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Question about climb/descent rates

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=w=

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 7, 2005
Posts
72
Alright I've had 2 captains now tell me the same thing... but I think they're nuts. They tell me that in a descent ATC wants you to maintain at least 1000fpm with a hard descent (descend and maintain...) or a discretion descent. I think this is BS.

What I know is what's in the AIM... that you should climb/descend at an "optimum rate" until you're within 1000ft of your level off altitude, at which point you do 500-1500fpm until level. You must also tell ATC if you are unable to maintain 500fpm in a climb or descent. In my view optimum rate is 500fpm descent until I'm on about a 3 degree glidepath to the crossing fix.

I am 99% sure I am right but I have to ask...
 
You're right to refer to the AIM

But I'd disagree with you on your interpretation of "optimum".

That might be your preferred rate (500fpm) but for ATC purposes they want you down today.

The optimum rate is gonna depend on the type of aircraft but for a turbo jet you're probably expected to do 3000fpm.
 
It all depends on where your flying. In sparsely populated areas you can get away with 500FPM but other places they'll want much more.


We do 6,000 FPM up and down in our Learjet!
 
Having seen no "official" definition, optimum rate to me means a shallower rate until I intercept my "optimum" profile.

Fly safe!

David
 
That's B.S. -- do whatever you want >=500 fpm...if they want something different they will tell you. "expedite through 5000'" for example.

It's total BS to "have to" do 1000 fpm during a discretion descent. You don't have to descend at all if you don't want to.

This captain is probably passive/aggresive. What he means is "I want you to descend at at least 1,000 fpm" but instead he says "the regs require you to descend at 1,000 fpm."

Later
 
Semantics

This is why pilots get treated like children. Because they play games.

Look, if you're given a discretionary descent that means you can *begin* the descent when you like. But once it's begun, ATC *expects* you to start down to your next assigned altitude without dickin' around with "his" airspace.

You're not the only airplane in the sky.

Fly like a professional and get treated like one.
 
mar said:
Look, if you're given a discretionary descent that means you can *begin* the descent when you like. But once it's begun, ATC *expects* you to start down to your next assigned altitude without dickin' around with "his" airspace.

On the other hand, if he tells me to start down early, without specifying a rate, he can expect a reduced rate until I intercept my profile. It may be "his" airspace, but it's "MY" fuel that he's dickin' around with.

Fly safe!

David
 
This ain't rocket science

Nobody's talking about early descents.

If you refer to the first post by =w= and the sixth post by igneously2 you'll see, once again, we're talking about either so called "hard" descents or discretionary descents.

Why would you begin a discretionary descent early?
 
mar said:
Nobody's talking about early descents.

If you refer to the first post by =w= and the sixth post by igneously2 you'll see, once again, we're talking about either so called "hard" descents or discretionary descents.

Why would you begin a discretionary descent early?


If they give me a "hard" descent early, is it not an "early" descent?
 

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