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Gregg_Seipp

What's your standard ILS flow?

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First, let me say that we need an Instrument Flying subforum.

 

Guys,

 

I've watched a fair number of videos, read articles, etc. and I see a good amount of variance on this topic.  What's your standard mental checklist and flow when flying an ILS?  Flying it and getting it right is so much more than keeping the needles aligned.  There's altitude awareness, preparation for possible missed approach, go around, etc. Also, there's the knowing your airplane aspect.  Some airplanes, when you arm the approach it will stay on heading until intercepting...some will turn to better intercept immediately.  So, here are my questions:

  • When do you perform your checklists. 
  • What acronyms do you use to assist you? 
  • What do you double check? 
  • What are your important callouts?

 

Thanks,

Gregg

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When do you perform your checklists.

 

The landing checklist should be done with the aircraft fully configured for landing. On a visual approach this could be in the downwind or base legs. On an ILS this could be past the FAF.

 

 

 

What acronyms do you use to assist you?

 

AIRBAG, to be performed before T/D. Usually I'll do it when 200nm away from the airport.

 

ATIS - Check the weather for the destination

Install the Approach - Program it into the FMC

Radios - Set all the appropriate navaids, radials, etc.

Briefing and Bugs - Brief the whole approach, landing, taxiing and go-around, estimate your Vapp, set your minimums etc

Approach Checklist (or Descent checklist if appropriate). The approach checklist can be done when descending below Transition Level

Go-Around (the go-around should be installed in "I" and briefed in "B" though, just a reminder).

 

 

 

What do you double check?

 

Minor things like Autobrakes, Lights etc. I usually do a general scan of the cockpit before disconnecting the AP, that way I can focus on flying. The "important" things like Gear, Flaps etc. will be taken care of by the checklists.

 

I also usually check my Vref again because it's likelly that it has dropped a knot or two since the approach was briefed before T/D.

 

 

 

What are your important callouts?

 

Not an exhaustive or definiteve list at all, but something along these lines:

 

Mode changes on the FMA: "GS alive", "GS capture" etc

Landing gear down

Flaps 20, Flaps 30...

Vapp set

Missed Approach Altitude set

At 1000ft or 500ft AFE you can callout "One thousand, Stabilized, Continue"

At MDA(H)/DA(H) you call out either "Landing" or "Go-Around"

At touchdown: Speedbrake up, Reverse thrust set, Autobrake normal

Rollout: 80 knots reverse idle, 60 knots manual braking.

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First, let me say that we need an Instrument Flying subforum.

 

I'd love to see this.

 

Gregg, I think the answers also depend on what you typically fly. 

 

I use simming extensively to supplement my RW training (just about done IR, only written and long x/c remain) and I fly about eight different aircraft. Each is slightly different, so you may find that you have a "procedural flow" which is the same from craft to craft, and then tactical checklists based on aircraft specifics.

 

With GA, a lot of people make their own modified checklists (mine actually has "take fuel tester" added because I always forget it!) and doing so, I believe, is a very good exercise provided care is taken to avoid changing manufacturer or AD procedures and requirements.

 

[edit]

 

Whoops - forgot to answer some of your questions...

 

Checklists: Big one... the whole flight. Even on GA. In certain longer cruise phases, checklists are repeated. You may also find that you like to have a note about when to proceed to the next one, e.g. cruise to descent, or when within certain phases you will check systems and communications such as ATIS.

 

Acronyms I don't use too many acronyms during flight because I mostly use checklists. Here is a great reference though! 

 

Double-check: everything, based on checklist. Some stuff I regularly check anyway, such as gauges, engine temps, LANDING GEAR :) , etc.

 

Callouts: Because the GA stuff I fly is quite less complicated than airliners, there aren't nearly as many. That said, even when I'm by myself, I read aloud as I step through my checklists, and call out airspeed alive, rotation, 500 agl, gear (or "gear fixed"), flaps, pump, and then target speeds when nearing approach and on approach.

 

I may be forgetting something here, I don't have a checklist ;)

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AIRBAG, to be performed before T/D. Usually I'll do it when 200nm away from the airport.



ATIS - Check the weather for the destination

Install the Approach - Program it into the FMC

Radios - Set all the appropriate navaids, radials, etc.

Briefing and Bugs - Brief the whole approach, landing, taxiing and go-around, estimate your Vapp, set your minimums etc

Approach Checklist (or Descent checklist if appropriate). The approach checklist can be done when descending below Transition Level

Go-Around (the go-around should be installed in "I" and briefed in "B" though, just a reminder)

 

Good one and interesting.  Going to save that.  Never imagined you could get an ATIS 200nm from destination.  I guess that's where you get the approach to expect.  The go-around is interesting, often not thought about.  I've rarely ever seen someone take a published missed on an approach...almost always vectors but not safe to assume, I guess. 

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Never imagined you could get an ATIS 200nm from destination

 

Yeah, it's a VHF transmission, so you can start to get it at about 200nm from destination, depends on the altitude you're flying; and other things such as transmitter power, atmosphere condition etc, but basically your altitude. The higher you fly, the further away you can read it ;)

 

The theoretical range will be 1.23 times the square root of your altitude in feet. Say you're flying FL350, about 230 nm.

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Acronyms I don't use too many acronyms during flight because I mostly use checklists. Here is a great reference though!

 

Wow that's a lot of stuff.  Yeah when I was flying GA I was flying pretty simple airplanes.  In the sim I get to fly all the airplanes I want and, trust me, none of them are the ones I used to fly LOL.  So, speeds are higher, much more planning is required and I like tips that help me do that in an organized 'enough' kind of way.  I only got five hours into IR training...not far.  It's interesting to know how experienced instrument pilots think.

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he go-around is interesting, often not thought about. I've rarely ever seen someone take a published missed on an approach...almost always vectors but not safe to assume

 

Exactly, not safe to assume. Planning for the go-around and missed approach is ESSENTIAL. You must assume it's another phase of the approach, just as the intermediate approach or finall approach.

 

You must always refer to the specific chart/plate of the approach you intend to fly. There will ALWAYS be instructions for the missed approach. In the event of a go-around, you will fly the missed approach as published UNLESS the ATC tells you otherwise.

 

You should also brief for the event of a go-around below MDA(H) or DA(H), since in that case you're "outside" of the protected airspace. Depending on the aircraft, the airport and so on you'll establish a different procedure. A typical one is to fly the Engine Out SID.

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