(The Proper) Approach to KSAN

I have seen many people descend into KSAN in a strange and inaccurate way. That’s fine, however if you want to add that extra realism to IF, then I’ve made a tutorial on how to approach into KSAN using real world approach plates.

Your route would want to be

At RYAHH you will want to be at 5000 feet at 175kts, so if for example your cruise speed was 320kts and you’re at 15000 feet, you’ll want to slow to 175kts and descend at 1000fpm at 5 minutes 30 from the waypoint.

From RYAHH to DOUGA you want to maintain 5000ft. From DOUGA to VYDDA you will want to descend to 4000 feet and slow to 150kts when you reach VYDDA. Also, don’t intercept the ILS (VYDDA) without clearance.

Now, the approach into KSAN is non-precision, which means you don’t use a glide slope, and use landmarks and such to descend. We don’t have landmarks in IF, so it makes it harder. At VYDDA you must be 4000ft, then at OKAIN you must be 3600ft, CIJHI 2500ft and REEBO 2000ft. Now you should be able to see the runway and you can land!

If you cannot see the airport 2 minutes after passing REEBO go around, and DO NOT descend below minimums (640ft) before you are on final. Hope this helps! (contact me if you want the approach plate)
Happy flying!


Great information and thanks for taking the time to provide it. If able, can you attach the STAR? It may help some of our visual learners.


This is the LOC (easier to understand than the STAR)
(the image is a little blurry but here’s a link http://uk.flightaware.com/resources/airport/KSAN/IAP/LOC+RWY+27)



This is what I love most about the forums. Thank you for taking your time and sharing this.

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No problem! I love to help the community

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@Cas_ual… MaxSez: correct me if I’m wrong but I believe an “LOC” Plate is a “Loss of Control” Plate. Do you really recommend this one?

@Maxmustang True, but LOC also means Instrument landing System Localizer or LLZ

@Cas_ual… From “The Pilot’s Manual - Instrument Flying” 4th Ed, page 322: "If only the full ILS procedure is approved for a particular runway, and a localizer only approach without the use of a glideslope is not authorized, then the chart will carry the warning LOC ONLY N/A.

Think you need to review the book my friend. Bottom line: as I recall: an LOC Approach is an ILS Approach without the benefit of a Glide Slope. The ATC will call it on check in. This plate is not applicable to IF me thinks. Regards, Max

@Maxmustang That’s what I said, no glide slope, and I explained why. I also said it’s hard to do in IF, so I explained how you can do it.

@Cas_ual… Regrets, I had a brain fart and just skimmed your comment and concentrated on the Plate only. Mea culpa mea culpa. Your absolutely right, I stand corrected.

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Basically: The image at the top shows the route into the airport, and the diagram at the bottom with the slope shows your descent profile.

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@Rexton. MaxSez: Get a free copy of “The Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge” at faa.gov

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I see this approach everyday, sometimes it gets very crowded, and then sometimes you will see 20 planes takeoff at once after the airport opens for departures in the morning.

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Yes, usually you turn before it says NEXT WAYPOINT TURN Xdegrees. (correct me if I’m wrong here @Maxmustang) But real FMC’s plan a curve into your flight plan for things like this

Lol I think he means 20 planes in a row not at once. After an airplane lands, 20 airplanes will depart before another arrival.

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Great post, and something I always follow on approach to KSAN.

Now, to just get the approach controllers to follow real world procedures and we’ll be getting somewhere.