ok a question about ILS

Marok Guest

OK I have read the sticky post about ILS so dont reffer me to that lol, but honestly I still dont get it. how they work that is. lets say I am in the default learjet, or a big 747 can someone explane to me how to use the ILS approch? because, well in a cessna I can get lined up on the runway just fine but in a learjet or 747 I might as well be takeing the people on there final flight because I ether miss the runway compleatly like off to the side, or tuch down before I even get to the runway grr it upsets me lol I need to practic I know but can someone really help me with the ILS?


7 Responses

Pro Member First Officer
antone First Officer

Hmm. Not sure what I can add to the excellent explanations already posted here - I am a novice. But these ideas may help, although some of them lack realism:

When you get the ATC message telling you the runway, go to the map view. Click on your airport, and note the ILS frequency and the heading for the runway you will land on.

Close the map, and open the radio stack. Enter the ILS frequency into the NAV1 radio, and be sure to activate NAV1 using the handy button provided. If you wish to do an automatic approach, enter the heading on the MCP "NAV" or "Course" display.

You must intercept the ILS beams (this is simplistic but other people can do a better explanation than I can) from below - somewhere between 2,500 and 2,800 feet. Depending on aircraft type, a display will appear next to the attititude indicator with small pink arrows. Fly towards those arrows - that is, if the arrow is below the centre mark, descend, if above, climb, and so on.

ATC generally gives you an altitude where you can intercept the beams correctly. If you are doing an auto approach then hit the "APP" button once you get to the required altitude. The "HDG" function will deactivate when the autopilot intercepts the localiser. You cannot autoland in the default aircraft, so you need to kill the autopilot several hundred feet before the threshold.

If you are evidently about to make a total a*** of the landing, it could be worth considering a go-around. 😂

Pro Member Chief Captain
Jonathan (99jolegg) Chief Captain

I'll see if I can do step by step guide. Maybe you could tell us what bit or at what point you are going wrong?

(Some of this will be repeated from the good advice of antone )

1) Like has already been said, you will receive a long approach clearence (if you are flying IFR and have filed a flightplan, that is). The clearence will tell you what approach you are taking, the QNH/QFE, and the distance you are from the airport. You need to write down the airport dictated in that clearence (if you don't already know it) and the runway and type of approach, i.e. ILS (type of approach) 29R (the runway).

2) Again, this has already been said, but then you need to go to your Map which is the little star like icon on the panel or go to the "World" menu at the top and click "Map".
You should see a purple or white line towards your destination airport from where you are. Follow this line to your airport, and double click on a runway at that airport in the map, (You might need to do this more than once, as sometimes it thinks your trying to change the route).

3) From the map, there should be a list of runways with a line of information after them. Find the runway that you received in your IFR clearence in point 1. Write down the runway heading i.e. 292 degrees, and the NAV frequency for the ILS of that runway, as well as the Airport Elevation which can be found in that same box above the list of runways (expressed as Elav. or something similar).

4) After you have all of that information written down, close the map and open your Radio Stack. Open up the radio stack and type the frequency you wrote down, into NAV1 and make sure it is in the primary position, meaning it is on the left as opposed to the right of the two dials. This can be done by pressing the <---> button in the middle of them. At the bottom of the radio stack, there should be a row of clickable buttons, namely COM1, COM2, BOTH, NAV1, NAV2, ADF, DME etc. Click the NAV1 button as to illuminate the light. Then type the ILS heading into the course indicator probably on the AP panel. This means that the ILS is now set up, and you should begin to hear the Morse code identifier.

5) Close the radio stack, and enter the runway heading you wrote down from the map, into the Autopilot panel (MCP), under the CRS section (Course). *In some aircraft such as the 747, the CRS selector is found on the Horizontal Situation Indicator (HSI) which is the compass on the panel, usually found under the Attitude Indicator.*

--You now have the approach set up, and should be flying towards your airport whilst descending. At about 30nm out, you should be around 9000 feet, descending at around 1500-1800 fpm with a speed of roughly 240 KIAS; aiming to reach 2800 feet by 15nm from the airport--

6) Once you reach the height and distance of 2800 feet from 15nm out, you will now be hearing the ILS Morse code identifier and you should be roughly on course, according to the HSI (but only if you have remembered to type the ILS course into the course selector). You will soon enter the glideslope pattern where you will need to slow down considerable to stay on it, about 180 MAXIMUM in a jet.

7) At this point, or around 10nm out, at the same altitude, you should receive a clearence to land from ATC.

For Autopilot to control the descend on the ILS = Number 8
To hand fly visually on the ILS = Number 12

--> For Autopilot to descend on the ILS...
😎 Switch the GPS / NAV switch to NAV instead of GPS.

9) Make sure you have Autopilot on, your speed is at or below 180 KIAS, and you are at a height of 2800 feet. Press the APP button at around 10 nm out, and the aircraft will follow its path down vertically and laterally until you get to 500 feet AGL.

10) You will have to control flaps, speed and gear on this approach. At 500 feet AGL, you must disengage the Autopilot and hand fly the last 500 feet.

11) Once you land, slow down and taxi from the runway.

--> For visual landing on the ILS...
12)On the attitude indicator on the right and bottom side or similarly on the HSI, white indicator lines shall appear, with a pink triangle on both the vertical and horizontal set of lines. The big line in the middle is the centre of the approach and is the correct glideslope. If you are too high, the triangle on the vertical axis will be below the middle line and vice versa. If you are too far to the left, the line will appear to the right of the middle bigger line, indicating that you should turn to the right until it centers. To put it simply, fly towards the lines as to centre them.

13) Do this all the way down to the runway threshold; making small movements on the control surfaces to center the arrows / lines on the HSI or attitude indicator. You can use the AP to control the speed if you find this easier. At the same time, you need to control flaps and gear etc.

I've shown what is meant by intercepting from below here:

The red line is the aircrafts track toward the ILS glideslope. As you can see, the beam of the ILS extends to around 15-20nm. When the aircraft flies along the red line to the red 'X' they are engaged in the glideslope beam and the vertical indicator will show that the aircraft is centered. From this point, the aircraft needs to start descending; below 2800 feet to stay in the center of the 2 lines, which get closer and closer together until the threshold of runway 1.

If you were to try and intercept the glideslope from above then you could be too high and miss the glideslope completely and have to dive to lose altitude to get centered on the ILS. If you intercept from below, (as opposed to roughly where the black arrow is) then you are guaranteed to 'hit' the ILS beam so it centers itself for you once you get to point 'X'. I hope you understand this vague explanation.

Pro Member First Officer
antone First Officer

An excellent summary, of course, from 99jolegg.

If it helps, here are the mistakes I tend to make:

1) Too fast! I do this a lot. Whether AP or handflying is irrelevant - if you are too fast it will be impossible (or at least, very difficult) to track the ILS accurately. I have been focussing recently on speed control, especially on landing.

2) Too high! Another mistake I make all the time. You need to be below the ILS beams at the point you intercept them.

3) For autopilot approach: too late activating "APP" mode. I have found myself well past the ILS beams and left in a bit of a mess.

4) Reluctance to quit: I tend to fight on with a landing even when the only sensible thing to do is go around. Result: carnage 😂 [/b]


hi brian,
i had this trouble with ILS no matter what i done i couldnt get it to work properly. and i was like you where i couldnt line up either. so when descending from a flight i saved it and kept going over it again and again to practice and not i can land ok, not always on centre but ok, use the GPS when u enter the runway your directed to land on and you should be fine.

what type of plane do you commonly fly?

Pro Member Chief Captain
Greekman72 Chief Captain

Hey Jon.....Bow Down 👍 Punk Bow Down 👍 Punk

Pro Member First Officer
Dan Young (dannyboy2005) First Officer

oooo. very Good explanaion 99jolegg. Following what you said i have lernt how to use the ILS system. Thanks you very much (Shame the game dosn't explain it simply) 😀

Pro Member Chief Captain
Jonathan (99jolegg) Chief Captain

Glad to hear it 😉

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