MAXIMUM RANGE IDLE DESCENT
The maximum range idle descent maximizes descent distance while minimizing fuel consumption.
Begin the descent when the distance to your destination is approximately 3 times your altitude in
thousands of feet above desired altitude. To perform this procedure, reduce the power to IDLE (if above
30K-75% minimum) and maintain altitude until the aircraft decelerates to 190-200 KIAS. Lower the nose
to maintain 190-200 KIAS during the descent. Begin level off when you are at 10% of the rate of descent
(in feet) above the desired altitude.
EXAMPLE: If you will be descending 15,000 ft, e.g., FL180 to 3,000 ft MSL, calculate the beginning point
of your descent as follows:
3 x 15 (number of thousands) = 45 nm
Again, this equation is simply a best guess as to when to start your descent. It does not account for wind.
CRUISE DESCENT PROCEDURES
The cruise descent maintains your enroute speed. To perform the cruise descent, maintain enroute
airspeed and reduce the power as necessary to establish and maintain a 1,500 to 2,000 fpm rate of
descent. Adjust the nose as required to maintain enroute or assigned airspeed. Begin level off when you
are at 10% of the rate of descent (in feet) above the desired altitude. During FAM flights, the cruise
descent is done at 250 KIAS. If entry airspeed is above 250 KIAS, reduce power first and slow to 250
KIAS, then lower nose to maintain a 1,500- to 2,000-fpm descent. If entry speed is below 250 KIAS, lower
the nose first and accelerate to 250 KIAS, then adjust power to maintain a 1,500- 2,000-fpm descent.
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