Maximum Vertical Speed

What should be the maximum vertical speed while descending till upto 5000 ft? I know it should be below -1000 fpm after 5000. The aircraft gets into a strange nose down attitude when I cross -1500 fpm. Is it realistic?

A nose-down descent is okay, if it’s not violently low. If you lower your speed before descend you won’t be as ‘nosed-downed’. I usually descend between -1800 and -2000fpm.

During a Standard Terminal arrival roure (STAR) aircraft are required to be at specified altitudes and speeds at certain waypoints, so the VS will vary depending on where they are.
I watch planes at and and it appears that - 1,000 to - 2000 is common above 10,000 feet, and -1,000 or less below 10,000 feet.
From personal experience as a passenger on the 737s and A320, the planes do pitch down at a 0-2 degree at higher altitudes. I think - 2 degrees is the max

Usually I get the feeling that airliners don’t pitch down much, they reduce speed and lose altitude that way. Also not more than -2000 FPM and maybe try not to keep your speed at 250 KIAS until on short final ;)

(Not accusing you of doing this, just seeing many on PG flying max speed at all times)

They do. During my last two flights a few weeks ago, the first A320 was descending more or less level, while the second was pitched down.

Yes, true. I didn’t make myself clear. Obviously they do pitch down a few degrees but it’s hardly noticeable. What I meant to say is that they won’t pitch down 10 degrees at cruising speed ;)

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I think the most they pitch down is 2 degrees. It would be difficult for cabin crew and passengers to move about if it were anymore than that.

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I think you should reduce your speed before you begin descent

You’re flying too fast. -1.500 ft/min is a common descent rate even below 5.000 ft.

When I was very recently on a plane, there decent was -1,000FT and that was 40mins before landing, they did this because Dubai was filled very heavy traffic.

This is how it looks like:


Initial descents from FL300+ down to FL100-150 I often see V/S around -1000 up to -2500ft/min. After that, it’s mostly around -1000ft/min. It also depends on the pilot. Sometimes a late but steep descent or an early and shallow descent, that’s pilot’s preference AFAIK.

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This is how it looks like:

Rate of descent is at times determined by what the STAR requires.