Fuzzy descent question...

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3WE
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Location: Flyover, America

Fuzzy descent question...

Postby 3WE » Sun Dec 04, 2016 9:14 pm

While reading my obscure aviation magazine full of typing, I seem to recall the occasional bragging that airline pilots strived (and sometimes succeeded) at making one-and only one- power reduction to initiate the descent and then did not adjust the power until chopping it at flare.

This was several years ago, though.

I'm now wondering if this is not largely BS...slowing to 250 near 10,000 feet seems to often take a couple of minutes of extra power reduction, and then some speed management as ATC lines everyone up...seems like these days, there's pretty much always an addition of power as the drag from higher flap settings and gear kicks in...as best as I can tell from 29A, anyway.

Anyway- is this something you guys still 'sort of try to do...just for shits and grins' or is it sort of never discussed and sort of never happens?
Commercial Pilot, Vandelay Industries, Inc., Plant Nutrient Division.

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flyboy2548m
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Re: Fuzzy descent question...

Postby flyboy2548m » Mon Dec 05, 2016 3:00 pm

It's largely BS.
Chief Pilot/ACJ Program Manager, Vandelay Industries, Inc

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3WE
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Re: Fuzzy descent question...

Postby 3WE » Mon Dec 05, 2016 4:33 pm

Sounds kind a fun, though...much like a contest for the fastest time to FL 410...(obviously done within a bunch of common-sense, good-practice constraints and strict adherence to FAR's, Procedures, AND fundamental safety limitations...in a low-traffic scenario where ATC isn't mucking up your speeds and altitudes.)
Commercial Pilot, Vandelay Industries, Inc., Plant Nutrient Division.

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flyboy2548m
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Re: Fuzzy descent question...

Postby flyboy2548m » Mon Dec 05, 2016 6:12 pm

The idea of a (more-or-less) constant-angle, constant-thust descent remains enticing. I must admit many of these new RNAV arrivals with windows rather than hard altitudes have gone a long way towards bringing us closer to that, but we're still not there.
Chief Pilot/ACJ Program Manager, Vandelay Industries, Inc

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reubee
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Re: Fuzzy descent question...

Postby reubee » Thu Dec 08, 2016 12:42 pm

I do it in the car, push the clutch in and see how far I can coast into the driveway and use the slope to stop.

I know they were trialling those optimum arrivals out in this part of the world a number of years ago. The early morning arrivals from Asia and America aren't encumbered with local traffic at the times they arrive so makes sense to glide in from a long way out. Although as BA38 showed, sometimes it is a good idea to give the throttles a nudge.
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