michaelth

Eurocontrol Descent Rates

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Posted (edited)

Hey,

 

Well 800 fpm means a slower descent hence more fuel burn. I usually descend within the range of 1500-2000 depending on airspace congestion etc. Never gotten any complaints from any ATSU on my descent over the years.

 

Anders

Edited by andyque

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As a pilot, I would ignore that web page assuming it is some kind of controller familiarization sheet done by non-pilots.  An 800 fpm descent at M.78 is basically a cruise descent and is not something the FMS will give you in normal VNAV use.  I challenge you to keep the speed below 280 KIAS descending at 3500 fpm between FL240-100... that is an insanely high descent rate in the thicker air below FL240 and I suspect even with speedbrakes you might not see 280 KIAS.  Finally, on what planet are approaches flown at 1500 fpm???  A normal approach descent is 3 deg or 318 ft/nm which is usually around 800 fpm at approach speeds.

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6 hours ago, michaelth said:

Do you think these are realistic data?

Note the source: Eurocontol.

Eurocontrol is ATC.

It's an ATC traffic management assumptions form. It's only there to get a basic idea of how to set up your traffic management calculations.

Ignore. Not meant for you as a pilot (and even as a controller, it's pretty basic).

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1 hour ago, scandinavian13 said:

Note the source: Eurocontol.

Eurocontrol is ATC.

It's an ATC traffic management assumptions form. It's only there to get a basic idea of how to set up your traffic management calculations.

Ignore. Not meant for you as a pilot (and even as a controller, it's pretty basic).

Eurocontrol?  Roll On Brexit, Kyle, I say! 

Michael, it is easy to forget when quoting data like this that the primary purpose of ATC is to assist pilots - not the other way around!  

In all seriousness, ATC controllers perform a very important job wherever they are situated and I am sure they are also very much appreciated by all professional pilots.  They are an essential, if remotely located, link in the aviation safety chain and their job is to communicate effectively with each aircraft and its crew so that they don't bump into each other and have an accident.  It is the Captain's legal responsibility to ensure he always operates his aircraft safely on the day - and this includes using all available resources at his disposal (Co-pilot, Relief Crew, ATC, Cabin Crew, Company, Despatchers, etc etc).

Bertie Goddard 

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Don't use these as targets, but I think these are roughly accurate enough for ATC purposes.

If Eurocontrol slices their airspace like the FAA, a high sector controller will give an initial descent to FL240 prior to the pilot's preferred top of descent.  I would expect the pilot to hit "DES NOW" and start a shallow descent until reaching the VNAV path.  So it probably averages out somewhere around 800fpm.

Once sent to a low sector controller, the pilot will probably be given a crossing restriction.  Now the pilot can fly an idle-throttle descent at the higher descent rate.

"Approach" most likely refers to within approach control's typical airspace of about 40nm from the airport, not 5 miles out on the glide slope at 1500fpm and 250 knots.

FAA no longer requires an aviation or math & science background to be an ATC.  And you get what you ask & pay for.  Some radar-only controllers, sadly, couldn't sketch an A380 B717 and C172 to scale side by side.  They're all a blip on the screen to them.  Having some reference for how fast they move is helpful especially during training.

 

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13 minutes ago, StevenHPerry said:

FAA no longer requires an aviation or math & science background to be an ATC.  And you get what you ask & pay for.  Some radar-only controllers, sadly, couldn't sketch an A380 B717 and C172 to scale side by side.  They're all a blip on the screen to them.  Having some reference for how fast they move is helpful especially during training.

You've made some pretty disparaging statements about ATC.  I would be interested in your basis for these statements and your real world aviation background.

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Instrument rated pilot with an air traffic control degree.  I left when they cut controller pay to regional airline pilot levels and put off-the-street GED's on par with CTI students who paid for 2-5 years of their own training.

The basis of my statement is personal experience working alongside radar trainees who really did not know what aircraft makes & models looked like.  The A380 wasn't around back then, so technically I exaggerated, but if they didn't know a B747 from a C172 I doubt they would have known an A380 from a B717 either. 

I'm not saying there are not controllers who are brilliant and love aviation.  I know a few who are.  But you don't need to be brilliant or an avgeek to be a successful air traffic controller.

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13 minutes ago, StevenHPerry said:

I'm not saying there are not controllers who are brilliant and love aviation.  I know a few who are.  But you don't need to be brilliant or an avgeek to be a successful air traffic controller.

The same is probably true for pilots. Most air traffic controllers I know are keen aviation enthusiasts and very professional at their job.  Unfortunately, it seems long gone are the days when they would be routinely sponsored for a PPL as part of their ATC training or experience familiarisation flights in a longhaul aircraft.  I suppose there are many ways using computers to gain this sort of experience today (P3DV4, PMDG, London Control, to name just three); but commercial pressure must never be allowed to come first before flight safety.

Bertie   

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4 hours ago, StevenHPerry said:

Instrument rated pilot with an air traffic control degree.  I left when they cut controller pay to regional airline pilot levels and put off-the-street GED's on par with CTI students who paid for 2-5 years of their own training.

I remember when all that happened.  All of a sudden guys with ATC degrees were not getting preferential hiring treatment upon graduation.  A lot of them never got hired.  Back in the PATCO days it was not unusual for the FAA to hire folks with no formal education or training.  I had one lady on my jump seat that had been a secretary, took the test, passed and was hired.  After the PATCO strike I didn't let any controllers ride on my jump seat.  My overall feeling is the controllers now are on par with the controllers prior to the PATCO strike, but like any occupation some are better than others. 

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Hello, if you look at the "i" at the top right of the Eurocontrol screen, it says that the data shall not be used operationaly. As said above, I guess these are average data.

20% of Eurocontrol is ATC: it provides indeed ATC services for Upper Airspace above Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg and north of Germany (https://www.eurocontrol.int/muac), but also R&D in Air Traffic Management, Route Charges office for Europe, ATFM (Air Traffic Flow Management) service for Europe (that's the Network Manager, ex CFMU)

Regarding Aircraft Performance, Eurocontrol provides the BADA service: http://www.eurocontrol.int/services/bada (Base of Aircraft Data) that provides operational data... These data are used  by (among others!) the Eurocontrol's Network Manager to build the vertical trajectory of a flight, based on the horizontal route and RFL (Requested [Cruise] Flight Level) provided in a Flight Plan.

FYI Eurocontrol won't be impacted by the Brexit as it is not an European institution, but an European Agency, that allows non European-Union countries (like Turkey or Switzerland) to be member of Eurocontrol...

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22 hours ago, StevenHPerry said:

Instrument rated pilot with an air traffic control degree.  I left when they cut controller pay to regional airline pilot levels and put off-the-street GED's on par with CTI students who paid for 2-5 years of their own training.

The basis of my statement is personal experience working alongside radar trainees who really did not know what aircraft makes & models looked like.  The A380 wasn't around back then, so technically I exaggerated, but if they didn't know a B747 from a C172 I doubt they would have known an A380 from a B717 either. 

I'm not saying there are not controllers who are brilliant and love aviation.  I know a few who are.  But you don't need to be brilliant or an avgeek to be a successful air traffic controller.

For what it's worth, I would've been one of those OTS hires with no CTI...so...I'd be in that group of apparently clueless lackies you're referring to.

I'd avoid painting with broad brushes. I know plenty of people on both sides who ended up washing out at various points.

...and it doesn't matter what they look like if you're radar-only, honestly. As long as you know the wake sep, you're fine.

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1 hour ago, scandinavian13 said:

 I know plenty of people on both sides who ended up washing out at various points.

...and it doesn't matter what they look like if you're radar-only, honestly. As long as you know the wake sep, you're fine.

So do I Kyle. 

Unfortunately aviation has always suffered from economic peaks and troughs and this has often had an impact on recruitment.  Pilot promotion in most companies is based on date of joining and years of service i.e. seniority, so it can be devastating if you are a relatively junior pilot and laid off.

Bertie

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23 hours ago, StevenHPerry said:

Instrument rated pilot with an air traffic control degree.  I left when they cut controller pay to regional airline pilot levels and put off-the-street GED's on par with CTI students who paid for 2-5 years of their own training.

The basis of my statement is personal experience working alongside radar trainees who really did not know what aircraft makes & models looked like.  The A380 wasn't around back then, so technically I exaggerated, but if they didn't know a B747 from a C172 I doubt they would have known an A380 from a B717 either. 

I'm not saying there are not controllers who are brilliant and love aviation.  I know a few who are.  But you don't need to be brilliant or an avgeek to be a successful air traffic controller.

I can agree with you on the statement that there's a lot of radar controllers that could not tell you the difference between a 777 and an E170 if they physically saw them at an airport, And just to add to Kyle's reply, being an OTS hire myself (certifying at a center in a short amount of time and now working at a level 12 tracon), I just had to chip in and say that a CTI degree does not automatically equate to being more qualified than an OTS hire(CTI should also not be classified as training). Also, that the government hires controllers off the street does in no shape or form compromise air traffic safety. This job is more about aptitude than anything else, school or no school, and requires very thorough on the job training before you're allowed to work traffic by yourself. Additionally, once you get through the academy, people rarely care if you are CTI or not. Some of the best controllers I've met had zero aviation experience when they started. 

Alex Gil

 

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