ILS - Approach mode or nah?

Just want to see how everyone one here shoots their approaches!

Do you use approach mode (APPR) when shooting an ILS approach, or do you fly it by hand?
  • APPR mode all the way down untill the wheels hit the runway
  • APPR mode initially, but land it manually
  • Fly the approach with VNAV, but land it manually
  • Fly the entire approach by hand and land it manually

0 voters

When using APPR mode, but NOT for the entire approach, at what altitude (AGL) do you disengage APPR mode to land manually?
  • More 2500 ft
  • 2500 ft
  • 1000 ft
  • 500 ft
  • less than 500 ft

0 voters

If you have any tips you’d like to share on how you shoot a smooth ILS approach please feel free to share below!


Interesting poll, seems like I’m one of a surprisingly small minority sticking to handflying. I usually turn off VNAV and LNAV on base. To do the 30° intercept I turn off the HDG, and once I’ve caught the glide slope and fully established on the ILS I turn the autopilot off completely and handfly it all the way down. So much fun :)


I hand fly when I’m not doing an ILS or RNAV, which is most of the time. Only time I do ILS is when visibility is poor or it is twilight (most dangerous time of day statistically).

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Sometimes, I will tune into the ils, but just use it for guidance and hand-fly it


I hand fly the entire thing, and I disengage autopilot at 15,000ft every time.

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See I always seem have problems sometimes when I disengage the AP while I’m on final with the glideslope. Even if I calibrate right before I disengage the AP the plane wants to stall or take a nose dive a lot of the times immediately after I disengage and I have to add major corrections to get back on final. Not sure what I’m doing wrong lol

I know this issue. I think the combination of the device position and “neutral angle”, calibration and trim is the secret of preventing that. I hold my device in a standard position during takeoff and landing and only play on a desk to ensure maintaining this position. It has been a while since I had a dive or pitch-up after disengaging the autopilot by now.

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that seems like a trimming issue if im not mistaken.

Sometimes the appr is very aggressive

Yeah I usually keep my iPad on my desk when I land and takeoff as well. It’s on an Otterbox iPad fold and stand case so it doesn’t move but it flips out when I disengage AP, even after calibration lol

@Alan_Scott usually use anywhere between 10 and 25 percent trim on my approaches, depending on my load factor at the time of approach and the aircraft

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I’m old school. Hand fly it all the way.
I home-practiced for my IRL instrument rating on IF for intercepting and following an ILS, and I’ve kinda stuck with that ever since.

I always repeatedly tell myself “It’s a nice sunny day in the attitude indicator.”


Usually I turn off LNAV and VNAV after I turn onto final and am straight with the runway, then turn off all autopilot except speed. I turn off my auto throttle once I’m about to cross the runway threshold. So I do a sort of combination.

I just hand fly from 15,000ft

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The right trim, before calibration, is when the purple thing has gone! 😉

Well what trim setting would you recommend? Because when AP is activated adjusting the trim doesn’t change the magenta strip on the trim tab at all, I’ve tried trimming and it only seems to make the disengagement affects worse lol

Lol yeah ain’t nobody got time for that



Apparently me and @Captain_Piotr do, lol. 😜

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Honestly it really depends on my mood and where I am, I find it a lot harder to hand fly now with my new iPad. My old 10.5 inch iPad was easier to hand fly and control with than my new 13 inch, its a lot heavier too lol. But if I’m flying into a really busy airport on ES I usually leave it on AP and adjust the AP settings per ATC instruction so I don’t get behind the aircraft and get yelled at lolol

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I use approach mode if the minimums require it.

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Depends on the plane I usually trim the MD-11F up to 62%