Re: Bygone era of information available to passengers...

Date:         30 Mar 99 01:53:57 
From:         Ken Ishiguro <kenish@earthlink.net>
Organization: EarthLink Network, Inc.
References:   1 2 3 4 5 6
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Stuart Feigin wrote:
> Just to throw in my 2 cents, I was once on a United flight heading west
> out of Denver when I wished I wasn't listening to the cockpit radio.
> There was moderate turbulence being reported over the Rockies, and my
> pilot apparently chose to fly much lower than normal to avoid it.
...
> I was a bit nervous, but the non-listening
> pasengers just enjoyed the smooth ride.

Rest assured, you were in no danger of hitting cumulogranite!  :-)
Every flight on an IFR flight plan must adhere to a Minimum Enroute
Altitude (MEA) which ensures terrain clearance, communications, VOR
reception, and usually radar coverage.  MEA, of course, goes up and down
along the route of flight as the variables change.  But you cannot
legally go below MEA.

Your flight may have encountered a radar "dead zone" at your altitude,
thus a temporary "radar service terminated"- or the FAA's wonderful
radar system may have not been feeling well.

Ken