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View Full Version : Heading and Altitude?

01-21-2018, 09:32 PM
So I know for a VFR flight if you are flying a heading between 0-179 above 3,000 agl you need to be flying an odd thousand plus 500. For a heading of 180-359 even thousand plus 500. My question is; say i'm at 4,500 on a 350 heading and for my x-country need to momentarily turn right heading 090 for approx say 10 miles would I need to climb or descend to maintain that odd thousand plus 500 even though it will only be for 10 miles and than turn back to the heading of 350 and go back 4,500? I assume I could just let approach know the situation just wanted to hear it here first. Thanks in advance !👍

01-21-2018, 10:03 PM
Technically... your right but practically. Hah. You’re already getting advisories from ATC on radar targets, smarter than the other VFR pilots by even acknowledging this and semi attempting to do it, and lastly, probably looking out the window.

Play it by ear, bruh. (And it’s course flown not hdg, btw)

01-22-2018, 08:37 AM
Since you would be back on a westerly course by the time you reached the new altitude anyway, it would not make sense. Better to spend the mental bandwidth on being extra vigilant, especially if you're turning over busy waypoints.

The odd/even altitude rule is not hard and fast inflexible, and you can deviate as necessary for operational reasons. In IFR ops, including airlines, wrong-way flight is not uncommon and that's obviously done in coordination with ATC, or at their request. It is one of several layers of defense against midairs, so you should comply to the extant practical.

01-22-2018, 02:20 PM
The situation described by the OP is unusual, but if it's for real I'd say you should change to the appropriate cardinal altitude, even if only for 10 miles.

§ 91.159 VFR cruising altitude or flight level.

Except while holding in a holding pattern of 2 minutes or less, or while turning, each person operating an aircraft under VFR in level cruising flight more than 3,000 feet above the surface shall maintain the appropriate altitude or flight level prescribed below, unless otherwise authorized by ATC:....

And you may not be talking to ATC.

galaxy flyer
01-24-2018, 07:22 AM
And “course” means track made good not just heading. Long ago, in uncontrolled airspace a German Military plane made a turn on an airway without making the appropriate level change; very nearly N-S airway. Guess what, the hit an opposite direction C-141 at the correct level for direction of flight. Impact was eerily similar to the EMB Legacy/Gol B737 mid-air.


01-24-2018, 01:10 PM
If you are heading west, but have always self-identified as an eastbound type of person, can you use eastbound altitudes? 🤔

galaxy flyer
01-24-2018, 02:06 PM
In a few places, Tom, it’s more of a north-south identification problem.