The control tower of a certain airport with true altitude of 2000ft informs the pilot that QNH is 900hPa and the temperature at the airport is -10 degrees Celsius. The airplane is at FL300 (vertically above the airport) and the OAT measured by the airplane sensor is -30 degrees Celsius. What's the true altitude of the airplane?

The teacher gave us the following formula


but the question is. We have the $Z_t$ (2000ft) and $T_v$ (-30 degrees Celsius), we can calculate the $Z_{QNH}$, but what is the $T_{Std}$ ? Is it the temperature at the flight level considering the ISA Atmosphere or do we need to start with -10 degrees Celsius and calculate the temperature at FL300?

  • $\begingroup$ Look what ISA gives you for ground and air temperature and subtract the difference from the actual ground temperature. $\endgroup$ – Peter Kämpf Apr 10 '18 at 19:22
  • $\begingroup$ @PeterKämpf, just to confirm, are you saying that $T_{std}=T(ISA)_{Ground}-T(ISA)_{air}-T(Real)_{Ground}$? $\endgroup$ – Emanuel Camacho Apr 10 '18 at 20:06
  • $\begingroup$ No, $T_{std} = T(real)_{Ground}-T(ISA)_{Ground}+T(ISA)_{air}$ $\endgroup$ – Peter Kämpf Apr 10 '18 at 22:30

Standard temperatures are based on the Standard atmosphere. A lapse rate, dry or wet depending on your environment, is used determine the standard temperature for a given altitude relative to the standard sea level temperature. This discussion may help you out here.


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