How to land a steam gauge 172 without HUD

How do you land/approach a runway on a steam gauge 172 without using HUD on an airport without ils?

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Having flown the C172 irl, when initiating the flare, just line the engine cowling/dashboard with the end of the runway/horizon, keep applying back pressure to maintain this attitude and let it settle on the ground. Approach speed is 65kts, reduce thrust to idle over the threshold.

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If it’s the cockpit you’re struggling with, this may help you:


When flaring you should hear a stall warning beep and then touch down. Thats what I do IRL


I mean. How do you get vertical or horizontal guidance down to the touchdown zone?

When I fly irl its all visual and looking out side. With experience you get to learn and to see if your to high or low on a RWY

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Have a look at this
Unless you’re on a GPS approach which is a lot more likely in the C172, in that case do what @Chris_Hoss said

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Do you want to learn how to use the instruments in a steam gauge or fly visual without any instruments?

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Same here, forgot to mention it.

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Hi, @Chris_Hoss Yes i would like to learn how to use the instruments to land in a steam gauge

Lots of information written above with using the steam gauges, if you still have any more troubles in how to use it we will be happy to help

Its easy, “Fly the damn plane” as my instructor says.

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Lateral: There is a pin above the artificial horizon. That’s center
Vertical: PAPI lights are a thing, other than that, aim the vertical center of the compass at the start of the runway.
Of course adjust as necessary.

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MaxSez: Watch PAPI inbound. Red&White aviators delight all Red yr Dead…, “Round Out” then “Flair” at the Threshold or your chosen LZ. (Round Out= level wings when aligned with with center line over the Threshold, de-Crab/Slip as necessary” always, it’s a must do. Eye Ball Scan as runway expands in the grove. Throttle back as ground effect sets in over LZ. Listen for the horn. Side windows have a purpose here, judge height during scan.
(Instrument Scan, Steam; Eye Balls, Speed, Turn & Bank & Altimeter thats all it takes at Round Out)


Lots of good answers in this thread! I’m going to add a little from personal experience:

First, it’s important to know how to fly the airplane. Make sure you can hold speed and altitude when you’re way up in the air in your 172. Go practice this.

Once you feel confident flying around at a consistent altitude and airspeed (no autopilot), it’s time to start practice approaches. A good landing starts when you enter the pattern (if you don’t know what a traffic pattern is, google is your friend). Enter the downwind leg about 1000 feet above the airport and maybe a mile away.

Fly past the airport, and slow down to 80 knots as you start a slow descent. Lower flaps 10°. Once you’re 3-4 miles from the airport, turn to base leg, and slow to 70 knots. Lower flaps 20°.

When you judge it’s appropriate, turn to line up with the runway. Don’t be afraid to turn early! A wide, sweeping turn is better than a tight one. Slow to 60 knots and lower flaps to FULL.

At this point, it’s important to look around. How’s your speed, are you within 10 knots of your desired speed? How’s your angle? You don’t want to be wayyy too high so you’ll be diving at the airport, but you don’t want to be brushing the trees either. If you can, adjust so the lights next to the runway are red and white (both red means you’re low, both white mean you’re high).

If everything looks okay, continue toward the runway (if not, go around!). As you make your way in, try and maintain 60 knots and keep the runway where it is on your windscreen.

You’ll probably want to do this a few times to make sure you can make a stabilized approach. Once you’re confident, take it all the way it! Idle throttle about 10 feet off the ground, and float in.

Good luck!


Now, on to answering the actual question :)

To get visual vertical and horizontal guidance, look for the red and white lights to the left of the runway. If you don’t know how to use them, here is a helpful link:


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