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Hard Landings, USA Vs Europe.  
User currently offlineLarspl From Netherlands, joined Apr 2002, 474 posts, RR: 0
Posted (13 years 2 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 2833 times:

hello, i'm on a trip to Norfolk:va via Atlanta from Amsterdam, the netherlands.
i'm flying with delta and on the inbound flight at atlanta and the one inbound norfolk int I got the impression that Delta (or i think: american carriers) land or approach with a very high rate of descent.
it can be us airport approach policy, but does any one else think in america landings go down with a higher rate of descent?

greets Lars from Eham

5 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineJtamu97 From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 666 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (13 years 2 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 2765 times:

Some may. At one time years back airlines began expirementing with a high rate of descent to conserve as much fuel as possible due to high prices. I had a friend who flew MD-80's and asked him the same question. Plus most like to get from point A to point B the fastest way possible and try and avoid as many level offs as possible. I have not noticed it as much lately though. On the other hand there are many other factors and procedures that may affect the descent for that particular airport.

Propeller, we don't need no stinkin propeller
User currently offlineMD88Captain From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1351 posts, RR: 20
Reply 2, posted (13 years 2 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 2758 times:

The standard rate of descent, USA or Europe, is a 3 degree glideslope.

User currently offlineJBirdAV8r From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 4503 posts, RR: 19
Reply 3, posted (13 years 2 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 2687 times:

As a pilot (but not for an airline) my guess is that it's just coincidence.

I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
User currently offlineSaab2000 From Switzerland, joined Jun 2001, 1621 posts, RR: 11
Reply 4, posted (13 years 2 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 2620 times:

MD88captain is right. The 3° descent profile is what we strive for here in Europe as well. Basically, you try to know your track miles to touchdown, mulitply by 3, add the field elevation and you have the altitude you should have at any given point in descent. The rate of descent then is based on ground speed. We descend then with a rate equal to ground speed divided by 2. For example, if the ground speed is 400 knots, you descend with 2000 fpm. This sounds complicated but it is not in practice. You request descent based on altitude. For example, if I am cruising at FL310 I will multiply that by 3 and get 93. So between 100 and 90 miles out I will request descent.

But the fact is that normally the controllers know this too and they tell you when to descend and sometimes they even specify the rate of descent. This makes the descent planning pretty simple.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

User currently offlineKaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 13274 posts, RR: 34
Reply 5, posted (13 years 2 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 2568 times:

It can also vary according to local topography; some airports - such as Salzburg and (notably) London City - require steeper descent rates.

Personally, I much prefer a curved, complicated approach to the standard straight in . . . no surprise in the name I chose, then!

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