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Pro Member Chief Captain
Manuel Agustin Clausse (Agus0404) Chief Captain

Hello everybody! I am back after a looooong time that I didn't have Internet so I couldn't log in to this web site and others. Buy, anyway, now I have my Internet back. I moved on to another house, as I said before, and here I am, enjoying my new house. Ok, I'm not going to talk about my life because this is not the right place.
I've been flying a lot these days and I discovered different things. But there were some problems that I couldn't fix or try to figure out how to fix them.
Here are some of my questions:

1) Two weeks ago, I have been flying form Portugal to Spain. It was a dark night without moon so I couldn't see very well. When I was approaching the airport about 3000 ft and turned and I crashed with a mountain. I didn't know there was a mountain in front of me, because I didn't see it. It was dark. Here's the question: Is there any way to detect mountains during night?

2) I started to fly using IFR and I really liked it. When I was approaching an airport, the ATC was telling me what to do (turn, climb, descend, etc). The problem I had using IFR is that the ATC doesn't tell me when should I turn to align the plane with the runway. I need to turn the autopilot off and then turn right or left to align the runway.

This is it. Thank you

8 Responses

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

Welcome back, it's nice to see you again. I'll leave the answers to the pilots in the group who actually took lessons.
The best way to see if there are mountains in front of you in the dark is to have a friend fly 1 mile ahead of you, if he doesn't answer the radio call then there is a mountain ahead.



In the real world you have Minimum Descent Heights or Altitiudes/ Sector safes giving heights to fly above depending on which sector you are approaching the airport from. IFR... you need approach plates.

Pro Member First Officer
leadfoot First Officer

There are also minimum enroute altitudes on sectional charts. Approach plates are the best for safe approaches. Also try using the terrain feature on your GPS.


Your sectionals, which you can look at lots of places on the internet, will have a light blue number in it. 45 may be in the block that is sectioned off by lat long lines. This means that 4500 is the lowest altitude that you can fly at without hitting the highest terrain feature in that sector.

MEA's, or minium enroute altitudes, are on high and low IFR charts. This will give you terrain clearance as well.

Look in the area, take the highest number, and don't go below it. You should be safe.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Alex (Fire_Emblem_Master) Chief Captain

Ok, here's your quick and easy guide to ILS Autopilot assisted Landing!


1. When ATC says something liek "WifeBeater 767, you are 32 Miles away. Turn right heading 105, descend and mantain 2,500 feet, cleared ILS runway 36R Approach". You have to click on your MAP icon in your cockipt. Then, move your mouse over the destination airport. Mind you, the airport MUST have the ILS feathers (thes are the green things that point to the runway). Double click on the airport. A list will show up. Scroll down the list untill you see a chart that shows Runway numbers. FInd 36R, or whatever your runway is. You look to the right and see a radio frequency. We'll use 100.100 because its easy to remember. Don't forget the frequency.

2. Open up your Radio Stack, and enter in 100.100 in the NAV1 Radio, usually the righmost radio number is the one that can be messed with. After you enter it 100.100, using the mouse wheel or clickin it. Press the button that looks like thsi somewhat, its in the middle of the 2 radio displays <-----> That changes the NAV1 Radio frequency from whatever it was, to what it is now (100.100)

3.Turn on the NAV1 Radio by clicking the switch at the bottom of the radio stack, unless its already on, like with the LearJet.

4. If you have Autopilot, and you are using GPS to follow waypoints, switch the NAV/GPS button back to NAV!!!! YOU CANT FORGET TO DO THAT!!! YOU'LL BURN AND DIE IF YOU DONT!!

5. Follow ATC directions to approach. Now, when you approach the Runway, you will see the pink arrows near your attitude indicator move...usually Heading first, then Altitude. Simply fly in the directon and atitude of the pink arrows intull they center themselves, that means you're on the glideslope!

6. If you wanna use the autopilot to fly the approach, simply follow steps 1-4, then click the APPR button on the autopilot panel.


Pro Member Captain
David (The-GPS-Kid) Captain

Hi Agus0404, and greetings to sunny Portugal from rainy England...!

Well there are some good responses for you above but I would just add the following:-

- If you use IFR, and set up a IFR Flight Plan using the FS Flight Planner, the Flight Plan will always suggest a Cruising Altitude that is above the minimum altitude of any mountains... In other words, if you set up a IFR Flan from Amsterdam to Brussells, your cruise altitude on the Flight Plan (which can of course be adjusted) maybe 6,000 ...... But if you set up a similar IFR flight but from Poland to Slovakia (over the Tatra Mountains), then the Planner would probably default with 12,000.... in other words the FS Flight Planner 'looks ahead' at your intended flight and suggests an altitude that will ensure clearance from any mountains.

- As someone said above, GPS is really hand at night for getting lined up with the Runway..... Press the PROC button and choose the Approach for the Runway you want.

Hope these Help!

Pro Member Chief Captain
Manuel Agustin Clausse (Agus0404) Chief Captain

Thank you all for your responses! Everytime I ask I question and I receive an answer, I learn more about FS2004. In general, I learn more about landings. I really like to land a Boeing or an Airbus perfectly, or at least, land good (not bad). I remember the first time I landed an Boeing in FS2004. It was a disaster!!! I was flying to my destination and I was too high during the approach. Suddenly, I saw an airport under my plane and I realized it was my destination. What I did is the following: I started to descend the plane quickly, about 25 degrees or something close to that. Poor passengers. They were all rolling on the floor. Finally I made my touchdown, but really bad. I didn't have the crash option set, so bounced and landed again but this time it was much better. Now, I can lan the planes very good, but I need practice. I don't know how to align the plane with the runway.
Thanks to you guys, I now know how to align my plane to the runway and land perfectly. 😀
Thanks a lot!

Pro Member Captain
David (The-GPS-Kid) Captain

When it comes to manually alligning your plane with the runway (the ILS VOR course), the thing I've learned is that when you need to make LEFT and RIGHT corrections, these need to be done with light, gentle TWITCHES on the Joystick .......

I used to be terrible for over-correcting by yanking the joystick the other way to correct, and you end up swinging from side to side of the Runway.

If you want to practice this, try flying the two HELICOPTERS in FS (I prefer the Bell Jetranger), you need to be SOOOOOOO gentle with the Yoke in order to fly these!

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