I've mastered the concepts of catching the glidescope and using IFR to navigate, but I still have a couple of questions.
1. I'm flying the base leg on final, (following ATC instructions) waiting to make the final turn to line up with the glidescope. Not using my GPS, I patiently wait for my nice purple line to start to move. Suddenly it begins moving, I begin my turn, but I never seem to catch it - next thing I know my purple line is on the other side, and I'm zigzagging to get it centered. Any tips on this?
2. When flying the 747 the purple line never seems to be pointing straight up. It always seems to be pointing in a random direction. I can still line up the glidescope, it's just pointing off to the left, or whatever... Is there a way to turn the entire purple arrow line so it points up? I much prefer the 737 for this very reason - the glidescope is right under the attitude indicator, making lining up much more intuitive.....
Thanks for your help
If you're flying a heavy, you should be lined up on the glidepath and slope a long ways out, like on the order of 10 miles out or more. This is due to the speeds involved. The app fixes I fly to are generaly 18-20 nm out from the rnwy. This is more comfortable for the passengers. Also it is not practical to use pattern approaches like a small plane would. Because of the speed involved, a turn would takeup a lot of space and miles. In otherwords the pattern would be huge, like several miles on a side.
I can't address the jet issues you raised since I don't fly jets in either real life or in the SIM.
Overflying the final approach course is common, especially if you are intercepting the localizer inside 15 miles. That close to the system, once the needle starts to move, unless you turn smartly, you will probably overfly it. If the approach has an Outer or middle marker based on an NDB, You can anticipate your turn to final using the NDB needle much the same way you would if you were flying an NDB approach. Even with light aircraft, unless ATC directs otherwise, I try to intercept the ILS at least 15 miles out. That gives me time to stabilize the approach if I am not exactly on course initially.
I noted a little confusion in your question that may contribute to your uncertainty. On an ILS, there are two navigation indicators-the course line indicator and the glideslope indicator. The course line needle provides information on how you are lined up with the runway horizontally (i.e., left or right of centerline or exactly on course). The glide slope provides vertical information-how high or low you are from the required altitude at that point on your approach. You need to center both needles to be on the exact course for the approach. The closer to the runway you get, the more sensitive both these indicators become.
Yes, I'm referring to the course line indicator. Height I can manage (somewhat anyway). But I can never seem to make that perfect turn to line up with the runway as it always seems to happen when I'm flying in real life. How do you guys do that? Or are you making adjustments, but they are just too subtle for us passengers to notice?
I'll try making the turn further out, but so far, I'm just following ATC instructions.....
Thanks for your help!
P.S. I've never flown an NDB approach, just VOR, ATC, and visuals. Any links to more info on NDB's?
Use this for ILS:
This has ILS, NDB, VOR info on it:
leadfoot, you said that when flying heavies, you start your approach 20 miles from the runway. But how do you hold or, in other words, wait for the aircrafts before you to land. Don't you have to use the traffic pattern for that? That's what I've been using on Flight Simulator, unless I'm flying IFR, and ATC controls my flight. In that case, I start 20 miles out. But when you don't have that what do you do?
I think Don Wood hit the nail on the head.....Spacial awareness, knowing where you are and pre-empting the turn onto the localiser. It is very important that you know where you are either using the ADF or have Nav2 indicating either a VOR on the field or better still the ILS frequency. For the FS9 744 have the ND in full (shows full circle) until intercepting the glideslope or localiser. The reason being you can see where the needles are pointing and get an indication of where the airport is and the bearing. With DME you will also have an indication of range. If therefore you are on left base you can watch the "NAV 2 needle" closing the final approach track, when it is a few degrees (depending on range) from the FAT you know the localiser will "come alive" soon. It is all about knowing where you are...theres always the GPS to see where you are!
Just wanted to add the above is difficult to explain so please ask if you don't understand!
Just wanted to add after re-reading the first post, do you know that you need to but the Runways magnetic heading in the "Course" box doing this should mean in nil wind conditions the "Pink line " should point up/down.
Thanks for the info on typing the heading in the course box. That did the trick!!!
Also, thanks everyone for your posts. Yes, I guess spatial awareness is important! I guess I was counting on ATC to hold my hand all the way through the turns too - it's supposed to know when and how sharp I'm going to turn 😂 😂
While I'm here about about another question?
How do you know when your nose is 2 degrees above the horizon? Is there an exact measurement readout somewhere? Or is that just eyeballing the attitude indicator?
Thanks again everyone!
I don't believe there is an exact measurement of pitch up attitude, its just roughly between level flight and the first line above (5 degrees) on the attitude indicator.
Blake14; I don't use ATC on the sim. Ahhh freedom. I know that does not lend itself to realism. I ought to try it sometime. In real life there are holding patterns that you use when traffic is backed up either on the slope or ground. They are established in the approach charts. Having to remain in a holding pattern in a heavy can be rather costly in terms of fuel consumption. I imagine the airlines take that into consideration when scheduling flights in order to avoid delays. There have been occasions when airliners have had to go to an alternate airport because they've burn up their fuel in a holding pattern for hours.
thanks for that information leadfoot
I guess I can't say it never happens but in 32 years of flying, I have never been issued a holding instruction for a holding point shown on an approach plate. These are normally used only for aircraft that make a missed approach until they can be cleared for another approach, to another holding point, or to an alternate airport.
Instead, the holding instructions I have been issued for flow control into an airport are for fixes such as an intersection or a VOR reasonably close to my destination airport but outside the area of the approach. In really bad weather/heavy traffic situations, ATC may have a number of airplanes holding on the same fix at altitude intervals. As the approach becomes available, the aircraft at the bottom of the stack is cleard for the approach and each higher aircraft is then cleared to descend to the next level and continue holding.
It happens quite often in the UK at the smaller regional airports...I imagine it's mainly due to the fact that there are not as many VORs etc scattered around the countryside. Also it is preferable to keep the AC in an ATZ. On the IR test in the UK holding at an NDB is a pretty big part of the test, from the hold O/B for the NDB procedure missed approach then the examiner fails an engine on you! Luckily you have two engines ahh the fun we had!