What is VNAV?

June, 26, 2020 by

Vertical navigation, commonly referred to as VNAV, is an important feature in flight management systems. VNAV is useful when many altitude restrictions exist in a flight plan. With VNAV enabled, the auto flight system will automatically adjust the descent rate to meet the altitudes set in the flight plan. The system does this based on speed, altitude, and target altitude. To enable VNAV, simply input altitudes in a flight plan, and hit the VNAV button. VNAV is perfect for long STARs with many restrictions. Once the STAR is in the flight plan, engage VNAV and adjust speed as necessary. It’s as easy as that.

To get a more hands on live look at how to use VNAV, here is a new Infinite Flight tutorial that will help show you how to properly use it.

Ryan Epps is a writer for the IFATC Education Group. He is also a commercial pilot, flight instructor, and helps run the Airport Editing Team, currently as an Airport Editing Manager.