Phases of descent and approach

Hi Aviators

I’m here to ask your helpful experiences to help me to do the right descend and approach performance.

Give me some great answers explaining me, how to Descend at the right Vertical speed and how is it calculated, also how it changes along the flight, and how could I maintain the right V/S in the entire descend. And also how to compute TOD

For approach :

Explain me how could I determine the right moments to leave flaps down and which are their speeds. Also when to turn off A/P in the final approach, when to leave landing gear down and how could I make a smooth landing

This is for you to know :
I am a Grade 4 pilot but here I want you to explain me those performances as I can get more experience and find some perfect descends by you, trust me, you would help me a LOT by answering in these topic.

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Hey @JuanCrafter_Pro

Firstly, to calculate TOD and descent V/S, use a descent calculator like this one

Remember this is not 100% accurate so add 10-20nm to account for this

Secondly, I usually turn off the A/P at around 3nm from the runway (indicated on your ILS display thing), although this is personal preference.

Thirdly, the landing gear is usually put down at around 5nm from the runway, although this is somewhat personal preference, but can differ between aircraft types I’ve seen a post previously on IFC explaining this

Lastly, to make a smooth landing is simply practice. Go into solo and continually practice by spawning in on final in your favourite aircraft. To make the landing smooth ensure you are ‘flaring’ Depending on aircraft , which is the process of raising the pitch of the aircraft to lessen the -V/S during touchdown. Here is a link to How to Flare an aircraft

I hope this all helped :)


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Check out this video by Captain Joe as well as the discussion on the thread where it was originally posted.


Top of descent is calculated with this equation:

Current Flight Level - Desired Flight Level / 3 = Distance In NM

The equation for VS is:

Mach Speed x 3 x 1000

Hope this helps!


I tried your calculations and they are very accurate, thanks for answering👨‍✈️


That video is really helpful, thank you


Thanks for the links, this answer was pretty clear. Thanks for the huge support :)✈️

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Regarding the decent: I (flying the A319) start the decent when the system shows 15 minutes to destination with a decent rate of 2000-2200 feet per minute and engine setting between 35-0%.

This applies to all crusing altitudes between FL 340 and FL390.


Read some great advice so far, one thing to never forget when flying: pitch for speed, power for altitude!


MaxSez: @JuanCrafter_Pro… Lest you forget; A Landing has 2 phases, “Round Out” then “Flair”! The Round Out configures wings level, de-crabs, speed reduction and a nose up attitude which allows main touch down first on a tricycle gear equipped aircraft, then the Flare. First the egg then the chicken…


Oh well I found an A319 expert pilot!✈️

It is always on mind!

Haha, thanks for the explanations:)

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Flying only A319 for month teaches you a few things about it!

Regarding the final approach speed: With Flaps Full it’s about 130-145kts IAS (Air Speed) It depend on the wind strength and direction (lower speed for tailwind and higher for headwind).

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Just use

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Yes it seems it is helpful

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