Bad directions from ATC on ILS approaches??


I've had this happen a few time now on ILS approaches into San Francisco. ATC gives me a heading and an altitude and tells me to hold both until I'm "established on the localizer". I break though the clouds only to find I'm nowhere near SFO. Once I ended up well south of San Jose and almost hit a mountain (and I was on a short flight from Sacramento!), another time ATC sent me way off over the Pacific on a flight from LA and forgot about me and today the heading given was sending me way up into the north bay. Anyone else have these problems or find a solution?

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Don Wood Guest

Without knowing the point where you originated and the headings ATC gave you, it is impossible to tell whether they made an error or not. However, in real life it is entirely possible to be vectored into the San Jose or North Bay areas on an approach to SFO. I've had occasions where they have begun vectoring me as far east as Sacramento and set me up to intercept the ILS in the extreme south Bay, south of San Jose. It depends on their traffic patterns and the amount of traffic they have in the system at the time. Coming in from the south, I have begun receiving vectors far south of San Jose, sometimes as far south as Gilroy. Coming in from the coast, I've even had Oakland Center vector me for arrival out around Monterey or Watsonville.

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