What’s a glide slope?

Sorry for lookin like a noob, but what’s a glide slope? Is it that red cone?


It’s the -3° (usually) slope on an ILS (Instrument Landing System) approach to a runway. The glideslope indicator on your HUD’s right side can tell you whether you’re on it or not, when tuned into an ILS.



The glide slope, or glide path, is, in the most basic explanation, the angle of descent to the runway. Here’s a picture as an example.

You know those red and white lights beside the runway? Well those are called PAPI lights (Precision Approach Lighting System) and they help to guide you to the runway. For an example, here’s how they work.


Let me know if you have any more questions!

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Watch captain joes video about the papi lights.
Maybe this can help you.


@Akms_Aviation. MaxSez: My Friend, Everybody on IF who’s anybody reads the IF Bible! You can have your own copy for free!
Just link to faa.gov and select publications; Then download the: “Airplane Flying Handbook”. It’s the IF Bible for those that dare.

If you’re still struggling a bit to understand, think of it as a slide that leads down to the runway.

The airplane “rides” the slide and it ends on the runway when the aircraft touches down. The slide is angled to provide a smooth and stable ride.


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