Performing an ILS approach

This article will explain how to move toward a runway and align it to a landing using the ILS in Flight Simulator X. This is a very usefull tool, especially when the weather offers no visibility.

Above all, a quick explanation on the ILS.

ILS (Instrument Landing System) is a instrument approach system located at the end of a runway. It emits two radiosignals : one to align the plane with the runway (left/right) and one to determine the correct descent path.
When you use the autopilot for an approach, it use the ILS to join the runway.

How to use it for a manual approach

In the instrument panel of your plane, you'll find an indicator which displey these ILS signals by a cross (a horizontal line and a vertical line). You have to keep the cross centered to follow the correct path.

If the horizontal line is above the center, your plane is too high and vice versa if it is below the center, your plane is too low.
The principle is the same for the vertical line. If this is right, your plane is too far left of the axis of the runway.

In the vast majority of cases, you will find the information in the ILS informations in the horizontal situation indicator ndicateur (HSI).

Tutoriel FSX - Approche ILSTutoriel FSX - Approche ILS

Putting into practice on a flight 

We're going to implement this type of approach with th mission named "Flying Blind Across the Channel".
This is a good mission for training to land with the ILS because the weather prevents visual on the runway.
At last, we will pilot a plane using the Glass Cockpit G1000, the 'all in one' instrument panel.

Load the mission and follow the ATR indication. We will begin the approach process when you will have to contact 'Le Touquet' tower.

In this mission, NAV2 is already configured to pick up the ILS signal of the runway but we will use NAV1 to explain what you have to do.

First, you must know the frequency of runway 14 and its heading. You can get information from the map or the GPS. For our runway, the frequency is 110.15 and its heading is 136 °

Tune NAV1 on the 110.15 frequency.
Tutoriel FSX - Approche ILS

Put it in primary position by usig tuhe <-> button.
Tutoriel FSX - Approche ILS

Use the CDI button to display the the HSI NAV1 (indicating loc1). This button lets you toggle among GPS/NAV1/NAV2. The Nav1 frequency appear in green.
Tutoriel FSX - Approche ILS

Set 136 ° (the heading of the runway) with the course selector button (beware, this is the inside triangle button).
Tutoriel FSX - Approche ILS

Voila, you have now all the informations you need to join the runway.
Tutoriel FSX - Approche ILS

On the right side of the screen, just left of the altitude scale, the little blue diamond shows your altitude position. If your altitude is correct, the diamond is centered on the small horizontal bar. Currently, ILS tells me I'm too low. ATC having authorized me to descend to 2000 feet, I'll stay in level until the diamond starts to descend. When it will have joined the center, I begin to descend in order to keep the diamond center.

To know the direction we should look at HSI. The green arrow indicates the heading of the runway. The small green line indicates the direction needed to align with the runway. It's on the right so I'm too left to join the correct heading of the runway.
To align the runway I must follow a direction which is right of the axis 136 °. Currently, 165° agrees. Gradually the course deviation bar will move closer to the green arrow.
Tutoriel FSX - Approche ILS

When the bar is near the center, point your aircraft at 136 °. You will be aligned with the runway. Now you just have to adjust the position of the aircraft to keep the bar and the diamond centered.
Tutoriel FSX - Approche ILS

The runway appears. It remains only to land!!!

Tutoriel FSX - Approche ILS

FSX, Flight Simulator X, How to, ILS, approach,  Land, Landing, Tutorial, ILS approach


  1. Where is that damned diamond you speak of? Why can no one write a decent article to explain ILS?

  2. Where is that damned diamond you speak of? Why can no one write a decent article to explain ILS?

  3. The little diamond, can be seen to the immediate left of the ALTITUDE.

  4. looks that I do everything right except putting the LFAT ILS frequency 110.15 from "standby" to the "working on", and I kept waiting the CDI getting to the center and nothing happened even after I flew by...