DME tutorial

I am looking for a video shared on here that explained how to navigate a DME. I roughly know how it works but I wanted to touch up my skills for some approaches.

Hey @anon2996007!

You can check this video out:

But unfortunately there’s no audio so here are the time stamps:

Credits to @DeerCrusher :)

If your still confused you can check the user guide:

This was kindly put together by Deercrusher again!


Thanks! I just found the video, too! One thing I was wondering about that I think isn’t shown in the video or the manual, is how I stay on a DME with a specified distance to the beacon for example DME18. Do I just just establish the DME at 18nm distance and follow the normal DME procedure bc that should theoretically keep me on a distance of 18nm or is there a better way?

If you fly the DME arc correctly, you will always be at a distance of 18 NM from the DME station, while you’re on the arc.

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Given that I intercept it at 18nm right?
Edit: Dumb question… It’s almost 1 am 🤪

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Ok, I think I understand what your asking but I’m not 100% sure.

DME stands for “distance measuring equipment” in which properly equipped aircraft send a radio signal to a DME receiver(or nav aid), and that receiver sends a response back in which measures the slant range distance from the aircraft to the receiver.

In order to stay 18 DME away from a nav aid, you must fly an arc in order to stay that far away. If you have trouble understanding this, pull out a piece of paper and draw a circle(as close to perfect as you can), and then put a dot in the center. Call the dot your nav aid, and the radius of the circle is the distance you want to stay away from that point…

Am I making sense or am I going down a rabbit hole? I can explain further like how you would intercept the arc, but I need to know if your on the same page :)

Just use GPS. It’s the future. I only do 1 arc in my entire IFR training lol.

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I just want to be prepared. I am often flying to Greek Islands which have this kind of approach

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I get that, my last question basically is how to intercept a DME e.g. DME18 because once intercepted I could fly it like in the video linked above and I would always stay on the same distance

Here is an example

From what I see, when I come in via SOKRI 1V, I need to start a turn onto the 18DME arc once I am 20NM away (at DME20). However I don’t know how to correctly intercept it. I mean intercepting an arc without a specific distance would be easy, because I just would need to bring the blue needle to 90 degrees to the left from my heading (in this case). When also having to intercept it at a certain distance I would use those information boxes next to the HSI and bring the needle to 90 degrees once I am 18nm away, but as I said I am not sure

(The situation I present is when coming from the south)

Ok, first thing you would want to do is tune in the SUD VOR into your frequency. This will be your main reference throughout this entire procedure. I would first vector myself straight to the VOR and then I would intercept the 318 radial outbound and pay very close attention to your DME. Now you as the Pilot in Command need to make a decision, based on your speed you will need to start turning to intercept the arc before 18 DME. In the C172 for example at 90 kts, we would start the standard rate turn (15 degrees) .5 miles from the arc we need to intercept.

Now the next few steps are very important. Your are going to twist your course needle approximately 90 degrees to the right, while you turn 90 degeees to the left… I know, this may seem confusing but the center of your green needle needs to move up so you intercept each given radial around the arc.

This method is called the turn 10 twist 10 method, using this method your goal is to bounce off of the inside of the arc. So once that needle centers you the twist the needle ten degrees, and then turn ten and continue following this around to your inbound course.

This concept is difficult to explain via a text message I would highly reccomend watching a video on this concept for you to understand more fully. I have linked one here for your reference Ep. 232: HOW to FLY a DME ARC! | IFR - YouTube

Ok, ok!!! I never expect that but I respect you

Thank you so much! I just made my first successful, right executed DME arrival!

The chart I followed:

In the beginning I ended up slightly further than 13nm away and flew a 14.5DME but I ended up on the 13DME just before the final turn

Sadly liveflight doesn’t always create perfect curves :(

Congratulations, I’m glad I was able to help! Let me know if you have further questions. Just so your aware IRL, we have a tolerance of a mile on both sides of the arc. So you did very well for your first attempt!

Edit: of course there are some exceptions where there is terrain/other obstacles where that clearance is not assured.

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Thanks a lot! Will make sure to ask for more advice if needed!

I’m sure anyone in the community would be happy to help

Greece is full of such VOR DME approaches like Chania on your picture. It’s one of the airports in Greece where the ATC doesn’t issue shortcuts xD If you want we can switch over to pm and we can train a little bit. Also here’s one I flew at Rhodes:


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I think I am fine for now, but I’ll make sure to follow your offer if I run into difficulties!

One question, that isn’t related to DME: Till now I always generated my flight plans with, so basically with simBrief. Unfortunately simbrief often creates very weird and unrealistic routings, that’s why I wanted to use flightplandatabase. The problem is, that that site doesn’t offer fuel or pax details. I wanted to know if you either knew how to find those for the fpls from that site or if you know another website that generates realistic flightplans

I am gonna train that approach on the casual server now, and I am gonna share how it went!

1st try:

Too far within the arc (10nm) → Late ILS interception