Use of ILS

Hey people, I was just spotting some landings on the expert server and I was wondering how do you use the ILS?

I’ll explain - at the beginning when I started flying on IF, I used the ILS basically for every single landing all the way down to the runway and disengaged the autopilot with the touchdown. Now I usually get myself stabilized using the ILS and disengage it at 2,500ft and fly the rest of the approach manually.

Just curious, how do you have it in your case?


I usually disengage autopilot around ~1000ft AGL and hand fly it down. I find it more interesting and fun getting to know the planes better


I normally disable autopilot at like 4000 feet and fly in manually depending on the day I let the autopilot do the work


Usually I let autopilot fly until 1500 feet and then I hand fly

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In most cases, pilots add NAV1 for runway they are using and let the APPR land the plane on its own.

However, in order to get realistic feel and control of the plane, I usually disengage auto pilot as soon as i am about to reach half of the cone. Things like winds and visibility add excitement to the flying experience.
Pro tip: Turn off the HUD to get more realistic feel, however I am not responsible if your passengers sues you for bad landing. 😆


I actually fly without the HUD, using virtual cockpit instrumentation only and it is a lot of fun (adds to realism as well). But try to do it with 747-8, where cockpit instruments are missing and the view is very restricted 😂 not gonna lie, missed the runway couple of times already


It normally disengage autopilot at around 3,000ft to 2,500ft AGL. I use the ILS all the way to guide me

Tried landing once without HUD, I stalled 5 seconds later. Don’t know how Dan manages his landings without it.

I turn it off when theres one white and one red on the PAPI’s so I can get a feel for the plane ya know

I almost always go to manual when the runway is in sight, simply for the thrill of hand flying at that most critical phase. I mostly let the AP do the more tedious repetitive stuff before that.

I use very intricate Autopilot procedures on the MD-11; the plane I use most of the time.
In general I will fly the entire localizer by hand, and use ILS as a guide.

Normal procedures call for:
→ Full AP until 25nm out, then disengaged SPD AP to manually slow down to IAF (250kt->180kt).
→ 2nm before the localizer, fully disengage the AP and fly by hand, also Tune source to Nav1.
→ If ILS and APPR procedures, level off at 3000AGL 5nm before the localizer with ILS tuned and then SPD AP off when the localizer is intercepted and APPR is doing it’s thing.

In some special cases I will disengage RNAV and HDG AP and fly into a turn manually, then I will re-engage full AP once leveled off, but I will leave all the other AP options on.
I only use this for a very tight base or pattern turns into final, it allows for a much more stable approach then what the AP could do.

These are the basics of what I use, but in general I have found these methods work very well with other aircraft too.
You can learn more on my MD-11 guide linked on my profile.

Add air speed as an option in your bottom panel. Practise will make us perfect.

I usually disengage at around 10,000ft and fly her right down. What’s the fun in having auto pilot on 24/7? Fly the plane!

Spoke to a UA A320 Flight not too long ago and she too disengages at around 12-10,000ft and fly it straight down. It’s your personal preference, but the thrill of hand flying never gets old, even IRL.

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I think that is best to disable autopilot at around 1000ft AGL.
This idea using also a real pilot