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Chris Catalano

Real Pilot Question

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Just took a real flight from Tampa to NY Islip (Long Island). After the flight,I asked the pilot if he landed ILS on the ILS rwy. He said he did a visual approach. QUESTION:If ATC gives a pilot clearance for a visual approach for an ILS rwy, what then is the role of all the istruments showing glideslope and localizer information? Is it just used to cross check the pilot's visual data?Also - in this instance - can I still USE the localizer & glide slope indicator to track track the runway with the auto pilot, or do I HAVE to track manually by hand flying the plane?Also - generally speaking - do my minimums change if I am asked to fly the approach visually? Will the approach plate show higher minumums for visual approaches?Can I request from ATC that I fly the same runway using an ILS approach if they want me to do it visually?Lastly, what does a real airline pilot do when asked to execute a visual approach on a runway that is not ILS equiped and not equipped with VASI or PAPI? Is ALL the info the pilot needs on the approach plate in this case?Sorry for the numbers of questions, but it's amazing how one real flight can generate so many questions for a simmer like me.Chris Catalano

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>>>If ATC gives a pilot clearance for a visual approach for an>ILS rwy, what then is the role of all the istruments showing>glideslope and localizer information? Is it just used to>cross check the pilot's visual data?>Chris,My answer may be incomplete but this what I know. First, there are two kinds of visual approaches, "published" or non-published. For example "Quiet Bridge" approach at KSFO would be an example of a published visual approach. You have to fly it exactly as published on the chart. There may be specific turns for example for noise abatement built into the approach. Such approaches often have high visibility minimums -for example 7 miles - way over the minimum VFR 3 miles. For a non-publised visual aproach you pretty much fly it as you want subject to ATC's instructions. But regardless what kind of visual approach it is pilots can always use (and they often do) other navigation aids to help them with the approach. So if they want to cross-check with localizer/GS how they are doing - it is perfectly ok and it is a good habit.Michael J.WinXP-Home SP2,AMD64 3500+,Abit AV8,Radeon X800Pro,36GB Raptor,1GB PC3200,Audigy 2http://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/747400.jpg


Michael J.

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Guest Lenny Zaman

most of the times a visual approach will be preceeded by vectors for a final leg, or an instrument procedure. Basically if you are on a procedure and your visual approach is approved, you will have to keep on the instrument procedure untill you establish clear visual contact with the runway. But a visual approach is supposed to be without ILS, meaning, you look OUTSIDE for reference as to your descent rate. also checking your speed once in a while. but mainly, if they still use the ILS though they are using it as a reference...Cheers (i'm all into visual approaches asof this moment (30 of the 170 hours of my training logged ;))

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Guest tmetzinger

The purpose of giving an airliner a visual approch (or for an airliner to request one) is to reduce the need for ATC to separate aircraft using mandatory distances.When a visual approach is in use, that means the pilot in command of the aircraft has accepted all responsibility for:Finding the runway and landing on it safely.Not hitting anything else.It does NOT preclude the use of the autopilot or tracking the glideslope/localizer. Remember that for reasons of safety nearly every airline requires the aircraft to be on a stabilized approach for the last few miles to the runway. This causes operators to favor using the instrument landing system and autopilots even in severe clear weather.The difference is likely to be intercepting the localizer and glideslope at 3 miles, instead of 8 miles, with an aircraft 2 miles ahead instead of 4 miles ahead. In the little airplanes I fly, if there's an ILS for the runway I'm using, I have it tuned and identified and set up, and if I get the visual I just head for the runway and get into the landing configuration a few miles out, and then intercept the ILS and handfly it down.There's nothing inherently inefficient about the localizer/glideslope itself, it just leads you down a smooth path to the runway.

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Guest BobLee

One small addition to these answers. A visual approach is still an IFR procedure, not a VFR one. The clearance has not been cancelled.See the Pilot/Controller Glossary here: http://www.faa.gov/ATpubs/PCG/V.HTM

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