Approaches - How to improve

Yes, it is. You have to be below the glide slope, not above. Approach controller or no approach controller.


If so many people here all about that “realism”, how many times have you been on final in a real aircraft, and the pilot was at a negative 10 degree pitch angle, or doing -3,000 fpm? Aircraft IRL intercept the glideslope below it, rarely are they above it.

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I cannot overstate how uncomfortable that would feel to a passenger.

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Thanks a lot to all of you for your replies. I will try to find/read approach charts of the airports. How about the control sensitivity? Don’t you over-manouver sometimes? Which sensitivity setting do you advise to use?

I usually enter the cone at 3100 and then slowly reduce the speed and altitude.

@pierotti.paolo As I read, I noted you have 5 main questions (Q1: Too high, Q2: Need to know altitude to intercept ILS, Q3: Adding waypoints of approach to FPL, Q4: correct approach waypoints in sequence, Q5: decent profile). I will address them, this answer will be long as I try to completely answer your questions.

The topic on approach is quite broad since there is just approaching the airport and your final approach to land. Let me start by saying that I would say a good approach starts from your Top of Descent (TOD). Then it is just on taking note of any potential obstacles/terrain in the way, any adverse weather effects(any CAT II/III conditions). Take note of the terrain around you as well. Then it is just on you for your final approach into the airport and eventually the touchdown.

I have linked this document below. Since I am based permanently at WSSS in IF, so let’s just take it as an example. I have linked down below the chart for my home base and it is the chart that I mainly use to do my approaches. Credit to the person who scanned and uploaded this, whoever it may be.

The paragraph below will address Q1,2,4 and 5.

As mentioned, a good approach starts from your TOD (Decent Profile). So, Let’s say I am approaching WSSS through the REPOV1B arrival (Page 27), from my initial altitude (FL360), I have to descend and should pass REPOV below FL 210, pass BTM VOR above 7000, DOVAN above 4000 and the BIPOP waypoint above 3000 (I am usually in a B77W so above 3000 at 190 knots will force me into flaps 15 configuration so I usually approach at a slightly higher speed at around 220 knots or so with my landing weight of 210 to 220 tonnes). I am coming in for ILS/DME Rwy 20R (Page 90). So I’ll descend to 3500ft from 4500 ft(for eg) at BIPOP to the IGULA waypoint and expect to intercept the Localiser for the ILS and then let the plane bring me down from there. If all else fails(unable to intercept Localiser), I will check the condition and do a visual approach if it can be salvaged (my consideration if I am too high, the maximum being one notch above the glideslope altitude ) instead of an ILS and use the glideslope and localiser indicators as a guide, or just go around and try again.

If you are still unsure about when to descend or you are confused to how to calculate Top of Descent the there is a video and topic addressed to this already. I will link both here. The topic created already has the video but I feel that it would be valuable for you to make out some information already provided by the community.

Top of Decent: (same video as the one in the topic below)
Video by Captain Joe
The topic for descent: When do you know when to start descending?

Do note that you can fly and use the approaches to other airports as well, just change WSSS to any other airport you’d like. Do note that some airports do not have charts even though they accept international flights, such as RJFF.

The paragraphs and statement address Q3.

The short answer is Yes, I recommend adding waypoints to your FPL for your final approach.

The long answer is just about weather and winds. Let me assume that you use Simbrief (a flight planning software). They will recommend an arrival runway and that would allow them to know which arrival/ approach for you to use (REPOV1B being used above as an example if my arrival is Rwy 20C/R) and pick out for you to fly. Once you input the waypoints in and you are on your way. I’d suggest holding off your planning for your final approach until you are about 30 minutes or 45 minutes away and check the runway again in case the wind changes.

Once you are around 30 - 45 minutes out, it is time to plan out your approach. If the wind has changed and you are flying into the US, you can try tuning into for arrival info. You can try for various other airports but my finding is usually some parts of Europe may not allow you to tune in to listen to various frequencies, due to local laws. It may not be legal in some countries to listen to the airport frequencies even if you managed to find an available airport to tune to so beware and use at your own risk. If you aren’t going into the US, you can go ahead and pick one approach off the arrival airport. In this case, let’s say that Rwy 20C/R is not in use due to winds, and I have to use Rwy 02L/C, I have already set REPOV as my arrival waypoint and I can use it again under REPOV 1A Arrival (See Page 26). In this case, I just have to pass REPOV under FL 210, be above 6000 at REMES and above 4000 at SAMKO. I mean, I say above but don’t be at 8000 at SAMKO for eg. you will be way too high to execute the final approach into Rwy 02L/C. Do also bear in mind that if there is Approach ATC, you can tune to an expect vectors for your arrival once you state your intentions. Then once you receive vectors, follow them. If you don’t, then I’d just advise you to continue to follow your approach planned before the descent.

As you are relatively new and flying jets, I would advise you to see my post if you want to make your landings smoother in IF. The topic is listed here:Why are landings so hard!. My post is 36th from the top.

Nice to see you are asking questions and you are willing to learn. I’d advise you to watch the tutorials and occasionally watch aviation related videos posted by Captain Joe and other real pilots.
Here are some channels that I watch:

  1. Guillaume Laffon:
    Real Life B777 Pilot, former A330/A340 - Mostly Approaches and Cockpit footage
  2. High Pressure Aviation Films:
    Mostly Cockpit footage
  3. Mentour Pilot:
    Real Life B737 Pilot - Insights into the aviation industry
  4. Captain Joe:
    Real Life B748 Pilot, former A320 pilot - Mostly Educational Videos (The Legend Himself (to me at least))

I know this was a long post but I hope it helps.


You need to train those approaches with different aircrafts, I recommend you training on solo flight or on training server

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what about TOD tho? i have seen Captain Joe’s video about TOD when he talked about going past your calculated TOD which means you have to lose altitude at faster rate, and one of the ways to do that as he suggested is to increase descent rate by pitching down and he shows a cockpit video of an aircraft descending at 3300fpm, and the other suggestion is delay vectors or more track miles.

so in some scenarios real pilots can descent at a steep angle to lose altitude faster but not below FL100 i guess since they will have to decrease their speed below FL100

Thank you a lot for all the useful information. I will try to learn everything I can from all the information you and the other friends of the community provided to me. This community is amazing! Thanks a lot again to all of you.

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He was referring to final approach. As always, ‘descent’ is not uniform from TOD to landing (even though every thread on the subject on IFC treats it as such).

I don’t think I mentioned anything about doing -3,000 fpm… but yes, that would be quite uncomfortable.

I usually refer to airport charts

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