Tutorial Madeira Approach on Runway 05

Welcome to the tutorial for the Madeira Approach on Runway 05!

Airport Funchal/Madeira is an airport in the Atlantic. This port is used by many holidaymakers. But many of these vacationers don’t even know what they’re doing for a difficult approach. The approach is very special when approaching from the northeast. Because the planes make a 180 degree turn from there to land on Runway 05. This curve has to be flown manually by the pilots and that’s why the approach is so demanding. In this topic I would like to explain this approach and landing to you. I hope you like the topic!

What is exactly so hard ?

The difficult thing about the approach in Madeira is that you have to make a 180 degree curve before you can land on runway 05.

The pilot must maneuver the curve shown above. This requires a lot of skill and an extra license. The approach is extremely hard if the aircraft comes from the north-east, since it then has to fly a complete 180 degree curve. If it comes from the east or south it is not that difficult.

The island of Madeira is located in the middle of the Atlantic near the Canaries. It belongs to the country Portugal. Madeira Airport is served by many airlines. Among them are e.g. TUI, TAP and Condor.

Exact location of Madeira

Most of the planes that land on Madeira come from the lines shown. These lead to Europe, where most of the tourists come from.

Madeira Airport is not only known for a special approach, but also for its special construction. The length of the runway does not really pose any major challenges. Just don’t try to land there with an A380 or 747. But you shouldn’t try to land with an A340 or 777 either. The optimal aircraft is e.g. an A320 or a 737.

The preparation for a flight to Madeira differs in a few small things. Of course, you also have to consider the standard things. You also have to watch out for the winds because they can also be very hard in Madeira!

1st. Step:
You have to see which runway is active in Madeira. If runway 23 is active, you can exit this tutorial. Then you plan your route to Madeira. For this you can use SimBrief .

2nd. Step:
Now you have to choose your flight level first. You can use this tutorial for this. Then you add the SID for your departure airport.

3th. Step:
Now you have to add the STAR first. You can take LIDR1C or NIDU1C. These are best suited for the approach. Now you have to add the approach. We take R05-Z. This is the approach we want to

The route planning for the flight to Madeira is now complete. The heights have already been entered for the respective point. To use this you have to activate VNAV 1min before the ToD.

This is how the approach should look like

The Turn

The most important thing to consider when executing the approach is the 180 degree turn. You have to fly the plane from point MA526 manuel. You have to practice that often! When flying the manual curve you don’t have to follow the waypoints, but try flying a round curve. With this manual curve you have to try not to lose too much height because the runway was built on a rise. You shouldn’t make the curve too early either, because someday you won’t be able to align yourself with the runway. That takes practice!

This is how the manual curve should look

The Speed

You should handle your speed very carefully! You always have to remember that it is easier to take the curve more slowly. You should fly the curve between 150kts-160kts(This speed applies to the A320) because it makes your plane easier to turn. That’s why you have to slow down your plane before the Point MA526.

The height
Before you take over your plane manually, you don’t have to worry about the altitude, because the VNAV does this for you. If you practice manually from point , the VNAV will no longer do this. You have to do that yourself now. You should, however, continue to adjust to the heights that are at the points and try to keep them to a certain extent. But you shouldn’t fly too deep!

A few Tipps

Don’t take a plane that is too big!
(It is more difficult for large aircraft to take the curve.)

Right height and speed!

Practice, practice, practice!

☀️ Have fun trying! ☀️

Credit: Chart


Thank you so much for this tutorial! It will help me so much when I’m landing at Madeira.

Nice tutorial!!

SID (Standard Instrument Departure) for the departure airport, not a STAR (standard terminal arrival route) :)
Very good tutorial though! Will be very useful!

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Great tutorial!)
I landed there 3 times and can say that it’s really hard to land there without preparation. But with your tutorial people now can land there easily ;)

Moved it to #tutorials for you. Nice work!


Instead of this RNAV approach one can also fly the visual approach via the outbound radial and the chart you gave above, which is the ‘classic‘ way to do it. Really nice tutorial though! Thanks for sharing!

It‘s also best to do this fully configured, which means gear down, flaps set for landing and final approach speed.

Fun fact!
with an airbus if you NEED to bank more than 30 degrees on approach, the gear needs to be down to allow this

but not for boeing!

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I am on way to Madeira, and just saw this! I am also landing on runway 5!

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Thanks to everyone for the feedback!

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Do you have any ideas or wishes which approach and landing should I present next?

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Maybe the Innsbruck circle to land on RWY08.

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Great tutorial! Glad to see it’s been updated for application of 20.1 features unlike the old one that was posted in 2018. I second the LOWI 08 circling approach recommendation, I’ve done it many times in IF and it never gets old.

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Sion is really cool (both ways), but even more special if landing in eastern direction. Thanks!

Thank you for all the suggestions! I have to admit that I have not yet tackled any of the approaches. But I will do my best.

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Very useful for my next fly:)

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Thank you for the feedback!

This should be bumped up for the Saturday schedule.

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Thanks for the positive feedback! It would of course be very cool if this happened :)

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