Flying IFR with winds at Honolulu (experience)

So, I was Hawaiian 202 (was actually supposed to be HAL 101) on a Boeing 717, and I was flying from PHTO to PHNL, when I was arriving at PHNL, I did not expect the fog to come that quick, and I am not very experienced flying IFR with crosswinds in low visibility. Needless to say, I spun out landing. Worse was that it was in expert server, I backed out as soon as Tower told me to expedite. I should have went around and tried again, but I am now finished, and will be back on soon as Hawaiian 101 PHNL-PHTO.

Previous flights with low visibility I landed ok with minimal winds. I guess I should train more. Any thoughts on how I should have handled the situation?


Gone around, like you said. Would’ve prepared you a bit more flying with the crosswind for 5 extra minutes.


Become familiar with landing on runways with approaches. Learn how to interpret the triangle (glideslope) and the needle (ILS) prior to landing at an airport with active ATC. Saves everyone time.


The best thing to do in that situation would be to go around and try again. If the second approach isn’t any better, then divert to an airport with better visibility. Safety first.

To practice, fly on the Casual Server with same conditions, or pull up METARs and set the same conditions at the field on Solo mode before attempting on Training or Expert Servers.


When in doubt, go around. Never force a landing. As in real life it doesn’t end well most of the time.

I would recommend flying with a plane that has APPR but I would recommend practising with APPR if you haven’t already

Flying with the APPR mode, does not make you a better pilot. That does not require any skill other than pushing a button.

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Go around is definitely number one choice if your landing is shady. If your needing extra help on IFR @Mark_Denton has made a plethora of great videos on you tube. Or im sure anyone of the fine pilots in the community including myself would be willing to help you out. Takes lots of practice. I had to do two go arounds in Hawaii today myself crosswinds are a challenge for any pilot.

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APPR has it’s limitations and can’t be used in quite a number of scenarios anyway. Then as mentioned above, it does nothing for a pilot to build skill for those situations. Just practice, practice and more practice. You can never stop learning in aviation :D

Dont think of “Going Around” as a bad thing. It shows good judgement and is always the safest option when in doubt. Practice make perfect, use Solo mode to exercise your skills with the ILS. Start in something slow like a 172 and put the weather down to 5 miles. Hone your skills on tracking the needle initially with your VS set to 600 fpm. This will give you a constant descent while learning to track the needle (CdI). Once you perfect this learn to track the GS (Triangle) by setting your hdg on Auto pilot and learning how to find a pitch attitude that will consistently keep you on the Glide slope.

Once these two are mastered put them together and try with the visibility lower (3 miles, 1mile, 350M)

Eventually it’ll become second nature!

Happy Landings



[quote=“DeerCrusher, post:7, topic:100867”]
Flying with the APPR mode, does not make you a better pilot
[/quote] why does that matter?

Because he wants to become more experienced with these conditions. Simply pushing the APPR button doesnt give you this experience. I only use APPR in the worst of the worst conditions, and even then I will have had one manual landing attempt before that.

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Set Your minimums, if you don’t see the runway by the time you get to a specific altitude or distance then call a go around, listen for instructions and try again. Also what works for me is little changes and trying not to chase the needle, same with the rudder, a little goes a long way.

Sounds like you had a difficult landing ether way

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It’s a good lesson also to continually monitor the weather (view the METAR) on your flight so you can plan ahead and be prepared for the conditions st your destination.

As you say ‘the fog came in quickly’ I’m assuming you mean within seconds? On the 08 approaches at PHNL, the nature of the weather feature in IF means you experience the PHJR weather (as you fly straight over it) until about a 2NM final on the 08’s at PHNL, so you need to be prepared for the different weather that will suddenly be upon you on short final! Often it’s a 10-15 knot wind difference etc

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I use APPR when it’s foggy or atleast when the visibility is put down to 2km sometimes I even use APPR when there are no winds and the visibility is above 30km

You could have gone around, as said above, or you can practice with the ILS landing system, if airport and aircraft is equipped.

the quick changing weather in Hawaiian region is one of the reasons I enjoy flying there more than many other regions! Usually file my flight plan when at PHTO to land at PHNL using one of the “8’s” but by the time I am cruise and I recheck the METAR for PHNL I often have to change my flight plan.

As I gain more virtual flight hours I now know when I need to do a Missed Approach, Go Around, slow down etc where previously I might have pressed on and had a Close Quarters or a marginal to bad landing.

Love this forum with all the great advise from virtual and real pilots as well, learn so much! Thanks @heavydriver


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