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begin turning for final

crosscheck9 Guest

When do you normally begin turning for final. The glideslope doesn't indicate how far away from intersecting the runway's path the plane is. I have to check the bottom of the GPS for this everytime. Is there a method of calculating when to begin turning and at what angle, because I very often have to zig zag to get inline with the runway. If I can see it, I'll know when to turn, but in foggy conditions, it's difficult lining up w/out GPS

Pro Member Chief Captain
Matthew Shope (mypilot) Chief Captain

In foggy conditions use the ILS if available. There are other methods also. Deciding when to turn final depends upon how big of an aircraft you are flying. e.g. In a 747 you usually turn final 10-15 nms out. A piper cub, basically when ever you feel comfortable.

crosscheck9 Guest

sorry mypilot, I must have worded the post incorrectly. Let me try again. 😉 - In IFR conditions, the controller sets you at localizer level flight, about 30 degrees off of the heading of the runway. So, this is considered base leg. When do you start turning for final? In the GPS, at the bottom, it tells you how far away from being in line with the runway the aircraft is. at about .6 nm, I usually begin my turn, but sometimes, I decide not to use GPS for realism, (eg. lighter aircraft). When the horizontal indicator on the ILS Glideslope begins to move the center, I begin my turn to final, but I often have to zig zag around to stay on course with the runway. I hope you understand what I'm trying to say. If you need some clarification, please ask. I find it a little difficult to deliver my message. 😳 ...THanks

Pro Member Chief Captain
Matthew Shope (mypilot) Chief Captain

I got it now. Embarassed Uh. What kind of plane are you trying this in. All I can tell you is try it in a smaller plane and practice. 😕 As far as turning final, just follow the localizer. Good luck and good flying!

crosscheck9 Guest

I was flying the 737-400, from houston to dallas, (IAH to DFW). I thought there might be some sort of method where you insert the angle difference between you and the runway, + the speed you going at, to find the angle the pilot must turn at, and when exactly he should be turning. It's alright though. I guess I'll use the GPS for now, until I can make accurate assumptions regarding this.

Don Wood Guest

I can't help w/large aircraft.

A technique I use in my C-172, if there is an NDB on the final approach course, and there often is, is to begin my turn to final when the ADF shows a 45 degree angle to the beacon.

If there is no NDB, I begin a standard-rate turn as soon as the ILS needle begins to move to the center. At the distances ATC usually sets me up for the approach and at the approach speeds of a C-172, either method seems to work just fine 99 times out of a hundred. On the hundreth time, I just chase the needle until I'm lined up.

Pro Member Captain
nottobe Captain

I thought the APPR button would take care of it. With a Bendix autopilot, press APPR when the needle begins to move. It pretty much does everything for you, including GS engagement.....
I press z to disengage when I feel comfortable to take over the control.

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

Crosscheck, you should start turning final once the localizer needle starts moving to the center. At that point, contact the Tower because you're establishing for final.

crosscheck9 Guest

well, I often do what you are saying Agus, but sometimes, I making a very sharp turn at bank of 20 degrees, and still miss the center.

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

This is what I do:

When ATC tells me to turn to the base leg, I do that with the Autopilot on. When the localizer needle starts moving I set the heading to the runway heading. For example, you want to land on runway 25L, then when the localizer needle starts moving to the center, set the heading to 250. The Autopilot will turn to that heading. Most of the times, the runway heading is 2 or 3 degrees ahead or behind of the current heading, in this case 250.
If you look at the Approach charts, you can get the right information. If you don't have a chart for that specific airport, then turn to the runway heading and when you are below the glideslope, engage the APP mode. That way the Autopilot will align you to the right runway heading and fly the glideslope correctly.

I hope this helps 😉

crosscheck9 Guest

thanks alot for that agus. I guess I'll try what you said, or just stick to what Ive been doing. I have yet to engage the APR in flight simulator. I like to manually fly the finall approach. No autopilot or ATT whatsoever. Thanks 😀

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

That's a good practice too, but sometimes it could be hard when there's too much crosswinds. Most pilots use the APP mode and then they disengage it before landing.

If you want, you can turn final to be established to the runway with the Autopilot, and then disengage it to do the final approach manually.

Tell me how it goes.

crosscheck9 Guest

thats a good idea agus. I think I'll do that. Thanks for everything 🙂

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

You're welcome, Crosscheck! 😉

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