ATC new altitude vertical speed


If an ATC issues a new altitude (decend and maintain 8,000 ft), what should your vertical speed be? (-2000ft/m, -1500ft/m, etc)

Sometimes i get issued to descend and i do at -1500ft/m and i get told to expedite my descend. Other times i go down at -2000ft/m and i can’t slow down fast enough because i’m descending too fast.


I usually just use the VS I would normally…


Yes, just use it normally unless instructed to expedite then drop some more ( Gear and Flight Spoilers help create drag thus slowing down the aircraft a little)


I usually do -1500 on a regular descent, go up to -2000 if I’m too high.

Yes gear/flaps do slow you down but you don’t drop your gear or flaps going 300kts ground speed at 10,000 feet.


I usually use -1500, although I try to put it into context. I look at the map, determine my location relative to the airport, and will adjust the VS depending on that.

I also think about why the controller is giving me that vector. Depending on how quickly they need me to descend, I’ll adjust the VS as well.


I tend to stick to my usual descent profile, so above FL100 I use -2500VS whilst below 10000ft I use -1500vs. If ATC instruct me to do a large alt change from say FL20 down to 5000 then I will briefly level off at about FL110 so to ensure I can slow down and not get a speed violation.


I don’t like adding repetitive answers but I see some disconnect in the previous comments so here is my input: as an approach controller I expect you to descend at a rate between 1,500 and 2,500 feet per minute.

The higher you are the higher your VS can be without further speed gains. For example, in most cases you can descend from FL180 to FL120 at 2,000fpm without further speed gains, but try doing that from 6,000 to 3,000 and you’ll see the aircraft will speed up. So you must adjust your VS as you descend.

I disagree with the other comments about flaps and even landing gears as a tool to reduce speed during descend. Spoilers are there for speed reduction, if your aircraft is speeding up - deploy spoilers (in flight mode) and be happy. Flaps can also assist but you must know what you are doing as flaps add lift, therefore it increases the forces that take the aircraft up when you are trying to get down.

Furthermore you may want to pay attention to your air speed as well. If you are descending at 1,500fpm but flying at 300KIAS - that’s not a good combination. It will take you way too many miles to come down. Try slowing down first. Also make sure you are below FL180 60nm from your destination when you contact approach.

Hope this helps. Happy landings.


I red that and was thinking,“huh, that’s the same descent profile I do!” Then I realized you were the one who taught me that…


I do -800 to -1200, this is going 240 Knts.


That is a good exemple of why people get a “please expedite”.


I never really knew this I’m glad I know now :) Thanks for the Topic!


I have never gotten a please expedite, because j denned far enough out as to where I’m not doing a vertical dive at the ground because u was way to high.


glad to be of service!

Learned that only from watching a lot of “Pilots TV” as well as talking to a couple of commercial pilots so as to get a good 'rule of thumb’to try and make it as realistic as you can on amobile slim. Naturaly IRL it changes a bit more with differemt restrictions, speeds , air spaces etc etc…


When I started flying on Infinite Flight as higher altitudes I looked at FR24 at aircraft decent vertical speeds into my nearby airport. It varied anywhere between -2000 and -2700 from 30,000ft to 15,000ft and then a lower near -1500 to -1200 below 10,000ft, that’s what I do now 👍


It all is dependent on Altitude, aircraft and your aspect on realism. If you where flying a STAR obviously you would have altitudes to follow. By this you can set your VS in pre-flight I have to be at 4000 at Fix XXXX which is XXnm away at speed XXX it will take me XX minutes then set your VS at the required setting. However if you are flying chilled you can pretty much guess your required VS.

EDIT: Whoops! I didn’t read the question correctly :-/ I’ll leave the above explanation for anyone who wants it.

To the real answer:

It really depends on your positioning from the airfield. The closer and higher you are the lower you set your speed and the lower you set your VS and vice versa.

Hope this helps, seems quite simple XD!!


MaxSez: I like @MaksimFerguson answer. " To the real answer:
It really depends on your positioning from the airfield. The closer and higher you are the lower you set your speed and the lower you set your VS and vice versa."
Don’t get caught up in rote procedures, every aircrafts performance and situation is different. Fly the Dommon Plane!
As for that 60 mile Approach mentioned that’s not a given. If Trash Haulers filed & flew airways, following airway rules for speed and separation you’d have an organized and disciplined flow, not the IF scattered herd which need rounding & heading up. Now there all over the sky looking for a leader… Approach’s workload would be decreased exponentially. And Pilots would not get continuous course, speed and height correction. Fly the Dommon Plane, Approach is not your Daddy ! As for me I routinely fly GA-VFR. Wish there where sufficient VFR comm request so I could bypass Approach altogether and deal directly with Tower for a visual as I did in the RW…


That is my dream for not only pilots following the airways, but also for the SID and STARs to befollowed by both Pilots and also ATC.

Would make everyone’s life that bit easier and once you understand how to read the charts it’s not rocket science to understand. There is now some very good tutorials on this forum which shows you just how to do that!


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