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Martin Killner

atc-discussion ATC and descent process

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Martin Killner

Good Afternoon 

Firstly, apologies if this topic is covered in other areas of the forum....I have carried out a search without a great deal of success. Secondly, this question has arisen after my inaugural full flight on VATSIM, from EGKK to EDDH on XP 11 with the FF A320, which was hugely enjoyable and fretful all at once.

The majority of learning has been gained from "apron listening" to the various procedures. The one item I faced without any prior experience was the descent procedure. 

As you know, the MCDU will give me a TOD point. I am happy that a radar or director controller will probably not be aware of this point and I will need to request it. This first flight resulted in a late descent pattern resulting in vectors to shed altitude, which I achieved readily enough. I was helped enormously by a very patient and understanding director and tower controller at EDDH...(Flight taken on 24/10/19 at about 1700Z. Thank you, by the way). 

The question is: How far in advance of TOD should I carry out initial call up, (I am using the VATSIM P1 phraseology guide), to radar to assist in my calculated descent path, and is it acceptable to inform a controller if I anticipate a too steep a path due to control lags, (or most likely my incompetence)?

p.s. Happy with the concept of track miles btw....

 

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Daniel Button

Personally I usually make the call for descent when I'm 5-10 miles from TOD. This gives time for me to transmit the request and the controller to respond.

I'm sure most if not all controllers would be happy to help if you need extra miles to lose some altitude.

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Bill Casey

I usually indicate when I need to descend so I'll give him a call like "Top of descent in 10" as a nudge that they need to reply nowish. Depending on how busy the freq is you may need to get it in earlier but don't ever leave it too late and end up in Plummet Mode.

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Joe Burberry

I'm tend to do the same -10 before TOD.

Earlier if the controller is very busy

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Adam Farquharson

Yeah, 10 miles if it is quiet but judge the traffic cause if it's busy then early is always better. Also be aware that some airports will have restrictions meaning that you have to be lower then your aircraft will tell you initially but the restrictions are normally on the charts for the STAR

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