A Reminder: You don’t always need to need to request an ILS approach

So before I start, I need to say that this isn’t a big deal and really doesn’t affect the amount of reality in IF. It’s just something I’ve noticed

So I’ve noticed that at IFATC controlled airports, most people request for an ILS Approach at the airport. Now this isn’t a big deal at all, but I feel like it is viewed that if you are an airliner and you declare a visual approach, it gives the appearance that you are a less experienced pilot than someone following an ILS approach. I think I can speak for many people when I say that I’ve requested an ILS approach when in reality I was following a Visual approach 95% of the time I fly visual approaches and I’m assuming that is the case with most pilots. Now if the weather is bad or you’re actually flying an ILS approach, then obviously, request an ILS approach. I’ve been listing to a lot of live ATC at PHL recently and I’ve realized that almost all of the flights follow visual approaches. From the small regional CRJs to the American 787 from Zurich to the British Airways 747 from London, they all flew the visual approach. The only airplane I’ve heard that requested an ILS was the Qatar A350 from Doha. So the point is, flying a Visual approach doesn’t make you any more or less “experienced” than someone flying an ILS, it depends on what you actually fly.

If you disagree with me and think that people are actually flying the ILS, then, by all means let me know, these are just my opinions


I really don’t think it matters. The type of approach a pilot uses is at their discretion.


Only matter thr type of airport if LOWI there’s no ILS, but other airport like LHR, JFK most of the time they use ILS a those airports!

That’s what I’m saying, it really doesn’t make a difference, but If you’re going to fly a Visual, you might as well request a visual

But realism comes to place. An Realistic Pilot won’t do a visual into LHR 27R. You most likely won’t do it!

That’s a good point, but many people prefer ILS approaches simply because they have to do less work; the controller will vector them right to the beginning of the cone. Oftentimes, with visual approaches, pilots don’t get the “report airport in sight” piece. It can end up with a higher workload for the controller and more confusion for the pilot.

Obviously nothing wrong with visuals, but I say let the pilots decide what they want. If they want ILS? Fine, give them ILS. Same for visuals/RV (weather permitting).

I’m also a bit uncertain as to what you mean when you say “I’ve requested an ILS approach when in reality I was following a Visual approach 95% of the time I fly visual approaches and I’m assuming that is the case with most pilots”. Could you elaborate?


I always perform an ILS approach when available since I can’t do manual landings for the life of me 😭


That’s something that probably a lot of people don’t realize. The most common approach is the visual approach.


The main and unfortunate reason I’d suspect is that many IF pilots aren’t even capable of flying a visual approach because they can’t rely as much on A/P or APPR.

The unfortunate reality is that… people don’t have legitimate flying skills. They’d rather complete the ILS approach for APPR.

If you ever want incentive to do a visual approach, remember that the controller may be able to bring you in closer so you’ll land sooner!


I mean that, a lot of the time, I feel like if most traffic is requesting an ILS, then it will mess up the controller if I request a visual, but from what I’m hearing that may not be the case

Well that’s a pretty good excuse not to request a visual 😂

That’s what my point is of this post, but it turns out it may really depend on the airport

To be honest, I trust my flying abilities A LOT more than the APPR because the APPR goes crazy sometimes, I’ll definitely be requesting visual approaches from now on if I’m actually flying the visual

I always request a visual. The controller will make you do an ILS if they need to for sequencing.

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Check how APPR is lining aircraft with runway! Then just request what they are doing, so you don’t waste their time 🙃

I try to get visual approaches but most of the time I’m forced to do an ILS approach anyway. I feel like with the current state of our weather in the sim we should see more visuals than ILS approaches and not the other way around. I honestly feel like approach controllers are scared to issue them out of fear of losing control of their sequences.

For me, unless it’s really foggy and/or winds above 28kts on short final, I’m either doing a GPS or Visual. 80% of the time, I request a visual approach, no matter the airport or aircraft.

Personally I try to mix it up here and there. If it’s a scenic place yeah I like a visual but if it’s crazy busy just to save the controller time I go for ILS as that’s what others usually tend to do and it takes a weight off the controllers back.

For me I fly a visual approach 99.999% of the time Partially because I haven’t tried to learn every detail of the ILS approach yet but also because a visual approach is funner. It makes you rely more on visual cues such as the PAPI lights or when flying in low visibility, the runway edge lights which makes it more challenging and more enjoyable. And just remember, if you do crash or stick the landing really hard because you couldn’t see the runway while flying a visual, this is just a simulator. It’s for learning to pick up those cues and utilize them without having to worry about wrecking a multi million dollar jet.

Lol ikr. Like I understand the inputs that are required, just can’t, you know, get the plane on the runway…