Landing lights and descend

When do you turn ldg lights on and descend? Sometimes I had to make 360 to descend to present altitude even though I calculated the time.

Once you are below 10 thousand feet AGL you should turn your landing lights on.


Landing lights on below 10k AGL.

Descend is more of a preference. Given that you have to do a 360 descend 10-15 nm earlier than the
planned TOD.


Descent really varies on altitude of airport, and your altitude/aircraft.

There is a wonderful way to calculate your descent that I found a while ago.

Take your arrival airport’s altitude and add 3000 to it. Subtract that number from your cruising altitude. Take that third number and divide by the V/S that you descend at.

You will have to level off at 10,000 or something for a minute or so, but it’s 100% fine and in fact, realistic to do so.

Hope this helps!

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@Wiggygodsky will be able to explain this better than I…

Here’s his helpful post on this:


Descend about 160NM away at -1800 FPM

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There are lots of advanced ways of calculating when to descend but I find that the good old dividing the altitude that you need to descend by your v/s speed works fine for me
E.G 36000/1800

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Landing Lights below 10,000 is an FAA thing, there is no ICAO requirement to have landing lights on below 10K, I believe also it’s “encouraged” by the FAA rather than a legal requirement, but an FAA Chap can correct me on that.

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