Approach speeds too far out from the airport

Hi there,
too often I see many pilots that during the phase of approach reduces the speed to 150/170 Kts (full flaps, landing gear, all lights on) when they are still to 20/30 nm from the landing runway.
Except for the needs of the ATC controllers please keep at least 210 Kts up to 15 nm from landing as happens in reality aviation world.
Sometimes, real ATC controllers require pilots (if able, of course) to maintain 160/180 up to the Outer Marker (4/7 nm).
I think then we could do it too.
Good day


What server do you control on? If you are on the training server, you are bound to run into a few pilots who don’t tend to know what they are doing.


UK at busy airfields the requirement is 160kts to 4nm. Needs final config and speedbrake in a heavy.

In the US it’s usually given as 170kts to 5nm, same issues in a heavy!

1500-2000’ select final flap but hold the speed at 160kts, 4.5nm, reduce to Vapp + 5kts, speed brake, stable by 1000’ AAL.

Helps ATC massively with spacing!


Expert ATC server. I’m not ATC controller

You can easily do 160 kts in most aircraft without needing to fully configure or put gear down.

I am curious where the OP sees aircraft fully configured 20/30 nm out. That sounds like really poor flying if true and completely unnecessary in most scenarios. Around 5-6nm out at most is fine, although for some companies when doing a non precision approach they do require fully configured by the final approach point around 8-10nm out.

the normal landing speed of a jet airliner is 145-180 kts

I’m referring to the daily routine, not to specific procedures,
or company policies in a non precision approach.

Daily routine wouldn’t have you putting gear out 20/30 nm out though which is why I am curious where you are seeing this?

1 Like

Do you know I think I may have misunderstood exactly the point you are making @darioalex You are certainly right to highlight the issue of people fully configuring that far out and actually I think we both agree it really shouldn’t be done and isn’t necessary.

Thats way too high. It’s around 135-140 knots.

1 Like

I invite you to read my post again. Anyway, with or without landing gear, 150/170 Kts at that distance it means blocking an airport.
If I had not noticed this more times I would not had no reason to report it.
I’ll post some screenhot next time.


I agree and I did. See my post two up. Apologies for the misunderstanding. As I say I agree that going that slow that far out is unnecessary.

1 Like

I usually go to 200 knots upon intercepting the localizer or GPS approach. Then I slow down to 180 knots three quarters of the way out…flaps 2 speed 150 halfway there…and finally full flaps, gears, trim, you name it 135 knots and a quarter of the way out. Works for me

1 Like

I land my 787-8 at 170 knots because it would’t be good at lower speeds. I land my 737 at 150 kts

That is way over. Check this:

Offical speeds. Obviously they vary for weather, weight etc.

I only saying that’s how I land the plane. It’ s not a true fact that i said:)

1 Like

I don’t know if what I do is right but I lower the gear around 6.5-7nm out with the speed at 165knots. After gear comes down I put flaps full at 5nm out

1 Like

I usually see the complete opposite. It’s usually lunatics flying a 3NM final, 220 knots IAS, pitch down 10 degrees to try and maintain the glideslope…


210kts 15nm from the runway is NOT realistic. As Yuan says, 160-170 sure.


You’re quite correct however, if you want to mimic real life flying, you have to remember that most airlines have specific SOP’s that require a stabilsed approach criteria.

In landing configuration
On the final approach path both lateral and vertical
At landing speed (Vapp+5kts or gust correction as required)
Engines at landing power (just above idle)

For most airlines if you don’t meet the above criteria at 1000’ it is a mandatory go around.
Hence the decel details as posted above.


1 Like