when to descend?

Ok i am having trouble when to descend and what the VS should be. Could I get some help on figuring it out? That would be great. :)


There are a few tutorials on the subject.


When the ATC tell you to descend

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Thanks I will try that :)

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Only when approach is active and you request vectors. But that’s something not relevant to this topic when Chris has already linked 3 useful tutorials about when to descent.

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No by the time you are able to contact ATC you should already be in the descent.


Here is a link for a very helpful tool I use to calculate my vs:

Hope it helps!

I believe you can use trigonometry to Decent.

I use this method all the time except for when there is approach online or I am descending via the STAR. First take your altitude and divide it by 300 (ex. 35000/300=116). 116 is the nautical miles before the destination so at 116 nautical miles before you arrive at your destination you start your descent. I like to add 5 more nautical miles just to be safe. Then you want to find out how fast to descend so you take your GROUND SPEED and multiply it by 5 (ex. 450 times 5=2,250). I like to round up to the nearest hundred 2,250 would round up to 2,300. Keep in mind you still need to follow rules like 250 KIAS under 10,000ft and ALWAYS listen to ATC. So to wrap up in my examples you want to descend at 116 nautical miles out and at 2,300 is your vertical speed. For me this works ALL THE TIME. Hoped this helped.👍

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I use this video by the one and only @Swiss to help with this.

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