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Thread: How High Will They Fly?

  1. #1

    How High Will They Fly?

    Hello,

    I'm considering getting into business in a neighboring state (
    Oregon ). There are two routes between here and there: the coast,
    and inland. The coastal route goes over a lot of desolate areas -
    and a lot of water. There's not many airports.

    The inland route passes over a lot of airports, but there's some
    mountains too. The MEA's between here and there inland are 10,000
    feet. I'm sure that my '74 Sundowner will make it to 10K, but I'm
    not sure if it will do so in a timely manner suitable for IFR ops.
    And
    one cannot depend on getting the MEA from ATC.

    So what's the highest altitude that one can use with these planes -
    in a practical sense?

    - Jerry Kaidor ( jerry@tr2.com )







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  2. #2

    How High Will They Fly?

    But... do consider the stiff North/Eastern winds in
    Autumn and Winter which will reduce your ground speed
    considerably when traveling up to Oregon...

    I once encountered 80 knots ( tail winds) flying from
    the Bay in the direction of LA at about 8,000 foot.
    Cheers
    HarryR
    Sierra MC 360

    --- jamie waggoner <jwag41@yahoo.com> wrote:

    > I would think 12,000 would be a fairly easy
    > altitude.
    > Ive had my 69 mouse up to 16,000 just to see if it
    > would. Also, I have flown from LA to Brookings
    > Oregon
    > along the coast. Easy flight. I wouldnt think
    > following Interstate 5 would create many problems
    > either.
    > Jamie Waggoner
    >
    >
    > --- jerrytr2com <jerry@tr2.com> wrote:
    >
    > > Hello,
    > >
    > > I'm considering getting into business in a
    > > neighboring state (
    > > Oregon ). There are two routes between here and
    > > there: the coast,
    > > and inland. The coastal route goes over a lot of
    > > desolate areas -
    > > and a lot of water. There's not many airports.
    > >
    > > The inland route passes over a lot of airports,
    > > but there's some
    > > mountains too. The MEA's between here and there
    > > inland are 10,000
    > > feet. I'm sure that my '74 Sundowner will make it
    > > to 10K, but I'm
    > > not sure if it will do so in a timely manner
    > > suitable for IFR ops.
    > > And
    > > one cannot depend on getting the MEA from ATC.
    > >
    > > So what's the highest altitude that one can use
    > > with these planes -
    > > in a practical sense?
    > >
    > > - Jerry Kaidor ( jerry@tr2.com )
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > __________________________________
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    > Take Yahoo! Mail with you! Check email on your
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  3. #3

    How High Will They Fly?

    I've had mine to 10,500 on a hot SW desert day. It started to slow
    down on the climb at about 8500. But it ran fine at 10000.

    --- In musketeermail@yahoogroups.com, "jerrytr2com" <jerry@t...> wrote:
    > Hello,
    >
    > I'm considering getting into business in a neighboring state (
    > Oregon ). There are two routes between here and there: the coast,
    > and inland. The coastal route goes over a lot of desolate areas -
    > and a lot of water. There's not many airports.
    >
    > The inland route passes over a lot of airports, but there's some
    > mountains too. The MEA's between here and there inland are 10,000
    > feet. I'm sure that my '74 Sundowner will make it to 10K, but I'm
    > not sure if it will do so in a timely manner suitable for IFR ops.
    > And
    > one cannot depend on getting the MEA from ATC.
    >
    > So what's the highest altitude that one can use with these planes -
    > in a practical sense?
    >
    > - Jerry Kaidor ( jerry@t... )




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  4. #4

    How High Will They Fly?

    Hi Jerry,
    I can take off at Centennial and be high enough to get over Loveland pass
    (12,500') by the time I get there. However, VFR is about the only way to go
    West out of Denver. MEA's start at 16,000.
    John

    -----Original Message-----
    From: musketeermail@yahoogroups.com [mailto:musketeermail@yahoogroups.com]
    On Behalf Of jerrytr2com
    Sent: Tuesday, June 21, 2005 7:56 AM
    To: musketeermail@yahoogroups.com
    Subject: [musketeermail] How High Will They Fly?


    Hello,

    I'm considering getting into business in a neighboring state (
    Oregon ). There are two routes between here and there: the coast,
    and inland. The coastal route goes over a lot of desolate areas -
    and a lot of water. There's not many airports.

    The inland route passes over a lot of airports, but there's some
    mountains too. The MEA's between here and there inland are 10,000
    feet. I'm sure that my '74 Sundowner will make it to 10K, but I'm
    not sure if it will do so in a timely manner suitable for IFR ops.
    And
    one cannot depend on getting the MEA from ATC.

    So what's the highest altitude that one can use with these planes -
    in a practical sense?

    - Jerry Kaidor ( jerry@tr2.com )







    Join BAC today and be a part of the ONLY Type Club for the Musketeer series!

    www.beechaeroclub.org





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    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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  5. #5

    How High Will They Fly?

    Jerry,

    I reponded earlier today but never saw it posted. I'll try again and hope
    it doesn't duplicate.

    Last week I got my 78 Sundowner up to 11,600' +. I didn't note the OAT up
    there, but I think it was mid 70's on the ground that morning. She was not
    willing to go any higher. 11,500' seemed to work well enough, though, that
    I wondered if I might be able to cruise there for awhile. Book on mine,
    new, said ceiling was 12,600'. No way mine will make that now.

    For the group: Is it okay (wise/safe for the engine, or anything else for
    that matter) to cruise for 2 or 2-1/2 hours at 11,500' knowing that is right
    at the plane's ceiling?

    -Rick Koch
    N2010A
    Jeffco

    John, I'm planning to take the CPA's mountain class at Centennial in Aug.
    and do the flight as well. What do you think, with a service ceiling of
    only 11000 to 11500'?
    -Rick






    Subject: RE: [musketeermail] How High Will They Fly?


    > Hi Jerry,
    > I can take off at Centennial and be high enough to get over Loveland pass
    > (12,500') by the time I get there. However, VFR is about the only way to
    > go
    > West out of Denver. MEA's start at 16,000.
    > John




    > Subject: [musketeermail] How High Will They Fly?
    >

    >
    > So what's the highest altitude that one can use with these planes -
    > in a practical sense?
    >
    > - Jerry Kaidor ( jerry@tr2.com )



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  6. #6

    How High Will They Fly?

    Jerry,
    Not sure which model you have, but I believe the service ceiling on our
    A23/24 is 15,500. As to being hard on anything on the airplane, the
    airframe really doesn't care and the engine is not working as hard (ie.
    can't produce as much power) as it does at lower altitudes. The only problem
    in flying high is getting up there.
    John

    -----Original Message-----
    From: musketeermail@yahoogroups.com [mailto:musketeermail@yahoogroups.com]
    On Behalf Of Rick
    Sent: Tuesday, June 21, 2005 8:31 PM
    To: 'jerrytr2com'; musketeermail@yahoogroups.com; John Waterman
    Subject: Re: [musketeermail] How High Will They Fly?


    Jerry,

    I reponded earlier today but never saw it posted. I'll try again and hope
    it doesn't duplicate.

    Last week I got my 78 Sundowner up to 11,600' +. I didn't note the OAT up
    there, but I think it was mid 70's on the ground that morning. She was not
    willing to go any higher. 11,500' seemed to work well enough, though, that
    I wondered if I might be able to cruise there for awhile. Book on mine,
    new, said ceiling was 12,600'. No way mine will make that now.

    For the group: Is it okay (wise/safe for the engine, or anything else for
    that matter) to cruise for 2 or 2-1/2 hours at 11,500' knowing that is right

    at the plane's ceiling?

    -Rick Koch
    N2010A
    Jeffco

    John, I'm planning to take the CPA's mountain class at Centennial in Aug.
    and do the flight as well. What do you think, with a service ceiling of
    only 11000 to 11500'?
    -Rick






    Subject: RE: [musketeermail] How High Will They Fly?


    > Hi Jerry,
    > I can take off at Centennial and be high enough to get over Loveland pass
    > (12,500') by the time I get there. However, VFR is about the only way to
    > go
    > West out of Denver. MEA's start at 16,000.
    > John




    > Subject: [musketeermail] How High Will They Fly?
    >

    >
    > So what's the highest altitude that one can use with these planes -
    > in a practical sense?
    >
    > - Jerry Kaidor ( jerry@tr2.com )



    Join BAC today and be a part of the ONLY Type Club for the Musketeer series!

    www.beechaeroclub.org





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    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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  7. #7

    How High Will They Fly?

    Sierras can go a bit higher thanks to the lack of drag. I had mine up
    to 14k going into Boulder last fall (DA made it about 16,400), a couple
    hundred pounds shy of full gross.

    Taking off at high DA altitudes is always exciting, but more so close to
    gross. We left Boulder the next day around noon, probably 75 on the
    ground (in September), and the climb out was pretty shallow, even after
    sucking the wheels up.


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  8. #8

    How High Will They Fly?

    Hi all,

    I'm sure much depends on which Musketeer you have and the condition of
    your engine. Beyond that, how well you lean for best power.

    Exactly a year ago, my wife and I took our 1974 Sundowner to Los
    Angeles and back. We were about 100 pounds under gross all the way.
    Our route was pretty much the great circle route: Wichita, Dahlert,
    Albuquerque, Sedona, Thermal (near Palm Springs) and LA via the pass
    through which I-10 goes (Bannon?). Across Arizona and New Mexico, we
    had no trouble cruising at 9500-10500 msl. I let the thermals take me
    to 11500msl a couple of times but stopped there for fear of hypoxia.

    We did have a couple of hairy takeoffs; once out of Double Eagle
    (Albuquerque in early afternoon with temperature about 90F, and once
    out of Sedona with about the same temperature. Both times, instead of
    turning on course to continue the meager climb toward rising terrain,
    I turned toward descending terrain to gain sufficient altitude before
    turning on course. In fact, at Sedona, I circled for 10-15 minutes
    southwest of the field to get to the 8,000 msl I wanted before heading
    northeast through the pass. When you're VFR you can do that! (I think
    I might have done better had I leaned for best power more frequently
    as I climbed -- as someone above suggested.)

    My experience confirmed the advantage of sticking to VFR (my personal
    only option anyway) to fly Sundowners in the West. Go only when you
    have good VFR, go direct varying the route as necessary to overfly or
    fly near airports or avoid mountains, don't worry about holding a
    precise altitude off IFR routes--let the thermals do their thing, its
    fun--and ask for flight following or at least have the area's ATC
    tuned in. This way you have the best of both worlds: you, not ATC,
    are in control, but ATC is always there calling traffic for you or you
    as traffic to someone else, and to help in other ways if necessary.
    They like it too if you give them an occasional pilot report on
    conditions.

    Carl
    N21KM


    --- In musketeermail@yahoogroups.com, Jeffrey Osier-Mixon <jefro@j...>
    wrote:
    > Sierras can go a bit higher thanks to the lack of drag. I had mine
    up
    > to 14k going into Boulder last fall (DA made it about 16,400), a
    couple
    > hundred pounds shy of full gross.
    >
    > Taking off at high DA altitudes is always exciting, but more so
    close to
    > gross. We left Boulder the next day around noon, probably 75 on the
    > ground (in September), and the climb out was pretty shallow, even
    after
    > sucking the wheels up.




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  9. #9

    How High Will They Fly?

    Bob, I have no direct experience with Skipper altitudes, but I'd be pretty surprised if it could not get to 12,000 feet fairly easily. I have had my Sierra to 15,000 feet, and it was still climbing, though slowly. Keep in mind that these ceiling altitudes have to be measured in density altitude, as opposed to altimeter readings alone. In other words, if barometric pressure and OAT are above standard, you may see 10,000 feet on the altimeter but the DA may be 12,000 feet. You need the little flight calculator, or one built into a GPS page, to run the math and find accurate values.

    Ceilings are also pretty sensitive to gross weight. Aircraft rigging, and anything else that affects drag, will impact ceilings. And finally, once you pass about 8,000 feet DA, you have to use full throttle/full RPM and aggressive leaning to obtain remaining available power. With perfect settings, you still cannot get more than 75% power beyond 8,000 feet DA. Because of the declining power output, you can't hurt the engine by using full RPM/full throttle, and leaning to 60-100 degrees ROP (for max available power). Many people think that their planes can't reach advertised altitudes, because they are leaving the throttle partly closed or RPM too low, based on their lower-altitude cruising norms, or they are not leaning for altitude.

    The Absolute Ceiling is the point where Vx and Vy merge, and the plane cannot climb any further. The nose is at an attitude that barely maintains level flight. Any effort to raise the nose further results in a stall. While you can play with this, it does take a bit of extra care. Pay attention to the ball, and keep the plane level with small rudder inputs. If it stalls it may try to roll left or right (probably right), and control response will be somewhat slower than you expect due to the thinner air. Just fly it out of the roll and dive, with modest forward yoke (a half-inch to an inch), and delay aileron input until you have a bit more airspeed. Use the rudder to control the ball. Many people react with alarm when the plane rolls out of a stall, but you can just fly it out of the roll as if you had done the partial roll on purpose.

    The Service Ceiling is the point where the plane cannot climb at least 100 FPM. Again, the same engine management parameters apply (power settings and leaning), as well as Density Altitude calculations. This is really an arbitrary ceiling based on time-to-climb. When TTC does not really matter, such as during a cross-country flight, you can easily climb beyond the SC in order to gain more obstacle clearance over distant terrain.

    It would be a good idea to read the download on this subject on BAC, which discusses the impact of altitude on Vx and Vy, as well as other factors; do a search on "practical density altitude" without the quotes. You should probably (and legally) have a portable oxygen bottle, if you go up to play with this portion of your aircraft's performance envelope.

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Robert Gresli
    To: Mail Musketeer
    Sent: Wednesday, June 22, 2005 9:30 PM
    Subject: Re: [musketeermail] Re: How High Will They Fly?


    Musketeer Group,

    What is the highest any of you have heard of flying in a Skipper?

    I've had 36E only up to 4500 ft. It was still climbing at around 500fpm at
    4500ft. This was with probably 2/3 tanks, flying solo, and at about 70
    degrees OAT.

    The book says 12,900ft service ceiling and 15000ft absolute ceiling. I'm
    told that's way too optimistic. The ferry pilot that delivered 36E from
    Georgia to here in Oregon back in March said he only got it up to 8000ft on
    the trip.

    I had my old Grumman Traveler up to 12500ft once in November 2000, near Mt
    Hood.

    Thanks for your experiences.

    Bob Gresli
    Skipper 6636E
    Hillsboro OR (HIO)

    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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  10. #10

    How High Will They Fly?

    Came across this accident report, which is an unusual one, but one
    to keep in mind in mountain flying.
    Bob
    A&P, Aero Eng
    _______________________________
    NTSB Identification: DEN04FA119.
    14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
    Accident occurred Monday, August 09, 2004 in Monarch Crest, CO
    Probable Cause Approval Date: 1/24/2005
    Aircraft: Cessna 172P, registration: N911JR
    Injuries: 2 Fatal.
    The two pilots we en route home after a trip to the west coast. Two
    witnesses, hiking near the Continental Divide, heard an airplane
    approaching. They saw the airplane coming towards them "at eye
    level." It seemed to be stationary, then it banked hard to the right
    and went straight down. The accident took place at an elevation of
    11,418 feet msl. The elevation of that portion of the Continental
    Divide is 11,530 feet msl. Later engine disassembly and examination
    disclosed no anomalies. Weather observed at a remote AWOS facility,
    located approximately 1 mile east of the accident site, was used to
    compute an estimated density altitude of 14,300 feet msl. According
    to the 1984 Cessna 172P Skyhawk "Information Manual," the airplane's
    service ceiling is 13,000 feet.
    The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable
    cause(s) of this accident as follows:
    the pilot's failure to maintain airspeed which resulted in a stall,
    and his decision to conduct flight beyond the performance capability
    of the aircraft. A contributing factor was the high density
    altitude, and an inadvertent stall.






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