Fly Away Simulation

Are you a heavy pilot? Question regarding descent...

Pro Member First Officer
Heyjoojoo First Officer

When I'm doing a practice flight in the FS, I set it up in the flight planner as a IFR flight, usually a short trip like Philadelphia to New York. The aircraft is an Airbus319.

My questions are first, when I use the instructions given by the ATC, at what point do I initiate or insert the APPROACH phase in the MCDU? The ATC will generally give two types of announcements: 1. expect initial vectors and 2. cleared ILS runway, until established on the localizer.. I figured maybe I should initiate it at some point with these two ATC announcements....

Does activating the APPROACH phase in the MCDU eliminate the need to press any other buttons on the AutoPilot Panel?

- Kareem

Last edited by Heyjoojoo on Mon Dec 17, 2007 8:44 pm, edited 1 time in total
Pro Member First Officer
n7xlq1 First Officer

I haven't tried this but, I would think it would need to be pressed when you are in final approach to the runway, with your wheels down, flaps down, speed slowed to 120 or less.

I bet RM would know.

Pro Member First Officer
Lee198 First Officer


I normally activate Approach mode once established on the localiser. Depending on what you're flying, you might want to make sure that the VOR/Nav mode is off. Some aircraft do this automatically. (And if you're fling in GPS mode, make sure you select NAV on the NAV/GPS switch.)

Once you're on the localiser, the aeroplane should make a nice descent towards the runway.

Hope this helped.


Pro Member First Officer
Heyjoojoo First Officer

Oops, sorry. I'm referring to an Airbus 319 jet.

Pro Member First Officer
Tom (cthiggin) First Officer

Of course assuming your CSR and Nav is set up for the correct runway for landing, ONCE ATC gives you the announcement for localiser etc, MAKE sure you are below glideslope, then hit the APPR button - it will take you right to the sure to turn off AP and especially SPEED / AThrottles ---------- I normally turn speed off right after I activate the approach button, then use the throttles to adjust speed.......ALSO, I use the throttles to make sure I am on "guide slope" - the little pink diamond will show if you're too high or too low.................
Keep in mind - when setting up your ILS Flight Plan, and it shows you runway so and so and gives you the nav freq, ATC WILL sometimes change your runways on you................IF SO, just go to flight planner and get the correct course and nav freq..................when it asks to start flight, just tell it NO, or you will be starting over from your originating airport.
Hope this helps....................I had a dickens of a time until I read enough threads and then it became very easy.

Pro Member First Officer
Heyjoojoo First Officer

Thanks Cthiggin.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Jonathan (99jolegg) Chief Captain

Do you mean approach mode on the MCP rather than the MCDU? The MCDU is the means to input data for the benefit of the FMC and FMS in general.

APP mode should only be engaged when established on both axes of the ILS, i.e. the GS and LOC. When both are alive and roughly centered, you can engage APP mode. Make sure you disengage at Decision Height (the height above the ground at which a go around must be commenced if visual reference of the runway cannot be made).

With regards to the setup of the MCP when you engage APP, you can leave altitude hold on, APP mode will take care of that, as has been said, make sure the GPS / NAV switch is on NAV and that your speed is at 170 KIAS or less.

If you are flying a payware aircraft, things are a little bit different.

cthiggin, it's the "glideslope" as opposed to the "guide slope".

Pro Member First Officer
Tom (cthiggin) First Officer

I stand corrected.

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