ILS with no glideslope

Jamie4590 Guest

I found an airport and entered its ILS frequency but it only provided a localiser and there was no glideslope even though it had the big green arrow that denotes a glideslope. Is there a way of distinguishing what parts of the ILS are present perhaps from the map or airport infomation before trying to fly it?

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Pro Member Chief Captain
pilotwannabe Chief Captain

I think every ILS has a glidescope....are you sure you had the NAV/GPS switch selected on NAV?

Pro Member First Officer
TimH First Officer

Its possible for a runway to have only a localizer, and not a glideslope

It still remains a visual approach, just with the guidance of localizer to help keep it accurate

Examples of this in Vagar, Faroe Islands and runway 04 in Belfast City Airport, UK

In Flight Simulator, it will appear up as an ILS feather but if you click on the feather you will see it says "Localizer" instead of "ILS"

IF it just has a localizer then it isnt an ILS, its just a localizer

Don Wood Guest

In the US, at least, a localiser approach is not a visual approach, it is an IFR approach. However, because no glideslope exists, it has higher descent minimums than the same ILS approach would have. That is also true of an ILS approach when the glideslope is inoperative. Each approach chart will show the descent minimums when the approach is flown without a glideslope.

Jamie4590 Guest

I don't have the aiport info to hand but on the airport info screen the frequency was listed under ILS despite the lack of glideslope. I'm pretty sure the airport was KSNA and it might have been LDA on the info screen instead of ILS which would explain it!

Is it possible when tuned to an ILS frequency that the aircraft can get confused and pick up a glideslope frequency and start descending to an airport that is not the right one but is in between the aircraft and the correct airport? I had intercepted the localiser and was about 20nm away from the airport when the glideslope came to life and the aircraft pitched down to start a descent. Very strange! 😳

Don Wood Guest

If your autopilot setting is on "APCH" then the autopilot will try to move the aircraft to glideslope altitude as soon as it acquires a glideslope signal. It is the pilot's responsibility to make sure (check and double-check) that the nav radio is set to the correct frequency.

FS9 has a quirck that seems to require a glideslope be captured from underneath to be effective. That is not an accurate reflection of the real world but something SIM'ers have to deal with on the computer.

Pro Member First Officer
Tartanaviation First Officer

Basically an ILS approach which only has a localizer but no glideslope is classed as a non-precision approach. This then basically gets classed away from an ILS approach and would usually be catagorized as an NDB or VOR approach as there is no vertical guidance.

Jamie4590 Guest

I checked the airport KSNA and I was heading west to the airport so I opened the airport info and selected the ILS frequency. I had turned too far south to land at the intended KLAX. What I missed and its something I've not seen before is the glideslopes for the two runways cross each other close to the threshold so I was following the wrong glideslope. The loc was active but I was out of range from the glideslope which is why it didn't appear! All the time I thought I was descending on the correct glideslope. The same airport also has an LDA frequency but it seems, from the airport info screen, its not connected to a particular runway. Whats the purpose of this?

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