ATC expected descent rate

AdlerDriver

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What rate of descent does ATC normally expect from aircraft?
Do they differentiate between a cruise descent, descent into the terminal area or a descent on vectors to final?
I've heard plenty of opinions on this so I'd appreciate an actual reference to backup your answer. Thanks.
 

stupidpilot

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It depends on where you are. I'm not sure of the regs, but in Chicago's area I've gotten yelled at for not maintaining at least 1000FPM.
 

WMUSIGPI

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The only thing I remember seeing is in the AIM, in the final 1000 feet of a climb or descent use between 500 and 1500 fpm to preclude causing an unneeded TCAS TA or RA.
 

Lrjtcaptain

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It depends on where you are. I'm not sure of the regs, but in Chicago's area I've gotten yelled at for not maintaining at least 1000FPM.
Thats right....we chicago controllers are so known for yelling...don't think so!

Fly the freaking plane, climb and descend to what ever you and the plane are comfortable doing. If unable to climb or descend at 500fpm or greater.....Advise us.....other then that....Fly the plane the way you need to fly it.
 

veneratio

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500 fpm or more. If unable advise. 1500 fpm in the last 1000 feet to avoid TA/RA.
 

siucavflight

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Thats right....we chicago controllers are so known for yelling...don't think so!

Fly the freaking plane, climb and descend to what ever you and the plane are comfortable doing. If unable to climb or descend at 500fpm or greater.....Advise us.....other then that....Fly the plane the way you need to fly it.
Actually not true, while I was at Eagle I got reamed out by Chicago departure for climbing at 200 KTS, due to weather we were trying to get on top of. Controller was livid that we dare not accelerate to 250 KIAS once we had complied with the ORD 1 crossing restrictions.
 

stupidpilot

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Thats right....we chicago controllers are so known for yelling...don't think so!

Fly the freaking plane, climb and descend to what ever you and the plane are comfortable doing. If unable to climb or descend at 500fpm or greater.....Advise us.....other then that....Fly the plane the way you need to fly it.
Sorry man, I didn't mean to ruffle your feathers but it's true. During peak traffic periods while transiting near the city of Chicago I have been told quite a few times to increase my rate of descent. If I tried to keep a shallow descent until I intercepted a normal descent profile I got a call to increase it. Chicago has a habit of descending you early if you are going eastward and landing in the DTW area. I figure it's to keep clear of the arrivals and departures. I never said it bothered me or anything. It's just the way it is.
 

SDCFI

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Sorry man, I didn't mean to ruffle your feathers but it's true. During peak traffic periods while transiting near the city of Chicago I have been told quite a few times to increase my rate of descent. If I tried to keep a shallow descent until I intercepted a normal descent profile I got a call to increase it. Chicago has a habit of descending you early if you are going eastward and landing in the DTW area. I figure it's to keep clear of the arrivals and departures. I never said it bothered me or anything. It's just the way it is.
Same here. I use a 3000-3500fpm profile in the VNAV on the Lear with pax, and 4000-4500fpm empty. Any descent given before I hit my profile is made at 1000fpm until ATC says something, which they almost always do esp in Chicago and NY. In the busy areas they seem to expect 1500-2000fpm minimum. In their defense it seems it's usually to accomodate LOAs with other sectors/centers. Hope the NextGen ATC system fixes this!
 

eagle06

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AIM 4-4-9 Adherence to Clearance would probably be your best reference-

"descend or climb at an optimum rate consistent with the operating charactistics of the aircraft to 1000 feet above or below then between 500-1500fpm"

thats out of a 3 year old AIM but im guessing it hasnt changed a whole lot.
 

kf4amu

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"Optimum rate" means the highest? Or best for the aircraft for other reasons?
 

Webslinger

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Basics

Why not try two rules of thumb that most of us use in "turbine" equipment.
1. 5 X your groundspeed. Example. 500kt GS = 2500fpm decent. 400kt GS= 2000fpm.
2. 1/2 your GS X 10. Example. 500kt GS /2 = 250 X 10= 2500fpm.
Easy cheesy gents. lets not reinvent the wheel eh?
 

SNAFU22

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I use the VNAV and when I dont, ditto what Webslinger says.
 

stupidpilot

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Why not try two rules of thumb that most of us use in "turbine" equipment.
1. 5 X your groundspeed. Example. 500kt GS = 2500fpm decent. 400kt GS= 2000fpm.
2. 1/2 your GS X 10. Example. 500kt GS /2 = 250 X 10= 2500fpm.
Easy cheesy gents. lets not reinvent the wheel eh?
I just use the three to one rule. If you're at FL400 then remove one zero, triple it, and then you have your descent point. 120NM from destination.

 

Fox-Tree

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Why not try two rules of thumb that most of us use in "turbine" equipment.
1. 5 X your groundspeed. Example. 500kt GS = 2500fpm decent. 400kt GS= 2000fpm.
2. 1/2 your GS X 10. Example. 500kt GS /2 = 250 X 10= 2500fpm.
Easy cheesy gents. lets not reinvent the wheel eh?
Instead of not reinventing the wheel, why don't you read the actual question posed in the first post. The guy wasn't asking about techniques to descend - any idiot knows to used VNAV or the techniques you listed.
The question was about what descent rate is expected by ATC. When they tell you to descend, what is the rate they expect you to use.
Sure would be nice if these genius pilots with an opinion would read all the posts before they bless us with their knowledge.
 

stupidpilot

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Sorry Mr. Fedex god. We can't all be incredible super-pilots like you.
 

siucavflight

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Sorry Mr. Fedex god. We can't all be incredible super-pilots like you.
FedEx has a point, no one was asking how to descend, he was asking about ATC, and everyone else went off on a how to fly the airplane tangent.
 

Fox-Tree

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:laugh: whatever.
Just RTFQ and there won't be a problem.
 

BillJBrake

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atLEAST 1500fpm, but 2k or greater is ideal. The guys that give a 500fpm descents off the bat, and then when atc asks to increase rate of descent they go up to 7-800fpm ruin it for everyone else often, and make the controller issue blanket descent rates since the guy earlier in the day burned him or really increased his workload.

In my opinion, only time you should be descending at less than 1500fpm (2000fpm ideally) is one of three things: descending with PD, meeting a restriction, or about to level.
 

stupidpilot

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FedEx has a point, no one was asking how to descend, he was asking about ATC, and everyone else went off on a how to fly the airplane tangent.
The point was that he didn't have to be a jerk about it.
 
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