is a Q code
used by pilots and air traffic control
to refer to the current air pressure
which will calibrate the pilot's altimeter
to give actual height above the ground at a particular airfield
. This setting is used during take off and landing and when flying in the circuit
. A mnemonic
for the code is "Q F
ATC will update pilots with the QFE when necessary. A typical radio conversation might go:
- Pilot: Golf Whiskey Alpha Charlie Foxtrot, requesting taxi clearance for local VFR
- ATC: Golf Charlie Fox, taxi to Alpha for 25 right hand, QFE niner-niner-eight millibars
- Pilot: To alpha, 25 right, QFE niner-niner-eight, Golf Charlie Fox
Here, the pilot of G-WACF requests a taxi clearance (he's on the ground), and he's told to taxi to (holding point) A for runway 25, right hand circuits, and the QFE is 998 millibars. The pilot acknowledges the information he's given, as required.
In most parts of the world, QFE is given in millibars (or hectopascals, which is the SI unit). In the USA, QFE is given in inches of mercury.