you'd figure they'd have different planes for the planes to fly on.
Example: Planes flying north will fly at 37,000 feet. Planes flying south will fly at 37,500 feet. Planes flying East will fly at 36,500 feet. And planes fly West will fly at 36,000 feet. Planes flying NE,SW,NW,SE will fly at intervals of 100 feet beyond northern or southern routs, ie: NE 37,100', SE 37,600',ets.
you know, with an error deviation of 30/20 feet, even if both planes were flying 20 feet higher and 20 feet lower, it would still eave 60 feet between them, and if they were 30 feet left or right, there still would only be 40 feet between them. Given the parameters of error, it would be mathmatically impossible to have a mid air collosion.
I understand of course that altitude effects the ammount of time it takes to go a certain distance, and can also effect the ammount of effort the plane must exert in order to fly, which effects fuel usage and strain on the engine. May I venture to ask, how many planes actually fly according to schedule? There hasn't been a time when I traveled by air, and I do so quite ofton, that the flight plan went as, well, planned. There are always delays, just the nature of the beast.
Here's a theory I've been working on. Intergallactic Instant Travel by Partical Reassimulation, aka, IITPR. The IITPR would simply be a computer that scans the body, making note of every atomic structor and mathmadically simulates the bodies atomic readings and transfers the information to the desired location equiped with receptive capabilities and distributes the exact replication of the bodies atomic structure. The computer will then use high dossages of radiation and a small atomic blast to seperate the bodies atoms and suck it into the hard drive. Yes, I stole this idea from Star Trek. No, I don't believe they are owed rights. With a jult of lightening, a bottle of Vita Radium (suppositories), and a kick to the groin the body will be rejuvinated and brought back to life. This would probably kill every traveler and I see this as a form of population control. If you're dumb enough to go through it, than you deserve to die. Yes, that's right, die. And that is why I hate flying.
You are correct. In general, even numbered altitudes indicate one way, and odd numbered indicate the other. So, FL 170 is for eastbound, and FL 180 and 160, etc, are westbound. Of course, in busy airspace, air traffic controllers overrule that standard all the time.
Apparently there's a similar problem on boats ever since GPS systems were tied into the autohelm system. Captains will key in the GPS coordinates of a channel marker, not maintain lookout, and then drive straight into the channel marker.
a problem with the navy as well, hense the collision involving the submarine a few years ago :) According to marine law, vessels MUST maintain a look out watch at all times, so that is the fault of a complacent captain overworking his crew. He doesn't want a look out watch because he's working his staff 15 hours a day, while the officers sit in the lounge and drink coffee. This is pretty common with Russian boats with a phillipino crew; Russian officers, and 15 phillipino slaves. It was something we were always looking out for when doing vessel inspections, but it's impossible to descover. All we can do is look at their records, which are kept by the captain, who of course isn't going to write down he's breaking the law, and talk to the crew. The crew of course isn't going to say a thing because they're easily replaced, and they don't want to be thrown over board in an "accident". It's a scary thing when computers navigate our transportation devices; a concept that people entertian for cars, and that to me is the scariest damn thing. Especially with my luck with computers, if it can go wrong, it will when I'm using it :) "So ah, how'd your car end up in a tree covered in dead sheep." "I don't know, computer went balistic" ah yes, of course, it would make for a fun story to tell years later :)