by Jonathan M. Stern
A constant rate descent is not very different from a constant rate climb. The same primary instruments are used. The biggest difference is that in the descent, Earth's gravity is working for you rather than against you. Because of this, it is possible for the airplane to build up excessive speed and require a reduction in the power setting.
If the airplane is descending to 5,000 feet at 1,000 feet per minute, the pilot should begin leveling off when the airplane is passing through 5,100 feet, because 10 percent of 1,000 feet is 100 feet. The scan pattern for the constant rate descent should be very similar to, if not the same as, that listed in Table 12.4 for a constant rate climb.
Descend from 6,000 feet to 4,000 feet at 1,000 feet per minute while maintaining 120 knots. If you do it just right, it will take you exactly two minutes and you will travel four miles.