Weather conditions and descent rate

I have 3 questions

  1. Is there a website or app that shows you the wind conditions of each area?

  2. I want to know the perfect time to descent to 3000ft for final and at what rate. I always start descending and the ETE

  3. ik that this isnt in IF, but what is vfr and ifr? all the explenations on google are very comlicated. i know that one means flying above the clouds or something.

any responses are appreciated

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  1. There is a calculation for it, take your height, multiple it times 3, and that’s your top of descent. E.g. 30,000ft = 30x3=90nm

  2. Visual flight rules Vs instrument flight rules.

One you use your eyes out of the window to fly the plane and the other you are using the onboard systems. This is based on the weather conditions, if its foggy or misty and too difficult to “see and avoid” then you require a Radar service to help maintain separation from other aircraft and this usually means you’re stuck to the instruments - horizon, AoA etc.

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  1. Descent is a personal preference. I use https://x-planetools.com/descent.html to give me an estimate of my descent from 130-160nm for normal (high) cruising altitudes. VS (generally -1600 – -1800 fpm) and when to descent depends on wind, so if headwinds I descent later and vice versa for tailwinds. I slow down as I go, knowing that I should be past 10000ft and below 240 at around 10-12 mins left in my flight and reducing -vs over time (strongly applicable in high headwinds - otherwise I’ll be too early at 4000ft!). Then again, you’ll master descent through trial and error but it takes time. Generally, I would hit 4000 AGL at the doorstep of the ILS / GPS cone since 3000ft is quite low and many airports are not at sea level but higher up.

It took me a while to figure out my plan for descent, and sometimes I still miss my ToD…so never perfect.

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