# How is altitude measured in aircraft?

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Aviation altitude is measured using either mean sea level (MSL) or local ground level (above ground level, or AGL) as the reference datum. … Absolute altitude is the vertical distance of the aircraft above the terrain over which it is flying. It can be measured using a radar altimeter (or “absolute altimeter”).

## How is altitude measured in an airplane?

Absolute altitude refers to the actual distance the aircraft is flying in relation to the ground and is expressed in “feet above ground level.” This type of altitude is generally determined using a radar altimeter, which measures how long it takes radar signals to reach the ground and reflect up to the plane.

## How is altitude calculated?

In fact, aviators and mountaineers can measure their altitude by measuring the air pressure around them. This is called indicated altitude, and is measured by an instrument called an altimeter. As altitude rises, air pressure drops. In other words, if the indicated altitude is high, the air pressure is low.

## Is altitude measured in feet or meters?

The primary unit of measurement of altitude and elevation or height is the metre. However, the most widely used unit of measurement in aviation is the foot. Metric altitudes and flight levels are used in certain countries.

## What is aircraft altitude?

(see QNH) Absolute altitude is the vertical distance of the aircraft above the terrain over which it is flying. It can be measured using a radar altimeter (or “absolute altimeter”). Also referred to as “radar height” or feet/metres above ground level (AGL). True altitude is the actual elevation above mean sea level.

## What are the 5 types of altitude?

The 5 Types Of Altitude, Explained

• 1) Indicated Altitude. Let’s start with the easiest altitude first. …
• 2) Pressure Altitude. When you set your altimeter to 29.92, you’re flying at standard pressure altitude. …
• 3) Density Altitude. …
• 4) True Altitude. …
• 5) Absolute Altitude.

## Do airplanes use feet or meters?

In fact, the ICAO standard is feet only for altitude. Cloud height, visibility, runway length, and other distance measurements are often stated in meters or kilometers in those countries that use the metric system.

## How high is FL 600?

Basically FL600 means a pressure altitude of 60,000 feet.

## Is altitude the same as elevation?

While all three words mean “vertical distance either between the top and bottom of something or between a base and something above it,” altitude and elevation apply to height as measured by angular measurement or atmospheric pressure; altitude is preferable when referring to vertical distance above the surface of the …

## How does a barometer measure altitude?

barometer, device used to measure atmospheric pressure. Because atmospheric pressure changes with distance above or below sea level, a barometer can also be used to measure altitude. … Its density allows the vertical column of the barometer to be of manageable size.

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## How do I report altitude to ATC?

When the aircraft is climbing or descending, the pilot should state the indicated altitude rounded to the nearest 100 feet. SAY HEADING—Used by ATC to request an aircraft heading. The pilot should state the actual heading of the aircraft. SPEAK SLOWER—Used in verbal communications as a request to reduce speech rate.

## What is altitude MSL?

Mean Sea Level, or MSL, is your true altitude or elevation. It’s the average height above standard sea level where the atmospheric pressure is measured in order to calibrate altitude. On a Sectional Chart, all of the numbers you see that denote altitudes are denoted in MSL, unless they are in parentheses.