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Low Altitude Flying - Congestion - 9E5057 JUL 19

Low Altitude Flying - Congestion - 9E5057 JUL 19

Old Jul 23, 2023, 5:07 pm
  #16  
 
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They're called escape routes and are published under a variety of names. Their use is common in the NY Metro. The idea is to keep flights moving when restrictions in the enroute environment are precluding the use of normal routes & altitudes.
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Old Jul 23, 2023, 6:31 pm
  #17  
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Not uncommon. Ive flown on flights like this for NYC - RDU and NYC - DCA usually consists of a regional jet and captain basically saying that due to weather and restricted airspace it was a choice between low altitude/higher fuel burn or potentially not getting a takeoff slot that night.

Not exclusive to DL either. Had family in town visiting a few weeks back and their AA flight down from LGA to RDU had a similar routing and altitude.

A couple times Ive lucked out with FAs who still served F or knew it was coming and gave folks plastic cups and extra minis on the ground before takeoff
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Old Jul 23, 2023, 6:31 pm
  #18  
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Originally Posted by Disarray
They're called escape routes and are published under a variety of names. Their use is common in the NY Metro. The idea is to keep flights moving when restrictions in the enroute environment are precluding the use of normal routes & altitudes.
Yes, escape route was the exact wording the captain used. Very smooth flight. IFR is generally conducted at 6,000 for example where VFR 6,500.

Im guessing the entire flight was IFR. Thunderstorms had been in the area but had dissipated.
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Old Aug 12, 2023, 8:22 am
  #19  
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Glad I found this thread. Was checking a buddies inbound for a flight later today and noticed DL5116 JFK-RDU was at 6,000ft. Found that strange, but I see its not an outlier.
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Old Aug 12, 2023, 6:08 pm
  #20  
 
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Originally Posted by PLeblond
Glad I found this thread. Was checking a buddies inbound for a flight later today and noticed DL5116 JFK-RDU was at 6,000ft. Found that strange, but I see its not an outlier.
I guess I missed the part of the topic that these are CRJ jets. I've done that a bunch, including Pacific Northwest (YVR > SEA) under normal circumstances.

(or the earlier turboprop)

Directly related to this thread (RIC > NYC), having commuted there from NYC and ATL, I've faced in a line of storms (diagonally from Richmond south and north, across the Appalachian Mountains), which dictate flying low.
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Old Aug 13, 2023, 1:30 am
  #21  
 
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I remember doing a trip on mainline DL DCA-ATL some years ago on a football Saturday in September when there was a hurricane bearing down on the Gulf of Mexico, and we flew at 20,000 feet or less the entire way. I don't think we had any service on the flight, but the pilots poured on the gas as we got all the way to ATL in 75 minutes (the usual trip takes at least 82 minutes). It was i the 6 am hour and the flight was 100% full.
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Old Aug 13, 2023, 7:27 am
  #22  
 
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I too have flown some of these NYC escape routes (always to RDU in my case). Most recently on a EWR-RDU flight about two months ago. We did finally ascend to a higher (normal) altitude on my last one. In a window seat it can seem a little concerning to be so close to the ground for so long. In all cases, the pilots gave a PA announcing that we’d be flying an escape route. Otherwise I could see people getting freaked out.
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Old Aug 13, 2023, 7:52 am
  #23  
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Originally Posted by HDQDD
I too have flown some of these NYC escape routes (always to RDU in my case). Most recently on a EWR-RDU flight about two months ago. We did finally ascend to a higher (normal) altitude on my last one. In a window seat it can seem a little concerning to be so close to the ground for so long. In all cases, the pilots gave a PA announcing that wed be flying an escape route. Otherwise I could see people getting freaked out.
I'd pay extra for a window seat on a flight like that!!
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Old Aug 13, 2023, 10:52 am
  #24  
 
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ime on the SERMN SOUTH routes pilots usually coordinate with FAs to provide service and allow restroom access at 6/7/8k feet (depending on specific advisory). sometimes, usually later at night when there's less traffic, we'll be cleared up to 14k or 16k feet somewhere over VA for the last bit. these flights (in my case, usually to RDU as well), usually add about 40-50% more flying time due to speed restrictions for all aircraft under 10k ft, but it's the same amount of delay or less than flying the route with a sweeping arc westward over Ohio and then back south and east, which I've done several times as well.

it should never be a surprise: SERMN SOUTH RQD/RMD will be filed by the FAA as an advisory. the only surprise is sometimes SERMN SOUTH RQD is filed, and the flight plan may even be filed for 6k feet, but the specific flight receives an exemption to fly at a normal altitude/routing.
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Old Aug 14, 2023, 12:40 pm
  #25  
 
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Originally Posted by HDQDD
I too have flown some of these NYC escape routes (always to RDU in my case). Most recently on a EWR-RDU flight about two months ago. We did finally ascend to a higher (normal) altitude on my last one. In a window seat it can seem a little concerning to be so close to the ground for so long. In all cases, the pilots gave a PA announcing that wed be flying an escape route. Otherwise I could see people getting freaked out.
Do they actually use the term "Escape Route"? Because I could see *that* freaking the passengers out a bit, too
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Old Aug 14, 2023, 2:37 pm
  #26  
 
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Originally Posted by Out of my Element
Do they actually use the term "Escape Route"? Because I could see *that* freaking the passengers out a bit, too
I've been on a few of these where the low altitude was mentioned in the context of a potentially longer flight, but no mention of us having to "escape."
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Old Aug 15, 2023, 1:27 pm
  #27  
 
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When you're sitting on an interminable ramp delay, escape sounds sweet to the ears. Of course, you probably don't want to overhear that you are going to be a "pathfinder," if you have some trepidation about flying in and around weather. I've had successful pathfinder flights, and some not-so-successful pathfinder flights.
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