Intro to IFR Question #19 - What are IFR cruising altitudes?

IFR Cruising Altitudes


What are IFR cruising altitudes? 

From the surface to 29,000’ MSL (FL290), IFR cruising altitudes are similar to VFR cruising altitudes with the exception of the 500’ intervals for VFR flight. Heading 040, IFR eligible cruising altitudes are 3,000’ MSL, 5,000’ MSL, 7,000’ MSL, 9,000’ MSL, 11,000’ MSL, 13,000’ MSL, 15,000’ MSL and 17,000’ MSL, etc.  

Above flight level 290 the intervals increase to 4,000’ steps. Heading 040 provides altitudes 29,000’ MSL, 33,000’ MSL, 37,000’ MSL, 41,000’ MSL, 45,000’ MSL, etc. 

* 4,000’ steps above FL290 apply to non-RVSM aircraft. Otherwise 2,000' steps apply. 



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Chris caught the aviation bug at the age of seven when he was able to sit in the cockpit of a 737 between flights, thanks to his aunt working at a large airline. Countless balsa wood flyers and multi-stage rockets later, he enrolled in the Aviation Technology Program at the University of Cincinnati and successfully turned a fascination into a career. “One of my most memorable flights was flying my dad to a local airport with a restaurant just off the ramp known for their generously portioned ribs. I’ll never forget that day with passenger #1.” As the Director of Search Marketing at Sporty’s, Chris is tasked with managing online advertising and search engine optimization but he still loves to search for new products.

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