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747-400 ILS landing help

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I normaly fly the smaller jets (757's and smaller) but yesterday I decided to fly one of my POSKY 747-400's (Sydney-Fiji). Everything went fine except for the landing, the plane would not capture the ILS and I had to declared a miss 6 times before I gave up.I got the ILS freq and tuned the Freq on the NAV1 radio, turned on NAV1 about 10 miles out, Then I set the NAV/GPS switch to NAV My altitude was 2100 ft (ATC told me to desend to 2100 ft til established on the localizer), then I pressed the APR button as I entered the glideslope. But the plane never caught the ILS, what am I doing wrong with the 747? Going to slow maybe? Not trimming the plane enough maybe? (Im using a 747 panel made by Jorge Salas, if that makes a difference)After I gave up I set up one of my 737's to land at Fiji, and the plane captured the ILS perfectly the very first time.

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Were you coming at the ILS from below or above it? If you were above it and trying to capture it, it won't happen :-).Now for the incredibly obvious question - if the A/P wouldn't do it, why would you not simply disconnect it as you start to approach the LOC and hand fly it down? The '47 is a very nice airplane to hand fly, and it is pretty "scary" (virtually at least :-) ) to think that one can't land unless one has an autopilot. Speaking somewhat tongue-in-cheek here, but at the same time.... (can you tell I'm an "old guy"?? :-hah)Glenn

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Well ATC told me to desend to 2100 feet until established on the localizer, so that's what I did I stayed at 2100 feet and then put on the APR and other stuff when I was in the glide slope.And why didn't I simply disconnect it as I started to approach the LOC and hand fly it down? Because evrytime I try laning the 747's without the autopilpt I never make a good landing with them (That's one reson why I hardly fly the 747's) I almost always land very hard and damage the engines (smoke and sparks coming from the engines with the POSKY visual effects). :-lol

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Ahh, try when you are on your intercept heading (not your LOC heading) selecting the APPR mode at that time (HDG hold should already be on). The aircraft will hold the heading until the LOC starts to centre and then will start the turn onto the LOC course. At the same time (or soon thereafter), your GS needle should start coming down, and as soon as it gets near the centre, the ALT hold (which should be on also) will automatically disconnect and the aircraft should start descending on the ILS from there (in FS, GS capture is never a "pretty thing" I'm afraid, but it will do it eventually). It sounds like you are hitting the APPR too late and the aircraft flies through the GS and therefore never intercepts it.As for hand flying it, practice :-). Get some performance charts (they can be found at AVSIM or Flightsim) and fly the bird by the numbers according to the weight. A fully loaded 747 (well, max landing weight anyway) will require a fair bit of power and your approach speed will be in the neighbourhood of about 180 kts with a Vref of around 150 to 160 or so. Empty (just passengers and min fuel) your Vref will drop to around 125 to 135 or so, and you'll have to adjust for that, but then she'll try to float a whole lot more on you. Just sounds like you are maybe too heavy on landing and maybe too slow. Give it a shot and see how it goes. Good luck,Glenn

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>It sounds like you are hitting the APPR too late>and the aircraft flies through the GS and therefore never>intercepts it.>Well I set up to do some touch and goes with the 747-400 at Kansai and you were right, I was hitting the APPR too late. This time I clicked on th APPR button very early and the plane caught the glide slope evrytime.When is the time to press the APR button? Usually I press it like 5 or so miles out, and it works everytime when I'm flying the smaller planes. I guess with the 747 you need to press the APR button earlier.

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Sounds good :-). Yeah, really you can select it anytime once you are within 30 miles of the airport if you really want. The aircraft will continue to follow the heading bug (even if you change it) until it senses a movement from the LOC, then it will capture that. I generally wait until I'm about 15 miles out and on an intercept course (30 degrees off the LOC course for the bigger planes like jets and whatnot - I also try to intercept the LOC at least 10 miles out with the 747 as it takes a while to get that thing to turn) with most of my manoeuvering done except for the turn onto the LOC. The danger of selecting it too soon is that if you pass through the GS or LOC on the way to your intercept course (i.e. if ATC were to vector you through the ILS - not likely but it can happen), then the A/P will pick up on the ILS as you go by and try to intercept it from there. One thing though, in something like a 747 (or 737, 757, etc) you have to remember you are moving along at 3 to 4 miles a minute until almost at the FAF. Things happen in a hurry at those speeds. You have to plan ahead with these machines, as you know. The difference is that the 747's payload is in some cases more than the GTOW of the lighter aircraft like 737's. That's a lot of mass, and you don't turn it on a dime, or adjust any part of the flight regime quickly for that matter. Set up well ahead and you should be fine. One last thing though - PRACTICE HAND LANDING IT :-)!! There can be times in very rough air when the A/P just isn't going to hold it no matter what you do, and you can't really say you are piloting an airplane unless you can hand fly it below 10,000 feet, including (especially!) landing it. It'll save on a lot of frustration and aborted flights at the very end if you can handle the machine yourself. Enjoy :-)Glenn

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