other aircraft seem to be doing...

Thanks for the input, but I'd prefer to keep discussion to a minimum for the minute to avoid biasing the results. I'd prefer to keep the thread open though, and when I get enough data I'll post the results here.

I've specified the altitude as 'xn00' feet to try to avoid considerations of altitude on efficiency or sightseeingability etc... Obviously we take factors such as cloudbase and airspace into consideration when we pick our altitude, but I'm trying to ignore this for the purposes of the poll.

Please only complete one poll. I've put links up from pprune also.

By publishing the result don't you immediately render it worthless?

EGTK Oxford

Thanks Peter

Jasonc What do you mean by 'rendering the result worthless?'

I assumed it was because if x300 if the 'loneliest altitude', then perhaps a number of people who fly (well those who were aware of the poll) any one of the other 9 numbers will all start flying x300 thinkng it might be less 'busy' - and the survery results would therefore change. It's still a fairly interesting survey nonetheless, but it is short of more substantive factors (e.g. height of controlled airspace being a limiting factor in VFR, abiding (or not) with the semi-circular or quadrantal rule and others).

What are you going to do with the results once collected or published?

Most of UK GA flies below 2000ft, especially below 1500ft, and down there all bets are off.

Also there is almost no traffic above 3000ft and even less above any cloud. I can barely recall seeing another plane when above an overcast.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

FWIW I fly almost all my x-country trips between 7500 - 9500 (10.500 in the US), in accordance with hemispheric rule. It's not very busy up there....

Also there is almost no traffic above 3000ft and even less above any cloud. I can barely recall seeing another plane when above an overcast.

Exactly, I only have an IMCr so generally plan routes based on altitudes as high as possible keeping me clear of CAS and I generally get above the cloud if I can, generally at about 5000ft. You dont see anyone else, but you can hear them all down below :-) Its so much more relaxing and enjoyable too.

We'll see what the results show. So far they're modestly interesting, but that's all I'm going to say for the minute. Numbers are still quite small.

Peter, could you temporarily remove the numbers on your post. It's interesting, but I'm worried about biasing the results for the moment.

It's since struck me that it would be fun to look at mode Charlie returns, or perhaps listen to a few hundred position reports in order to find what altitudes people are actually flying at. Well, for certain definitions of 'fun'. That's not altogether straightforward though, as you'd have to find a combination of airspace and weather that didn't bias the results - e.g. clustering close to cloudbase or trying to remain under airspace whilst maximising terrain clearance etc... Britain would probably be one of the least good places to do such a study.

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