What should my cruising altitude be for small/regional flights

So small flights consists of say I was in the Chicago region and I fly from KORD to KMKE (that is a small flight) and I fly with a commercial airliner (Dash 8, A319). Because it’s a small/regional flight, what should my cruising altitude be?
The altitude needs to be suitable for a commercial airliner. And it can’t be too high otherwise my descent will be a nose dive!

I’ve played IF for along time and I’ve never done a short flight with a commercial airliner! I always do long haul in big regions. So if this seems like a stupid question coming from me, now you know why!

I just need a rough answer (i.e. Between 10,000 and 15,000 feet)

Thanks guys!🙂

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I would do 18,000 feet maybe.

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15,000ft maybe

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Honestly, I probably wouldn’t go higher than 10,000ft on that short a flight. (And neither does American Airlines)

Here you go.

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yeah 10,500ft maybe

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To work out your flight level best trick I have learned is to take the total distance of your flight ( as per your flight plan) then decide that by 7.

To work out your Top of Descent ( roughly) take your flight level and devide by 3 to get your distance to go when you start to desend.

example :

  1. CALULATE FLIGHT LEVEL
    WMKK-WSSS TOTAL DISTANCE = 200 nm

200/7= 28.57= FL290

  1. CALULATE TOD

FL290

290/3 = 96.6

Therefore start your descend when 97 nm to go!

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Thanks! This is super helpful! 😄
@David_Lockwood

Average flight between these two airports appears to be around 95 nmi, so we’ll go with 14,000ft here using those calculations which puts TOD @ 47nmi.

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This is a good equation to solve it, but what would Vertical Speed be for both ascent and descent?

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What would ur Vs be and how does that take into account speed unless we are adjusting speed as we go

@David_Lockwood

1.) What should be my ascending VS?
2.) What should be my descending VS?
3.) What FL should I descend to?

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You should probobly descend to about 1000-2000 ft if you begin descending just a little bit earlier, or to 0ft, as to make the runway

So many questions!! :-)

These are speeds and VS that I have worked out myself as a guide. On each occasion it depends on what other traffic is doing, ATC, weight of aircraft etc. but start with these figures as a starting point for all jet aircraft.

CLIMB

  1. Below 10000ft, VS 3000 & 250 Kts.
  2. above 10000ft VS 2500 & 305 Kts
  3. above FL280 VS 1500 & M0.81

Descent: I descend in blocks:

  1. From Cruise to FL120 = VS -2500, Sp M0.69 / 260 Kts
  2. FL120 -6000 ft = VS -1500 Sp 240 Kts ( need to be at FL120 42nm to go)
  3. 6000ft-3000ft = VS -1000 Sp 220 Kts ( need to be at 6000 24nm to go)
  4. 3000ftv to landing VS -600 ft, Sp 180kts slow down to about 145 for landing ( depending on aircraft) ( need to be at 3000 by 12nm to go)
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What is TOD?

TOD is Top of Descent @Capt.teddy

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Thanks, what does this mean?
I don’t mean to sound dumb

When you first start your descent from your cruise @Capt.teddy. That is TOD I think

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Ok thanks for the help :)

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That is correct. TOD = Top of Descent = when you start to come down from your climb altitude.

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