We know that what goes up must come down, but when I was in flight training, I always had a hard time determining exactly when to come down. I'd tend to begin my descent to an airport too late, when it was in clear view, leaving me with a more rapid descent than ideal.
On the other extreme, a descent that is too early has you flying low for a few miles. This leaves the potential for terrain, obstacles and limited options for any engine troubles. Let's run through a scenario to give you an idea of how to choose when to start that cruise descent when inbound into an airport.
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