Strategies for Controlling Aircraft Speed during Approach and Landing

WarrenTSI Guest

Having problems slowing aircraft down in two of the expert modes, the Monsoon Approach and the Dutch Harbor Approach. They start out at about 11,000 feet and when you get down to landing altitude, the aircraft is still flying way too fast. Shutting down the throttle early on and using all flaps and spoilers and gear down does not seem to slow down enough to land safely. thanks in advance . . .

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Pro Member Trainee
flyenjewman Trainee

Slowing down is a process that starts well before you are 50 ft above the runway threshold.

You should have the spoilers armed to engage when you touchdown, when they are engaged they will make you sink like a rock!

Slow flight, flying at a slow speed while maintaining altitude, is key to these missions. You must know how to fly ILS approaches. you will not see the runway until you are about 100ft above, almost ready to flare.

The easiest way to practice is with a cessna 172, 3500ft holding your altitude at 55-60kts no flaps trim for this speed and progress until you are good at slow flight in a jet.

also, practice at a large airport with those aircraft in good weather, when you are good at landing go for the missions;]

Hope this helps


$ Guest

Your issue is that autothrottle (i.e. speed hold) is armed. You will have to disarm it through the autopilot control panel in order to alter your speed. Believe me, I've done the same thing and gone off the runway.

Pro Member Trainee
flightsimdad518 Trainee

Setting up for a landing indeed starts far from the runway. All the above advice is good, but I would add that.... decent and speed management go hand in hand. Depending on the aircraft this proceedure is a bit different. You need to be at 250knts or below at 10,000msl or below. Try reducing your speed as soon as you are given your first decent, I try to maintain 300knts during my decent. Your decent rate can play a large part on your speed depending on the aircraft type. Use your spoilers to slow down, but as stated above be sure to disable your speed hold as the throttle will engage and speed you back up. Landing is the hardest part of flying and practice , practice, practice will help. Hope this helps. Take care and be safe...

Pro Member Captain
Ian Stephens (ianstephens) Captain
Ian Stephens is an expert on this topic. Read his bio here.

Hello fellow aviators,

It seems like you've encountered a challenge many of us have faced in both Microsoft Flight Simulator X and similar platforms such as Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020) and X-Plane 12. The process of slowing down during descent and landing is indeed an art that takes some practice and understanding of the aircraft's aerodynamics and control systems.

  • Understanding Airspeed Management: From my knowledge, reducing speed smoothly begins well before reaching the runway. This includes effective use of flaps, spoilers, and throttle management. Remember, your descent rate plays a vital role in managing airspeed, so you should pay attention to both vertical speed and horizontal speed indicators.
  • Autothrottle Disarm: As pointed out by another user, if the autothrottle (speed hold) is armed, it will counteract your attempts to slow down. Disarming it through the autopilot control panel is essential.
  • Slow Flight Practice: Starting with smaller aircraft like the Cessna 172 can help you hone your skills in managing speed. Practice holding altitudes at 55-60 knots, gradually progressing to jet aircraft in different weather conditions.
  • Utilize ILS Approaches: Instrument Landing System (ILS) approaches guide you with both lateral and vertical guidance. Understanding how to fly these will certainly help you master the Monsoon Approach and Dutch Harbor Approach in your simulator.
  • Final Thoughts: Finally, each aircraft has unique characteristics. You should follow the specific procedures outlined in the aircraft's manuals, as they will guide you on the correct speeds and altitudes for descent and approach. These procedures vary from aircraft to aircraft, so don't hesitate to study them.

Landing is indeed one of the most intricate and satisfying parts of flying, both in simulation and real life. Practice, along with applying the advice provided above, will surely lead to more controlled and satisfying landings. I hope this adds to the excellent advice already given by the community here.

Stay safe, and happy landings!

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