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  Sunday 28 May 2017 18:32 GMT  

Aviation Rules of Thumb

Top of Descent Distance Calculation

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#1 - Multiply the no. of thousands of feet to lose by 3. Groundspeed / 2 * 10 will give you your required rate of decent for a 3 degree glide slope.

example: FL350 to FL100 => 25,000 ft down
25 x 3 = 75, so start at 75 nm
GS = 320 kts ? => 320 / 2 * 10 = 1600 => 1600 fpm is your desired rate of decent.


#2 - Start descent when time to airport equals altitude to lose for 1000 ft/min descent

example: 10,000 feet to lose, start descent 10 minutes out at 1000 ft/min


#3 - Divide the difference between Cruise Altitude and Descent Altitude by the Rate of Descent. That value is your Time to descend. Multiply this by your Groundspeed in Cruise and divide the result by 60. The result is the DME prior to which you need to begin your descent.

example: FL360 to 6000' = 30,000' /1500'per minute = 20 minutes.
Now, (20x420 Knots G/S)/60 = 140 nm from the desired point.

PREVIOUS Top of Descent for Crossing Restriction -- Index -- Beginning your Descent from MDA (DME MAP) NEXT

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