A330 Recommended Profiles

Hey folks!

Just wanted to make a quick topic regarding some of the cruise profiles of the A330. I’ve personally had a few PM’s regarding violation removal due to their aircraft stalling in cruise. I would like to make it clear that moderators and staff members alike cannot be removing violations when you stall a heavy aircraft at an altitude above what the aircraft is capable of.

When the aircraft stalled, the autopilot kicks off because of excessive bank/pitch angle turning it off as initially designed. I wanted to clarify that when you’re heavy, it may not be possible to get up to your cruise altitude initially. Below you’ll find a quick table to reference when deciding what altitude to cruise at.

The A330 is a bit more sensitive to weight and altitude than what you would find in the B777 or other similar sized aircraft from what I’ve tested. 19.1 also made a few minor changes to the engines as well. The altitudes and the weights that you were flying pre-19.1 may be different than what you can fly now.

To break the table down in a simple manner, its broken into 3 weight classes. Light, Normal and Heavy. Each of these weight settings can be found under the weight and balance setting. I’ve listed each weight class with the weight in both (lbs and kgs) as well as the aircraft load percentage. At each of these load percentages, I can guarantee you with 110% confidence that you will not stall or crash at the altitudes in level flight while using the speeds specified in the table. that’s a pretty bold statement if I must say. Pun intended 🙂

Now you can change the passenger, fuel, cargo load as you wish. Just keep in mind that once you leave the specified aircraft load and leave one of the altitude ranges listed below, my statement does not carry any value. The altitudes are recommended Flight Levels for the aircraft load. You may deviate from those altitudes on your own will but it may result in poor aircraft performance. Do that at your own risk. 😉

Profile Light Normal Heavy
Weight: 348,015lbs (157,857kgs) 409,845lbs (185,903kgs) 471,681lbs (213,951kgs)
Aircraft Load: 25% 50% 75%+
Altitude FL380-FL410 FL360 and lower FL340 and lower
Speed: M.78 - M.80 (Max M.86) M.78 - M.80 (Max M.86) M.78 - M.80 (Max M.86)

*Service Ceiling of the A330 is roughly 41,100ft


On longer flights consider the linked topic below to get to higher altitudes if you’re unable to get to your desired cruise altitude right away:

A Guide to Step Climbing


Hope this helps and provides a little assistance when flying your new birdy.

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As long as you are sensible and don’t try and climb with a VS of 2000ft at 30,000ft.

I think that people assume that the power will be the same aswell but now it’s more realistic and I personally feel as if there is less power then there was before hence this need to adjust.
For that I thank you for this source, I myself have been trying to figure out how high I can go, multiple times I had to descend to maintain my speed so this helps me massively. Thank you Sir Ramsay.

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That’s a good point that I forgot to cover. So thanks! Once you pass FL250 or thereabouts, you might want to reduce to 1500 or even 1000 when at Normal or Heavy.

You’re quite welcome my tailstrike lovebird. 🤫

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Thank you DeerCrusher, I will find this very helpful 👍 along with many other people

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So is that the purpose of step-climbing? Lose weight and climb?

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You are correct. But some folks were not doing that and the consequences were them falling 39,000ft to kiss mother earth. 😐

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You did say

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I did. Say you wanted to take off “heavy”. Climb up to FL340 or FL330 depending on direction of travel and level off. After you’ve burned off some fuel/weight and upon reaching the next aircraft load %, you can then climb a bit higher to the next altitude, then level off. Repeat the process until you arrive at your destination.

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Right, right. Just meant in reference to the post about VS… you got your basis covered for that 110% confidence level 🙂

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Only way I’m able to say that with so much confidence is because I spent about 30 mins running the 330 up to those altitudes and flying speeds for a few mins. I wanted to make sure I was providing accurate numbers to you guys.

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Direct from the source! Very helpful info - I think your guidance is better than the simbrief VNAV I used earlier today - it put me straight to FL370 on a 7 hour flight (believe I was around 70% load on t/o). Had to reduce my VS to 300ft/min the last few min of the climb to keep a normal N1%. Was definitely below 1000ft/min after passing FL320. Would’ve been better to level off sooner.

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Very nice, and thank you! Your threads like this are the best!

And if you want a violation removed, it has to be something legit, right? :)

Thats correct. You can almost count on us asking for your replay anytime you have an issue in flight. The replay is crucial to see what occurred. There are a few things that are missing from our view such as your autopilot settings. Hopefully that’s one thing that we can get added into future versions of replay. But if you have an issue, we ask that you don’t delete your replay until we can review it. Without the replay, it’s unlikely that the violation will be removed. 🙂

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Hey mate I’m pretty sure A330s cruise at M0.82 most of the time. You can see that speed selected on majority of Swiss A330 cockpit video.

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Just general guidelines and there is a max listed. From the fpl’s I get from sim brief though, the majority are .80 or under but yes they sometimes do cruise faster.

It’s just that airlines with A330 seem to have a higher cost index than the one given on Simbrief

You can select .82 in the CI on simbrief 🙂

Great work. We could use more threads like these. It also goes hand in hand with step climbing

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Great post Deer-of course step climbing works well as you burn off fuel weight! Gonna try the long haul JFK-HNL fairly soon-that flight (which is a -200) usually starts at 34-36K and gets on up to FL400 somewhere over the pacific-the ATL-HNL Flight also starts at 34 and winds up at FL400 toward the end of the flight.

Don’t use cost index on simbrief it’ll result in changing Mach numbers/IAS etc. The better way to roll is to input the aircraft weights into simbrief as they are in IF-max ZFW etc. Then when you’re planning, set your pax and cargo in IF first-read off your ZFW from IF-and then enter that into simbrief-the IF “pax” weight is roughly 170lb and can be adjusted in SB.

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