How fast do you descend

When ATC assigns an altitude what VS do you go to it at?

1 Like

Assuming VNAV, usually about 1600-1800fpm.


sometimes the altitudes assigned dont match up with VNAV.

1 Like

What do you mean?

1 Like

We’ll take you off of STAR altitudes for a variety of reasons. In those cases, follow ATC directions instead of what the STAR altitudes are.

It’s better to follow ATC directions :)

1 Like

ya but what about how fast you should descend? do they assign that?

If you have to turn off VNAV, set the ALT to whatever ATC tells you and 1,500-2,000 VS is usually reasonable.

1 Like

No. Any reasonable V/S is fine. If we need you to speed up your descent, we’ll say “Expedite altitude change.”

1 Like

Quick, but safe, as possible?

Oh, I understand. You mean when ATC assigns an altitude. My bad.

My suggestion is go at a reasonable VS, get to the altitude as quickly and safely as possible. Don’t descend at 500fpm if you’re in an airliner, and don’t descend at 3000fpm if you’re in a Cessna …

maybe -1500vs?

1 Like

Generally, I’ve found thats a good baseline for most aircraft.

I always check if there’s traffic, then I change the vertical speed accordingly. Otherwise I go with whatever I feel is right to get to the altitude when it fits with the approach (more than 1000feet/min though mostly as ATC gives us a descent for a reason).

exept for cessnas of course max I would go is -1000vs with cessnas.

1 Like

Well, you aren’t really going to be flying an IFR Cessna into IFATC Airspace right? lol

I’d keep it -800 Max.

ya true unless its at a small airport.

1 Like

Mostly around 1200fpm

Hey Juan! You have made two topics on altitude and VNAV in the last few minutes? What exactly is it that you are wondering?

1 Like

Prior to VNAV being intriduced, I usually descended at -1800 to -2200 in a B738.