Jump to content

Altimeter readings outside of USA


Recommended Posts

So in the USA our altimeters measure in feet right? Does the European aircraft or any countries that use meters to measure have an altimeter that measures in meters?


Or does a Chinese, Australian, French, etc... pilot have to learn distances in feet to fly an aircraft?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In other countries, hectopascals, or millibars, are used for the altimeter setting in the kollsman window. I heard that this will soon be the ICAO standard. I have seen an altimeter that measures altitude in meters but not sure how common they are.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Altitude is measured in feet pretty much everywhere, except in older russian or chinese aircraft that have fully metric cockpits.



I concur...only the Russians old aircraft have altimeters in meters. China uses meters for flight levels as we speak. So does Russia and North Korea. There are not any others that I know of that still use meters. You use a simple conversion chart to convert feet into meters when flying in those airspaces. For the China approach plates, there is a conversion table right on the chart for all altitudes used on the approach plate. Otherwise, it would be a nightmare to sort out conversions while doing an instrument approach. We have high tech altimeters that with a push of a button, displays both feet and meters (glass cockpit). All clearances are in meters. We set feet based upon the conversion table.


As far as altimeter settings go, the U.S. is fairly much the odd man out on using inch's of mercury. While there are a few others that use inches, most everyone now use Hpa (hectopascals). All Metars contain Hpa as a minimum. In the U.S., metars may contain both inches and hpa.


Great question offered by brettjeepski!


I have included 2 images of the arrival and approach for Shanghai if anyone would like to get the mental picture of my description.









Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gliders in much of Europe (at least in Scandinavia and Germany) use metric units; meters for altitude, meters per second for ascent/descent rate and km/h for airspeed. This is because Germany (which use the metric system) was the birth place for many of today's gliders.


Attached: Cockpit of a Grob Twin Acro glider.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...