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Trivia Teaser: Best Altitudes

For a 50-minute flight, what is the most theoretically efficient altitude to climb to?
A) 5,000 feet
B) 10,000 feet
C) 15,000 feet
D) if you can get there, 20,000 feet

For a 50-minute flight, what is the most theoretically efficient altitude to climb to?
A) 5,000 feet
B) 10,000 feet
C) 15,000 feet
D) if you can get there, 20,000 feet

The altitude worth climbing to is approximately equal to the duration of the flight in minutes multiplied by 300. For a 50-minute flight, if you have oxygen or are in a pressurized aircraft, it’s worth climbing to 15,000 feet (300 x 50), even if it means that you start right back down again.

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About This Author:
Jeff Pardo is an aviation writer in Maryland with commercial ASEL, instrument, helicopter, and glider ratings. He started flying in 1989 and has about 1500 hours. Jeff holds a bachelors in meteorology and oceanography, as well as an MS in marine science. Prior to his present tenure at SES, Jeff worked in flight dynamics for various telecommunication firms for 15 years. He has flown mostly Cessna and Piper airplanes and R-22 helicopters, and has about 70 hours in J3 and Citabria aircraft. He has flown as a mission pilot for the Civil Air Patrol, as a mission pilot for Angel Flight, and he was a contributing editor for AOPA Flight Training for about 10 years.
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