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ILS GPS or what ?


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Hi Guys,

This question is a bit long winded (sorry)

Have just started to learn FSX (2 weeks or so)

I choose my plane, (Cessna Caravan)

I then create a flight plan, I use the vor stations to get me lined up with my destination run way,

(Edinburgh) (EGPH) ILS Freq 108.90, Run-way Heading 064, Run-way 6

I try to get lined up as far as I can from my destination airport 8nm or longer, so I have time to get ready,

I now press fly now, lets say from Glasgow. I am sitting in aircraft

I adjust my nav bug to hdg 064, I input ILS freq then activate it, I then press nav 1 for the morse code when close enough, I input into Auto Pilot my cruising altitude, and my rate of climb.

I switch from NAV to GPS, the flight plan is loaded into GPS, I show GPS, I then show knee-pad and my flight plan, this way I can see the vor stations and know where I am most of the time.


I am ready for take off.


Reaching around 600ft I retract flaps, and then press (auto pilot) Alt, then Nav, then AP buttons.

Air craft then climbs to in-putted altitude at the in-putted rate of climb, as well as moving to heading from GPS.


All is well


ILS in range I get the morse code sound, about 20 to 25 nm out, I then wait till about 15nm and press the Proc key (GPS) select approach (flashing) I press Ent, ILS 06 (flashing) again Ent, it asks Vector, Tartn, Tla, Uw... no Idea what these are I choose Tartn press Ent, scroll to Activate, press Ent,

Up comes allot of numbers (see pic), I simply clear this, what I now see on the GPS is a route that takes me around the airport and places me exactly where I want to be, the flight plan is out the window now.

By the time GPS has put me on the runway heading I have reduced speed to about 120kts, altitude is 2000ft, I then press the approach button on the auto pilot, I notice sometimes (not always) the Alt button goes out on the AP, I leave AP on it keeps the heading perfectly, but I reduce power, add flaps, and generally try my best to keep 2 white and 2 reds,on the airport glide thing, most of the time I am high 3 white perhaps 4, try and keep my speed to about 80kts, I land is it any good though ?


Was this a ILS landing or was this a GPS assisted landing, or was it either ? The switch inside the plane is either NAV or GPS, I have it at GPS, I'm a bit confused.

I cant go further into the sim until I am good at landing, and it's frustrating :pilot:

Many Thanx for your advice........

GPS options.jpg

pic flight plan.jpg

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well first off, the first picture you put up is a list of the waypoints you put into your flight plan, that the GPS has read and is taking you to, one at a time. You notice there are 2 with a yellow carat joining them. The first is the waypoint you just passed, the second, the next one you will arrive at, in accordance with the flight plan. That explains "...allot of numbers (see pic),...", I hope.


Second, is a visual representation of the approach you chose to utilize. By the by, the list of names, like Tartn,, TLA, and so on, are approaches starting from a specific intersection, or utilizing the vectors in the GPS' memory for that airport. When you select one, the GPS wil fly you to that intersection or starting point, then make the correct turns to put you on the runway heading, from that point.

The Autopilot is now being controlled by the GPS. When you press the APP switch, the AP will fly you along the ILS runway heading, and, if available, the glideslope. There is a bit of a trick with the glideslope, however. To get the autopilot in FSX to utilize it properly, you must select APP BELOW the glideslop, then fly straight and level till the autopilot picks it up as it descends through your altitude.


In other words, start about 10 NMi out, 2-3000 AGL, set up with the correct airspeed, flaps, gear, and so on for that point. The Glidesllope indicator, the horizontal bar across the HSI, will be above the center of the indicator, and descend twords the center as you fly along. When it reaches the center, the autopilot will capture it, presuming you have the correct ILS frequency for that runway in NAV1. Once it captures, the ALT HLD light should go out, and the AP will track down the ILS and GS until the runway threshold. turn offf the AP and Autothrottle, if you are using it, and stop the aircraft.


Now then, and this is the general consensus, I believe, you should KNOW how to land an aircraft, in particular the one you prefer, by hand before you let the AP fly the plane down. This applies to the real world as well s the sim. Autopilots have been known to fail, usually at the single worst possible time, ILS systems are mis-aigned, or offset, or simply down for maintenance, you name it. If you can hand fly the bird perfectly 8 out of 10 landings, THEN and only then can you let the autopilot land it.


Generally, it is really the best, and easiest, to start out in something like the Cessna 172, Piper Cub, something small and slow, so you can learn thhe correct way to fly a plane, fly a flight plan, make an approach, land a plane, hold a heading, etc etc before you try the faster, more complex birds. I have almost 500 flights, in FSX (Iwas FS( for a LONG time), and nearly 1500 landings, and I still need a lot more practice. Every time I go up, I will make at least 3-5 bounces (Touch and go, into the pattern, all the way around and T&G again) before a full-stop landing, ALL hand flown. I never ever let the AP fly the approach, pattern, landing, all that good stuff. But hey, that's just me. Best and easiest way to learn, in my opinion, is to sstart in a low&slow, pick an airport with an ILS and GS system, and do T&G's until you are sick of them. Then do some more. Once you get the pattern and landing down Pat (pun intended :D ), go to a dirt strip without an ILS, and start all over. Once you can land well without any aids, then you can move on up to a more complex, faster airplane.


Remember, all this is how to do it "right". It's a game, play it how you want to. If you want to simulate the real world as closely as possible, though, give all this a try. It will be a great feeling when you start gaining confidence in the C-172, Cup, or whatevr you choose and look at landings as something you CAN do, not a condusing series of events you don't understand. Try the Tutorials, starting on Leeson 1. The instructor is PITA, but he works ok, I guess. Or take a look here: http://www.navfltsm.addr.com/ , and follow their lessons. They will led you along the path a lot better than I can. And there is no instructor to annoy you :D I personally am a perfectionist, though, and make a terrible instructor, especially to myself. I really annoy myself...



Had a thought...then there was the smell of something burning, and sparks, and then a big fire, and then the lights went out! I guess I better not do that again!

Sgt, USMC, 10 years proud service, Inactive reserve now :D

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Pat ... this is good stuff, but allot of it, however rest assured I will try what you suggest only in tiny steps, I have to see what I should expect when landing well, thus ILS landing sort of thing, for example,,, I got everything right (once) power was just perfect right down the glide slope, just falling past the 70kts as I touched nae dusted the runway :cool:

Only thing was I wasn't aware there was a glide slope, have never used the glide slope indicator, unsure how to set this up.

the more I get to know the worse I become :mad:

Many thanx, it's very much appreciated.

Re: the Cessna Caravan, I tried the 172, it wasn't for me, but I settled in ok with the caravan it's nothing to look at, but I like that, have to buy a yoke , it's calling out to me :)

Kind Regards


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Maybe pat mentioned it and I missed it. Just to be sure. To have the plane follow the glideslope the NAV/GPS switch must be set to NAV.

You have set it to Gps on the ground. You kept it on gps to follow the flightplan. You the kept it on GPS while following the approach.

You then pressed App to follow the ILS but that does not follow the glideslope if the main switch is still on GPS.

Set up like that it does not manage altitude. The plane just descended because you reduced power.

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I know, it was a lot, and I am sorry. I get pedantic ($5.00 word for the day!) a lot of the time. Anothr reason I am a lousy instructor. Mr. il88pp put things much more succintly. Thanks for the help :D


Like I said, just start with step 1, take off. Irrelevant what plane, really, just don't get tooooo fancy. I would avoid the 777, for example...Anyway, make a pattern, come round and do a T&G (bounce, to us military types), make another pattern, etc etc etc. Make your corners 2 minute turns, right on the money. Make them neat and tidy, keep your altitude, make the descent correct, flaps at the right points, correct speeds, etc. Stay out in front of the plane, ie: think ahead: let's see NEXT I have to do this and that, in this order. Once the wheels all touch, give 'er the gun, climb straight ahead to the pattern alt, etc etc.

Always always always follow checklists. EVERY time, even if it's the 20th pattern this last 30 minutes. Checklists matter.

No reason, at first, not to use the airport's navaids for reference, but fly the plane yourself. It will get you to understanding what's where when, why, and how a lot faster than push-button flying. Then again, I learned in a glider without even a display for a navaid, just a compass. It really made me proud to make that first landing. No T&G's in a glider, after all :D I also learned to fly a plane with a stick (the glider again), and to me, flying with a steering wheel is just....wrong...somehow, but that's a whole nother subject.

Anyway, do the bounces until you're sick of them, take a break, go fly an F-111 through New York city at full speed, fly a glider in the Swiss Alps, Heck, just take a low level tour of Los Angeles, or Florida, whatever you want. But try to get in a few landings every time, just for the practice.

Eventually, it will all become second nature, and BINGO, away you go!



Had a thought...then there was the smell of something burning, and sparks, and then a big fire, and then the lights went out! I guess I better not do that again!

Sgt, USMC, 10 years proud service, Inactive reserve now :D

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I do agree with pat, flying manually is the best way to start out. That way you get a good feel for the aircraft.

I started out by taking off and landing at the same airport. In small aircraft. It took a long time before I ventured out further afield.

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