Re: 42,000 feet

Date:         18 Mar 97 03:14:50 
From:         s_odle@earthlink.net
Organization: Earthlink Network, Inc.
References:   1
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On 09 Mar 97 22:55:40 , Andrew Goldfinger <Andy.Goldfinger@jhuapl.edu>
wrote:

>     I recently flew at 41,000 feet in a commercial airliner (actually FL
>410, I assume).  According to a friend, at around 42,000 feet free
>flowing oxygen is no longer adequate for maintenance of life, and
>pressure breathing is required.  Therefore, the emergency oxygen system
>(as an SWA flight attendent put it: "these are not party hats") on
>commercial aircraft would not be sufficient.  Does this limit the
>practical ceiling of commercial flights?  What is done for emergency
>oxygen on the Concord?

Not at all.  Aircraft have been certified to as high as 51,000 feet.
However, the FAA applies Special  Conditions to the certification
basis of these aircraft.

BTW: For those who don't know the term, a Special Condition is
essentailly a regulation written specific to that design only.  It is
done when the current FARs are deemed inadequate to ensure the proper
level of safety.