Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition

Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition

ILS Landing
Hello. I am new to fsx. Could anyone please let me know how to do ILS landing? I know how to take off and fly. But before landing, the atc doesn't tell me the heading when I am near to the airport. Then, I get lost and need to line up with the runway and land visually...
Should I use GPS or what? Also, there is a switch for NAV/GPS, could anyone please tell me what's the difference? Navigation is same as GPS in my mind...

Thank you so reply. Hope to see your reply.
Last edited by [HKG] pangkinglim; Apr 10, 2016 @ 4:29am
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Showing 1-11 of 11 comments
Microsan Apr 10, 2016 @ 5:36am 
Hi Altough ils use may slightly vary from a plane to another you can use https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vcjENPiaWg as a reference (for example)
TextRich Apr 10, 2016 @ 5:51am 
Originally posted by pangkinglim:
Hello. I am new to fsx. Could anyone please let me know how to do ILS landing? I know how to take off and fly. But before landing, the atc doesn't tell me the heading when I am near to the airport. Then, I get lost and need to line up with the runway and land visually...
Should I use GPS or what? Also, there is a switch for NAV/GPS, could anyone please tell me what's the difference? Navigation is same as GPS in my mind...

Thank you so reply. Hope to see your reply.

FSX has a good tutorial on using ILS for landing. Not autopilot ILS landing.

When ATC tells you which runway to land on, that is actually the heading you should be. For example, if they tell you runway 2, your heading should be 20. If they tell you runway 35, your heading should be 350. Runways are numbered to correspond with their heading. That way you can line up with the runway well in advance and not need to make last minute adjustments, which frustrates new sim pilots.

If you are thinking of the kind of landing that uses autopilot (autolanding) - If you use GPS for navigation, select the vector the ATC gives you in the GPS console and also move the on-cockpit switch to "GPS" before using autopilot. If you use VOR for navigation (easier in my opinion, especially if the VOR is right at the airport), make sure your OBS is the same heading as the runway, move the switch to NAV, and enable autopilot.

Don't forget that autopilots might have options for HDG (your heading bug) or NAV (your OBS or, with the GPS switch enabled, your GPS path).
[HKG] pangkinglim Apr 10, 2016 @ 6:45am 
Thanks!! I really don't know the name of runway=heading!!

I tried to learn ILS landing in some YouTube videos before, they have noted that the default aircraft cannot do auto landing, is that correct?

But... I get confused with the short form :(
Could you please let me know what VOR, OBS mean? HDG is heading, I guess?

Thank you!!

Originally posted by BF Bullpup:
Originally posted by pangkinglim:
Hello. I am new to fsx. Could anyone please let me know how to do ILS landing? I know how to take off and fly. But before landing, the atc doesn't tell me the heading when I am near to the airport. Then, I get lost and need to line up with the runway and land visually...
Should I use GPS or what? Also, there is a switch for NAV/GPS, could anyone please tell me what's the difference? Navigation is same as GPS in my mind...

Thank you so reply. Hope to see your reply.

FSX has a good tutorial on using ILS for landing. Not autopilot ILS landing.

When ATC tells you which runway to land on, that is actually the heading you should be. For example, if they tell you runway 2, your heading should be 20. If they tell you runway 35, your heading should be 350. Runways are numbered to correspond with their heading. That way you can line up with the runway well in advance and not need to make last minute adjustments, which frustrates new sim pilots.

If you are thinking of the kind of landing that uses autopilot (autolanding) - If you use GPS for navigation, select the vector the ATC gives you in the GPS console and also move the on-cockpit switch to "GPS" before using autopilot. If you use VOR for navigation (easier in my opinion, especially if the VOR is right at the airport), make sure your OBS is the same heading as the runway, move the switch to NAV, and enable autopilot.

Don't forget that autopilots might have options for HDG (your heading bug) or NAV (your OBS or, with the GPS switch enabled, your GPS path).
TextRich Apr 10, 2016 @ 8:39am 
You're welcome. Go to the in-game Learning Center and look up Navigation, Autopilot, and GPS. Also use the lessons in the Flight School. The third certificate covers ILS.

VOR (VHF Omnidirectional Range) is what you use when you set your Nav radio to a VOR frequency. If an airport has a ILS frequency, you can tune to that frequency instead (most airplanes have two Nav radios and two VOR dials). When you are close enoug to the runway, you will get needles to line you up to the runway to make landing easier. This is important when weather is bad or visiblity is low.

OBS (Omni Bearing Selector) is a dial next to the VOR indicator in your plane. You turn it to the heading you want it to aim towards a beacon.

Yes, HDG is what autopllots use for heading.
MrMrsMe Apr 10, 2016 @ 12:37pm 
In real life, the only time ATC will tell you what headings to fly is if you are in controlled airspace operating in visual conditions (VFR), or if you are flying IFR, on their radar screen, and they need to vector you. Or if you ask for it.

With this in mind, you generally don't need to do an ILS landing if flying VFR. In the commercial world, we generally don't even do them in IFR if we see the runway outside our windows unless we want to stretch our muscles for a little practice. You will generally get cleared for an ILS landing though if the weather is groggy, and operating in IFR, in controlled airspace, onto a runway that actually has an ILS system.

But to keep things simple, generally, if you want to shoot an ILS approach, here is what you would do to set up:
1) Tune in the ILS frequency for your active runway into your Nav 1 radio (if you have two nav boxes, you can put the frequency onto both if you are not using the second box for something else). Where do you get this frequency you ask? Approach charts generally, but you can pull them in FSX by going into the map from the menu, and clicking on the airport you are landing at. A list will show the airport radio frequencies, ils localiser frequencies, and runway courses.

2) Turn the OBS on your HSI/ILS gauge until the course needle points to the runway's magnetic course. The actual course you would enter is the same one you see when you try to pull up the frequency via the FSX map.

3) Ensure your GPS is set to VLOC mode and not GPS. Or if you have a nav/gps button, ensure it is set to nav mode. Why? Because if you are in NAV mode, information displayed on your HSI/ILS gauge takes information from your nav receiver, which is what you want. Otherwise, it will take information from your GPS. The default garmins in FSX don't provide vertical guidance, and you shouldn't be using those if you are cleared for an ILS anyway.

After you have done all three of these steps, you can proceed to perform the ILS approach.

Now you just have to shoot the approach. If you are on an ILS flight plan, ATC will generally vector you for an ILS approach if there is such as an approach at the airport you are flying to. When they "clear" you for an approach, they will generally have you angled about 30 degrees from the runway centerline to intercept a "localiser". A localiser is your lateral guidance, and is shown by the bar/needle on your HSI/ILS gauge. ATC will also have you slightly below the "glide slope", which is the slope you should be descending on when on final towards the airport. You will generally be about 10 miles from the airport.

When the localiser starts to center, fly the aircraft towards runway heading and try to keep that needle centered. If the needle is to the left, that means you are right of center line and need to correct left, and vice versa. Make small changes in heading to do so.

When the glide slope comes in from the top (you will see a little bug come on the side of the gauge), you can start your descent. You want to keep the bug centered as well. Once the bug is centered, begin a 300-800 feet per minute descent and try to keep that centered (the rule of thumb for determining your rate of descent is take half your ground speed and add a 0). By around 200 feet above the ground, you should see the runway and at that point you should land visually.

Now, what I said here probably doesn't make a whole lot of sense without actually doing it. There is a lot more to a proper ILS landing that involves reading a chart, identifying, giving briefings, and determining what altitude you should see the runway, but that is probably way too much information right now.

What I would do if if I was you is maybe watch a few tutorials on youtube, and then try some simple flights yourself.

Try flying from say KLAS to KLAX, filing a direct GPS flight plan in freeflight. Then use ATC, and follow ATC's directives (you will get a clearance, taxi instructions, takeoff clearance, altitude clearance, and ATC will also tell you to descend and start vectoring you). Once you are in range of the airport, follow the few steps above and by then, you should have an idea what I am talking about.

Oh, and start with no weather until you get used to it. Don't forget to configure your aircraft for landing before you hit 3 miles on final approach. This is typically where the "final approach fix" is, and where your aircraft needs to be relatively stable and configured for landing. If you are flying a Cessna 172, you probably don't need to do much outside of a couple notch of flaps perhaps.
Last edited by MrMrsMe; Apr 10, 2016 @ 12:44pm
[HKG] pangkinglim Apr 11, 2016 @ 5:18am 
Thanks everyone! Aviation is really a complicated topic.
gPaDude Apr 12, 2016 @ 7:14am 
MrMe85 what an awesome, helpful post to someone really trying to understand this thing we love and will never take for granted, aviation. You sir ...rock and point us toward a standard of quality helpfulness. Thank you. gPaDude
Quietman Apr 14, 2016 @ 10:23am 
The acronyms will drive you nuts when reading and trying to understand these posts. Look for this under Wikipedia "List of aviation, aerospace and aeronautical abbreviations". It really helps to know what you are reading. It will put a lot into perspective.
Woodo May 5, 2016 @ 9:39pm 
When you fly its best to have airport charts that tell you runway headings and frequencies. If the act tells you to land at a runway you haven't pre planned your flight for charts are usually necessary check out FS Charts.com
Twelvefield May 6, 2016 @ 2:10am 
Originally posted by pangkinglim:
Thanks everyone! Aviation is really a complicated topic.

Read "Fate Is The Hunter" by Ernest K. Gann, and you will understand how commercial aviation became the way it is now.
gendhon May 6, 2016 @ 9:19am 
Originally posted by Twelvefield:
Originally posted by pangkinglim:
Thanks everyone! Aviation is really a complicated topic.

Read "Fate Is The Hunter" by Ernest K. Gann, and you will understand how commercial aviation became the way it is now.

Just finished the book. And now I hate jets and fmc even more :( I blame you for suggesting that book...
kidding ;)

It's a great book, really. But I think one must have decent aviation vocabulary to fully enjoy the book.
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Date Posted: Apr 10, 2016 @ 4:25am
Posts: 11