flight simx IFR controller directions

flying atob Guest

Hi, this is my first post, & has being bugging me for ages 😀

I have both fs2004 & FSX, but come up against the same problem in both.
I'm a very basic flyer Embarassed , & don't really have the time to go through reams of books & scenario's, so if someone can answer this I'd be happy.

Problem ❓
I go into flightplanner & set a flight from LHR to DUB, using IFR rules, generally using a 737 or similar. i get it to find the route & save the plan with an altitude of say 30000, starting on the LHR runway.
all this is fine & works out how i expected.

Eventually I'm given take-off clearance something along the lines of fly heading & climb to 8000 or so, that seems fine, i am then directed to turn to a heading which will get me onto my flightplan route, this works fine.

But what gets me is i keep getting told by different controllers all along the route to head to this heading or that heading, then 10 seconds or so, another controller is giving me directions to another arbitrary heading, I seem to be going back & forth.

I know i can follow the pink line on the GPS, but i seem to be called by different controllers, all along the route, ie get call from London controller, then Oxford controller, then back to London controller, then Wittering, Farnborough, this happens with all the controllers along the route, but generally going back & forth between the controllers airspace, that i am flying over.
I do have the autopilot on, & input altitudes & headings, but the headings I have to keep changing, due to the controllers. It's like Im zig-zagging across my route.

I understand that as i get closer to my destination, the controller will vector me to a heading which will eventually get me to intercept the ILS at my destination, most times i seem to be getting vectored to an ILS intercept somewhere over Liverpool/Wales, like approx 100+ miles before DUB.
Obviously it's me, but in a nutshell what am i doing wrong.
This happens with any fairly long route i plan as above.
Can someone tell me how to fly that journey,
i.e how would you plan this.
Take off Runway 09L LHR land DUB runway 28 (i think). what steps would you take, would be nice to see some video on youtube on how to fly that journey, with all the knobs & settings put in & an explanation of what & why.
If i can work it out for one flight, i think it will crack it for others.

The route i've given is only because i've flown it as a PAX, and am sort of famililar with, but it could be any destination really.
I've just about worked out catching the ILS by flying to a VOR & setting NAV1 to it's frequency 😀
I'm sure this is a common problem to Noobs.
Shoot me down in flames, or get me to my destination. 😛


Answers 8 Answers

Jump to latest
Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain
flying atob Guest

Thanks, for the link, actually that link I knew about before, and made me aware of the ATC ILS vectoring, I sort of understand the ILS bit now.

While I'm at it, again with vectors to ILS, the runway may well be in front of me 70 miles out but ATC again flying to Dublin from LHR).
say turn right 0 ish degrees & then 180 ish degrees, whilst I'm over the Irish sea, zigzagging again, when i know the runway 28 is basically directly in front of me. 😕

I still know its me, but I'm sure i can't be the only one who has thought this.

I suppose what I'm talking about is the bit before i get vectored to ILS. I'm always being told by ATC to change direction, way to much. getting fed up of clicking on ATC window every 30 secs, to accept my new direction, or did i not hear the last transmission. Arrgh

Thinking about it, if i get real tight on the pink waypoint, i guess ATC shut up more.
I'm sure a normal real flight would be something like, take off from LHR turn to waypoint either VOR's high altitude airways or GPS, follow on till your near the next waypoint, ATC may tell you to turn to 2nd 3rd 4th ect waypoint Vor or folloe your flightplan, until ATC vector you for your ILS approach.
I can't see Air Lingus or BA zig zagging all over the skies. How would an airline plan this well worn route!
Anyone know what the standard hops are for this route, for a real Airline.

Input & thoughts most appreciated.



If you want to follow the pink line on the GPS, switch the NAV/GPS mode switch to "GPS", and turn on the Autopilot Nav Hold Switch. This will follow the pink line perfectly, and ATC will only contact you for the approach and when handing you off to other controllers.

flying atob Guest

I put nav/gps switch on gps, and engaged the heading hold button,but would not follow the pink line, it would only follow the heading inputted above the heading hold button.

However, I pressed the VOR/LOC button, and this flew the flightplan correctly 🙂
Is this correct?

All went well until i was told to vector for ILS, I disingaged the vor lock & engaged the heading lock button, & inputted the headings as directed by ATC, all the while stepping down in altitude, it went pear shaped after that, flew miles way to far to get back on approach including a bit of zigzagging. one minute told to fly 325, then a few mins late told to head to 290, then after approx 15 seconds, head back to 325.ffs 🙂

All is not lost though, I'm re-reading the posts for approach bits again, to see where i'm going wrong.



In some a/c like the 747, the VOR/LOC switch is also a switch which says NAV on it, but yes the VOL/LOC switch is correct. Don't worry about the zigzagging, it's just atc trying to help you catch the localizer and glideslope with pinpoint accuracy; perfectionists 😀


Tried again yesterday using FSX using 737, ran the same flightplan, LHR to DUB, @ 26000ft.
All worked extremely well, with the GPS & VOR/LOC button, this kept ATC of my Ass, for most of the journey 🙂

Whilst flying this route, I input the altitude's as directed by ATC, I use the altitude hold button for this.
I also maintain speed using the speed input dial. using the armed autothrottle for this.
Eventually I get directed by ATC for vectors to ILS for DUB runway 28. The headings, I input manually & click the HEADING HOLD button, the VOR/LOC button goes out.

I then input the runway course heading 281, using the CRS button.
I input the ILS Freq for runway 28, (108.90), making sure it's selected & nav1 switch is active & lit.
I switch from GPS to NAV on the cockpit front panel.

ATC keep giving me vectors to intercept the ILS & also altitude decreases.
For my own part, I slow the aircraft down by changing the autothrottle speed down, eventually hitting around the ~200k mark, with a bit of flaps, and end up around the 2500ft height. Eventually I start to hear the Morse Code for the ILS 28.
Even doing all of this sometimes I have being vectored past the ILS, and turn the settings as quick as ATC can reel them out 😕

After a bit of manual input to get me to cross the last waypoint in the flightplan, I press the APR button, a couple of times ILS went haywire, but eventually i caught the ILS, sometimes it was to late & could not line me up with the runway.

I'm still a bit unsure when to press the APR button, should i press the APR button when i hear the Morse code, or just when I'm approx 10-15miles out from the runway.

Iknow you have to disable the Autopilot at around ~500ft, & fly manually which I did.
I had Auto-spoilers armed, and auto-braking on position two.
But plane still kept bombing it down the runway, & into the Dublin city centre 😀

I believe that the auto-throttle was still on.
How am i doing 🙂
How do you switch off Autopilot & auto throttle together, as things are starting to happen fast at this stage.
When do you press the APR button.
Anyhing I still doing wrong?

Thoughts Appreciated

Pro Member First Officer
anonymouse91 First Officer

Well, I push the APP/APR button when I hear the morse code as it will automatically turn off the heading and altitude holds as it intercepts the ILS. Sometimes though, it does go haywire for me (like yesterday when flying the Amsterdam to London Airline Run and having the plane turn violently left away from the runway!) but I may just be doing it wrong. I think you should push the button when you are about 10-15 miles away from the runway.

As for the autothrottle, I just quickly disable it manually when about to land. There is a key to arm it but not to disable. But, the autopilot can be disengaged by pushing Z.

I might do a video later of me doing an ILS flight and put it up on Youtube (although there are probably many other videos)

And I want to try that NAV HOLD way of flying. I always get annoyed when flying long haul, having ATC contact me every 5 minutes and then missing their call and getting my IFR cancelled


I push the APR button right after I tune the radios and set the CRS heading and it works perfectly for me.

Still does not answer your question? Ask a new question!

If the question and answers provided above do not answer your specific question - why not ask a new question of your own? Our community and flight simulator experts will provided a dedicated and unique answer to your flight sim question. And, you don't even need to register to post your question!

Ask New Question...


Search our questions and answers...

Be sure to search for your question from existing posted questions before asking a new question as your question may already exist from another user. If you're sure your question is unique and hasn't been asked before, consider asking a new question.

Related Questions

Flight Sim Questions that are closely related to this...