Picture taken while flying over Oregon. Anyone living at the base of those hills doesn't know it's bright and sunny above!
Did you know?
Last year, the United States instituted RVSM (Reduced Vertical Separation Minimun). RVSM reduces the vertical separation between flight level (FL) 290–410 from 2000 ft to 1000 ft and makes six additional FL’s available for operation. The additional FL’s enable more aircraft to fly more time/fuel efficient profiles and provides the potential for enhanced airspace capacity. RVSM aircraft operators must receive authorization from the appropriate civil aviation authority to operate in the inclusive altitudes. RVSM aircraft must meet required equipage and altitude-keeping performance standards. Operators must operate in accordance with RVSM policies/procedures applicable to the airspace where they are flying. http://www.faa.gov/ats/ato/rvsm1.htm
Domestic RVSM is projected to accrue the following benefits:
Fuel Savings Benefits 2005 – 2016: $5.3 billion
6/1 benefit/cost ratio
$393m. first year savings---with 2.0% annual increase
Greater availability of more fuel-efficient altitudes.
Greater availability of most fuel-efficient routes
Increased probability that an aircraft will be cleared onto the desired route or altitude
Air Traffic NAS Operations
ATC Flexibility (e.g., routing aircraft around storm systems)
Mitigates conflict points
Enhances volume of aircraft that can be accommodated in a given sector (sector throughput)
Enables crossing traffic flows to be accommodated
Reduces controller workload (eg., reduced vectoring and FL changes)
Provides for growth in NAS enroute airspace capacity
I have been trying to get a good picture of the underbelly of a big airplane flying directly overhead, but unfortunately by the time I know the aircraft is coming... it's gone!