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Altitude Selection for an Engine Failure

Updated: Mar 27, 2023

Trying to choose the right flight level?

The biggest mistake to make in Flight Planning and Performance and Loading will be trying to work out how to select the right flight level in the exam. If you don't understand how to select Optimum or Max Altitude flight levels then you really have no chance at succeeding in the exams.


The Good thing is it's not that hard but it's just not taught well in the other providers courses and theory notes. Once you have the skill and technique which you can find in this youtube video then you shouldn't have any more issues with regards to flight level selection. If you do then please contact for more help and a chat about it.




Tricks with Altitude Selection Questions

When reading the questions they may give you your current flight level (FL350). From this you need to know you will be flying to a lower level based on the same hemispherical rules as above and so you would need to fly a westerly altitude. Below FL290 the flight levels would be Non RVSM and will be westerly evens and easterly odds. You assume you will be flying westerly because above FL290, FL350 is a westerly flight level.


In your Blue Book on the Altitude Selection Table you should highlight the westerly and easterly Flight levels; this is so you don't have to doubt yourself in high pressure during the exam. With enough study these should start to become very easy to recall and you won't doubt yourself.


Using the Right Weight

During your study, you will find altitude selection is based on various weights for Optimum and Rec max. It's important to know which weight to use as if you don't this will lead to the wrong answer. Optimum Weight is based on a Mid Zone weight and Rec Max on TOC weight. There are various ways you can find these weights by watching the video above. If you have any difficulty with understanding or need help always feel free to contact for a chat about why and how or some general advice.


When you need help

If you find you are getting the flight level right every now and then it's probably luck. I found myself talking myself into why I got the right level only to find out weeks later that I wasn't working out Optium Flight levels incorrectly. When you think about it;a question will give you a track which is easy to figure out what Flight levels are available (should do this straight away). You may find though that you have a 1/2 chance of getting the correct flight level as it is generally FL350 or FL310 for westerly; and FL290 or FL330 for odds.




If you find this information helpful and would like to know more about the Aviation exams then please contact me through email and this site and I'll try my best at helping you achieve the results for free. By subscribing on YouTube and by email. I try to post as much helpful information out there for free.




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