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I need some opinions

Guest

I have a question about going from cruise speed to descent.

When I am at cruise speed during a flight and I get to about 150-190 miles out(depending on my speed) I start to slowly slow down in preparation for the descent and landing. The only problem is that when I do this, the slower speeds make the flight take longer than it should.

I wanted to know what I should do. Would using the spoilers right before descent somewhere about 100 miles out or less and going from 300KIAS to 210KIAS be a realistic thing to do so as not to lose time and to arrive when I should? I have tried this before but when I do it makes the engines rev all the way up to make up for the spoilers being up and it doesn't seem like a way that real pilots would use. Also, if I try just putting the Autothrottle from 300 to 210, it takes too long to do and by then I already have to descend.

Could someone please tell me the way that it's done in real life or how you do it when you are playing?

Thanks

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain
Guest

I don't need help in the actual approach itself. I just want to know how to slow down properly from cruise speed to when I have to start descent. I want to slow down quickly at about 100-120 miles out so I don't have to waste extra flight time gradually slowing down from 190 miles out.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Tailhook Chief Captain

Anonymous wrote:

Could someone please tell me the way that it's done in real life or how you do it when you are playing?

Thanks

I think herein lies your answer.

You really have to decide whether you want to simulate a flight as realistically as possible in FS or whether you want to play around and just have fun.

In the latter case obviously you can do just anything you like. Disengage your Autothrottle and then deploy your spoilers - using HOTAS while observing how your a/c reacts.
I'm saying this because you'll see that in this situation different a/c will behave very differently in FS.
Once you've reached your desired altitude and speed, retract your spoilers and (after you've adjusted your KIAS) engage Auto throttle again.

If you want realism instead, there's plenty of literature available for free.
First decide on the a/c you want to fly and then do a search for the proper procedures.
Keep in mind though, that 'proper procedures' is a two-edged sword as FS can only simulate within its own capabilities.

Basically I would say there are two types of 'proper procedures': those applied and adhered to in real life and those used in FS.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Jonathan (99jolegg) Chief Captain

Normally, I descend slightly further out at around 190 miles and descend at around 1500fpm. I set my autothrottle to about 240KIAS and I let the speed bleed off with N1 at around 45% until I get to 10,000 feet where I change my autothrottle speed to 200KIAS about 35miles from the airport, adding flaps from then, to the height of the glideslope interception.

😉

Guest

Thank you both for your answers. I never thought of looking in the manual for the correct procedure so that is something I'll do.

Also, in the second response, you said you descend at 190 miles out. I have never been given clearance by ATC to start down that far out. It's usually 120-90 miles out or even closer just depending on how high I am.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Jonathan (99jolegg) Chief Captain

Anonymous wrote:

Thank you both for your answers. I never thought of looking in the manual for the correct procedure so that is something I'll do.

Also, in the second response, you said you descend at 190 miles out. I have never been given clearance by ATC to start down that far out. It's usually 120-90 miles out or even closer just depending on how high I am.

Which is why I don't use ATC for IFR flight. From FL350, it is very hard to descend at 90 miles out whilst not increasing your speed, especially if you are in an aircraft with a lot of velocity inertia such as a 747. I find you end up with a pitch down attitude in some cases, which rarely happens in the real world. You often don't notice that you are descending in the real world so descent is close to level.

Jamie4590 Guest

I begin to deaccelerate at 260NM from the airport. I always think I'm too close because at that point I'm flying at M2.04 but as I slow down I realise that I must monitor my descent and speed because I could end up slowing down too much too early and turn the last section of the flight in to a real grinder.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Tailhook Chief Captain

I agree with Jon to a degree where he says

Which is why I don't use ATC for IFR flight. From FL350, it is very hard to descend at 90 miles out whilst not increasing your speed, especially if you are in an aircraft with a lot of velocity inertia such as a 747.

On an IFR flight I often Take-off without contacting ATC. This gives me the freedom to ask for IFR clearance whenever I want.
Prior to my flight I study the terrain with the aid of the map, especially the area close to my destination. To keep it simple, let's say the terrain is totally flat and my destination airport is at sea level. In this case, in Flight Planner after clicking 'Find route' I input my Cruising Altitude to say 12.000ft. This way I can begin my descent in a civilized manner at a rate of 800 or 1.000ft without having ATC pester me to 'expedite' and forcing me into a dive.

Let's say I've started my gradual descent from FL320 - I'll level off at 15.000ft and after all systems have settled I contact ATC and ask for IFR clearance. Without a fail ATC will instruct me to descent to 12.000ft after clearance has been given (12.000ft because that's what I stipulated as Cruising Altitude during the Flight Planning process). Now I've got plenty of time to reduce my thrust before ATC instructs me to go into a dive to - say 5000ft.

MSFS ATC by default expects you to descent at a rate of 1.800ft and if you don't comply, you get a rap over the knuckles. To avoid arguments with ATC, just commence your descent at 1.800ft and as soon as possible reduce your descent rate - FS ATC won't notice the difference.

Did you say

...at that point I'm flying at M2.04

Fear

Pro Member Captain
Kareem El-Sadi (crosscheck9) Captain

Hmm - Either I'm doing something wrong, or just following another procedure, however, the following is a summary of my descent ideals..

Lets say I'm at 30,000ft, I begin my descent at about 100nm out. I generally set my A/T to 270kts, and can usually start my descent at 2200fpm. As I progress through FL240, I reduce to 1800fpm, then as I progress through 14000, I reduce to 1500fpm, at which point I set the A/T to 230kts. When I get to 12000, I reduce to 1300fpm. At 11000, if I'm not already below 250kts, I deploy the spoilers briefly, until I'm below 250kts. If I find my speed is increasing, I just reduce my rate of descent to 1000-1200 fpm, and eventually I'll reach localizer altitude without any problems.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Tailhook Chief Captain

Interesting... what kind of aircraft are we talking about Crosscheck?

Sounds as if you're concentrating on the same a/c by the same maker at all times. Nothing wrong with that at all, it's just that in FS it really all depends on the sophistication or lack thereof of the FDE.

A simple illustration would be to compare the default 744 (because we all have it) with a POSKY 744... surely different procedures required in most aspects -- any thoughts?

I should also mention that procedures will vary even with the same aircraft under different conditions -- load, weather etc..

Pro Member Captain
Kareem El-Sadi (crosscheck9) Captain

Tailhook,
My outlined procedure isn't concrete, and is subject to change in different aircraft/conditions. It was just serving as an example. I was trying to show that I generally begin my descent at around the time when ATC clears me to, and I can always make it down within the limits, and on time, as long as I alter my VSR accordingly.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Jonathan (99jolegg) Chief Captain

crosscheck9 wrote:

Hmm - Either I'm doing something wrong, or just following another procedure, however, the following is a summary of my descent ideals..

Lets say I'm at 30,000ft, I begin my descent at about 100nm out. I generally set my A/T to 270kts, and can usually start my descent at 2200fpm. As I progress through FL240, I reduce to 1800fpm, then as I progress through 14000, I reduce to 1500fpm, at which point I set the A/T to 230kts. When I get to 12000, I reduce to 1300fpm. At 11000, if I'm not already below 250kts, I deploy the spoilers briefly, until I'm below 250kts. If I find my speed is increasing, I just reduce my rate of descent to 1000-1200 fpm, and eventually I'll reach localizer altitude without any problems.

Interesting. It sounds as though that would suit a smaller aircraft, but if you aren't below 250KIAS in a heavy aircraft at 11,000ft then the chances are small of you losing sufficient speed by 10,000ft and you are forcing yourself to use your spoilers. I don't like to overcomplicate things that much - from cruise height, I set my speed to around 240KIAS and then descend at a reasonable rate. With my throttles near idling (high N1 due to airspeed) at around 40% my speed bleeds off slowly and I don't reach 240KIAS until around 12,000ft. The idea of constantly changing my descent speed and airspeed doesn't appeal to me.

😉

Pro Member Captain
Kareem El-Sadi (crosscheck9) Captain

99jolegg wrote:

Interesting. It sounds as though that would suit a smaller aircraft, but if you aren't below 250KIAS in a heavy aircraft at 11,000ft then the chances are small of you losing sufficient speed by 10,000ft and you are forcing yourself to use your spoilers. I don't like to overcomplicate things that much - from cruise height, I set my speed to around 240KIAS and then descend at a reasonable rate. With my throttles near idling (high N1 due to airspeed) at around 40% my speed bleeds off slowly and I don't reach 240KIAS until around 12,000ft. The idea of constantly changing my descent speed and airspeed doesn't appeal to me.

😉

I use procedures of the similar foundation for almost all the aircraft I fly. Its similar to the climb, however all the procedures are reversed.
As far as getting my speed down below 250kts at 11,000...As I said above, the procedures aren't concrete, and are subject to change in a larger aircraft. In that case, I would begin slowing down below 250 kts at around 15000 --

This method has worked for me for as long as I remember, and it seems to get the aircraft at its airfield safely, and on time.

That said, the above procedure is only a result of my prior experience, and by no means, professional advice. In the sim, it works for me, and I try to replicate flights as accurately as possible, for realism purposes. I'll try to find some more information on this subject for clarification. 😉

Pro Member Chief Captain
VegasFlyer Chief Captain

I guess the important thing is to have satisfied passangers (if using FSPassanger), making a nice landing and going below 250kts when passing 10.000 feet. I personally set the VS to -1600-1800fpm and almost never use spoilers to slow down. At around 12. 000 I set my speed to 240kts or less so the aircraft has sufficient time to decelerate by 10.000ft.

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