When should I start slowing down during approach? (A350-900)

So should I slow down while descending or wait to get to lower altitudes and then throttle down? I kinda get overwhelmed especially since I’ve dealt with extreme winds right in the middle of approach.

Is it also recommended to activate spoilers during descent during turbulence?:)

3 Likes

I usually keep 290knots IAS until I’m at about 14000-12000 feet when I slow to 249 knots IAS to obey the speed restriction. Then I slow to 180 knots for final approach. It’s mostly up to you but that is what I use as a guideline. If you have a tight turn in your STAR for example it could be a good idea to slow down though 👍 hope this helped! And the something like 140 for the landing speed but it varies on different aircraft…

4 Likes

Oh I forgot to mention my aircraft is the A350 and cruise altitude is FL320 and 0.74 Mach (was 0.81 before entering British airspace, I’m currently on my way to Paris!)

Winds are absolutely terrible at 96 knots N. I did descend from FL320 to 280 just now and it was 105 knots 🙄

Yes. I usually activate spoilers to armed once I’m within 12.5nm of landing, alongside dropping the gear and proceeding to hand fly the bird on the way down, also setting my flaps to 1 at the same time and gradually increasing flaps the closer I get.

1 Like

Thanks for the input Mr. Ryan!:)

1 Like

Oh yes, that’s something I forget constantly;)

So, it varies for me:

In a narrowbody, I remain at cruise speed past 28,000 feet. This normally ends up to being around 295 knots.

Cruise: M 0.79 (B739)
28,000: 295
22,000: 290
18,000: 280
14,000: 260
12,000: 250
11,000: 240
8,000: 220
6,000 (or on downwind leg): 200
When I’m turning final I lower it to 180.

Cruise: M 0.86 (A359)
28,000: 320
22,000: 300
18,000: 280
14,000: 260
12,000: 250
11,000: 240
8,000: 220
6,000 (or downwind leg): 200
Turning Final: 180

Keep in mind that this can vary due to potentially strong winds.

4 Likes

This can help as well :

1 Like

That is really slow…even short haul aircraft go faster than that. You should be cruising at M 0.83-0.86

1 Like

Every now and then, I always achieve a spoiler less approach, depending on the wind though, and aircraft. If you calculate your top of descent accurately, which I do for all flights, you can keep a 1000-1300ft/m descent rate with steady deceleration to 250kias. But sometimes wind does not permit that so on those occasions I’m forced to use the spoilers.

Hope this helps😊

1 Like

Well, I follow a pretty simple rule when I control approach. Descend to around 11000-12000ft when within 50nm range (of course the TOD needs to be counted), and slow the speed down to 280 KIAS then 250 KIAS, then within 25nm range, descend to around 7000-8000ft and slow down to around 220 KIAS. On downwind, fly 4000-5000ft and slow down to 200 KIAS. At last, on base descend 1000ft down to get below the glide slope and fly 180 KIAS. Of course, terrain should always be taken into account. This is a general rule and works most of the time, when the pilots are following instructions lol 😂 Hope it helps :)

I do this too

1 Like

Dude, I was going 0.81-0.83 on cruise all the way till I was halfway out of the UK. I lowered my speed because the wind speed was very high and I actually crashed the plane while landing cause my altitude was slightly high. Lol.

1 Like

Isn’t that a bit far? Gear should be lowered along with the final notch of flaps at around 5-8 nm.

Real pilots out there, do correct me if I’m wrong.

2 Likes

You are very correct, that’s really early. Rules vary company by company. And also this is done a pilot flying discretion. Most times it is dropped immediately passing 2500 (with all landing items configured) or 4-6NM out.
Sometimes the PF can drop it late too maybe due to drag, etc

2 Likes

This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.