Visual approach


I wanted to practice a visual approach so I got in contact with approach controller Manoel G (sorry, I didn’t find you so can’t PM directly). I followed guidance until airport then I got asked if airport was in sight. I answered Wilco but actually I still was not really able to locate the airport (I mean with my eyes, of course I saw it in the map). Controller told me again to report airport in sight then he told me to check tutorials. At that point I reported airport in sight even though I was not really able to see it…
What did I wrong ?

My callsign: N232IW




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If you can’t see the airport, say you can’t see the airport.


As far as I know, Manoel G is @MannyG. Contact him.

I would also recommend you to watch the visual approach tutorial:

Happy landings!

Is there a command for that ?


I think what he means to say is only use that command when the Airport is in sight not if you cant see the Airport even if its on your map only use the command when you see it from the cockpit window


I can reply to you right here so more people can take advantage…

I gave you check tutorials because I had you at 3,000ft a mile or two outside of the airport, asked to report airport in sight and you didn’t. Based on weather and distace I knew for sure you had airport in sight.

Two things are important - you report airport in sight, not runway. Second - in sight doesn’t have to be in front of you. If you look around and see the airport - that’s in sight. Anyway - thanks for bringing it to the forum! Happy landings!


Hi Manoel. It’s my eyes. I was not able to see it!! Even if it was my dream this experience means a real aviation carrier in real life was not for me.
Thanks for clarifying.


You should be able to zoom in ;)


Also, i know it doesnt completely simulate the realism of a visual approach, but sometimes you need to change your camera view to get a good view, from the cockpit you can’t always see the angle of intercept needed to see the airport. So switching cameras helps this, IRL, you’d have your co-pilot likely be able to see it as well


There’s also a view called cockpit #2, so you don’t have to peer around the actual cockpit. It looks just like the hud view but you can move the screen around and zoom in just like you would in cockpit view. Makes it easier to clearly see your surroundings.


Although @MannyG gave his explanation you did the correct thing by not reporting you had the airport in sight when you indeed did not. A lot of factors come into play when searching for the airport, are you too high and it’s below you. Are you too far away, ect. The best thing to do in this case where you where so close is just announce a missed approach. There is nothing wrong with that.

Reguardless both controller, and pilot are both learning this new approach.


Quick question on visual approaches, was inbound to CYUL with tower active but no approach. I called in to tower inbound on the visual. I was sequenced to enter downwind which I already was on and then hit with please check help pages. Did I do something wrong?

For simplicity purposes, visual clearances and requests will be handled with approach. Tower in IF doesn’t have the ability to give visual clearances or conduct visuals, so this is the normal response. Even if they did, it would be largely reliant on whether approach was active or not or if there are parameters qualifying tower to do so, which would make things incredibly confusing.

Thanks for asking!

Gotcha, can’t ask for the visual if no approach

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Correct. The same way tower can’t grant a visual for a different runway if there’s a change- because they can’t.

I don’t use zoom to identify the airport for a visual. I don’t imagine a pilot is going to grab the binoculars when trying to spot the airport. I know I can’t really say I see most airports until I’m say 5-6mi out without zooming.

Having said that, it begs the question, does the view in IF simulate what a pilot sees with the naked eye?

I’d be interested in hearing what a real world pilot has to say as far as a reasonable distance required to “see” the airport.

Is seeing the airport when you can barely detect something in the terrain, or should you see runways?


This may be true for commercial aviation - but I doubt it is true for GA. Not saying common, just saying it probably can / is used.

Here we are again talking RL vs IF. Well in real life pilots have many other reference points - they have buildings, airport towers, lights, etc…

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