Airbus A320neo - I can't land

So I’m trying to fly an Airbus 320neo and I’ve watched several “autoland” tutorials but I simply can’t manage to land with the ILS. The autopilot just doesn’t do what it’s supposed to and I don’t understand what I’m doing wrong.

First things first: I choose my departure and arrival, and make a proper flight plan (IFR, high or low altitude airline), and I choose an approach at the destination airport. For example today I tried to fly from Madeira to Gibraltar. Seemingly everything is set properly in the flight plan (purple approach line, etc).

However, after takeoff I notice that when the autopilot is on, it never adheres to the altitudes that are set in the flight plan. I press the “engage managed altitude” button but the AP doesn’t do it. I end up having to always manually manage the altitude, and press “engage selected altitude” every time the ATC tells me to change. I don’t understand why. The AP manages the heading and speed but never the altitude. I have to add that the flight plan in the on-board computer seemingly lacks a lot of data. Altitude is missing from most waypoints, and it’s only set at a handful. I also don’t understand how it works and I couldn’t manually program the whole thing. It’s set as it is calculated on the world map, I don’t touch it.

Now, what I don’t understand even more is how I should set up the AP to land. When should I turn on the LS and Approach modes? When I turn on the LS data, the “diamonds” never appear on the display. Even more importantly, the ATC doesn’t tell me where should I descend. The AP just flies the planned route but doesn’t descend so I end up being too high and can’t land.

When exactly should I turn on the LS and Approach modes on the AP? There is absolutely no information on how to do this. Also, should I turn on the LOC mode, too? What is Constraint mode? Is it needed for the autoland function? I don’t understand any of this.

So my problem is that the AP can steer the plane in the right direction, but it doesn’t change altitude on its own and can’t properly approach the airport. I read about it and watched videos but I still don’t know in what order and when exactly should I press all these buttons.

How can I make the AP to change altitudes properly, is it possible at all? And what’s the common way to make it approach an airport and land?

Any help is appreciated.

Autoland isn’t supported on the default A320. Have you watched any tutorial flights on YouTube?

Yes, I watched this for example. What do you mean it’s not supported when it clearly works for the guy? Airbus A320 ILS Approaches Made Simple + Auto Land in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 | Tutorial - YouTube

He may be using the FBW mod. That’s a completely different aircraft. The default A320 doesn’t have autoland.

1 Like

But there is also an achievement in MSFS for landing with ILS.

ILS is not autoland. I recommend you watch some other tutorial videos that more clearly explain how things function.


I’m trying to replicate what the guy does in the video above, whatever the method is called. I can’t land manually due to my computer’s low performance so I’d like to set the AP to do it at the destination. I described my questions in the OP.

Why doesn’t the AP adhere to the different altitudes in the flight plan? How do I make it so?

On approach, what distance from the airport should I turn on the LS, LOC and Approach modes, if they’re all needed at all? Is it a problem if I turn them on too early, or is there a treshold from where they work?

I ask these things here because I’ve watched the tutorial videos but in-game things don’t work as those videos show. That’s why I said any help is appreciated. “Go watch videos” is not the advice I created this thread, sorry. I’m rather looking for some practical advice or what common practice others are used to, etc.


Are you seting the flight plan on the map or you put it in the MCDU manually?

The flight plan is generated on the world map. I choose departure and arrival airports, and approach to a runway for the latter.

How do you choose the approach? And do you recieve the ILS signal at all if you are near the airport? You can check it by pressing th LS button if you are near the arrival airport, and if you have put the arrival runway correctly on the beggining, your plane should automatically get the ILS frequency and then you have the small purple diamonds displaying on your PFD (glide slope and localizer)

i’m not a very proficient arm chair pilot but i tend to use charts and use somewhere around the entry point to the STAR as my TOD to descent until the IAF. i skip the holding pattern at the end there, simply because i’m not good yet at flying those but somewhere around there i tend to use the APR mode and simply follow the approach charts from the IF on. from there on it’s working like magic for me.

Ah! Now I see the approach choose option on the map :stuck_out_tongue: I always do it manually so I didn’t know there is such option.

So if you start the flight, do you have the ILS frequency on your MCDU? You can see it by pressing RADNAV button on the board computer and there is place with ILS/FREQ over it, if you have numbers there it should be ok

the ils frequency should be chosen automatically via MSFS “magic” when using its “flight planner”, hahaha

Yes, I choose the approach on the map. :slightly_smiling_face: I guess it fills in the ILS frequency in the MCDU but I never checked because I don’t know how to. I can scroll the flight plan up/down but don’t know how to check frequencies.

When I press the LS button “near the airport” (what should near mean? 10 NM? 5?) I never see the purple diamonds, only the blank HUD appears around the main display without them. So I don’t know if the plane picks up anything or not. Should I also turn on the LOC toggle?

If you want to check just press the button and numbers should be there if you did everything correctly

There should be a number, I dont have any because I didnt choose any arrival

If it is so then I would say it is not picking up any signals.

Good question :smiley: never actually thought about it, I just fire it up when I am on the STAR ( Standard Terminal Arrival Route, its the final route before the arriaval runway)

1 Like

The localizer signal emitted from the transmitter site at the far end of the runway is confined within an angular width between 3° and 6°. The localizer provides course guidance throughout the descent path to the runway threshold from a distance of 18 NM from the antenna between a height of 1000ft above the highest terrain along the approach path and 4500ft above the elevation of the antenna site.

Referenced Link

I’m starting to think that part of my ILS problems is that I wanted to land at Gibraltar, where the final approach is an S shaped route. The plane flies away from the runway before making a harsh last turn towards it. And it maybe doesn’t pick up the localizer signal because it doesn’t face the runway up until the very last moment before landing. Or maybe Gibraltar doesn’t even have ILS?

My other issue though: the AP doesn’t change altitude by itself. The altimeter is always set at 5000 ft by default and the AP reaches that, but doesn’t follow the flight plan. Why is this? How can I make the AP know when to climb/descend to what level? Isn’t this what “managed altitude mode” (up arrow) is for? The AP only reacts to the “selected altitude” (down arrow on the knob). The flight plan also doesn’t have any altitude data for most waypoints. And when I’m nearing my destination I have absolutely no reference about what flight level I should be at.

Hiya, yes the autopilot does not manage the altitude according to the flight plan, you must select it manually.

The altitudes / flight levels in the MCDU will appear as constraints on the PFD flight guidance.

1 Like

I dont think so, my ILS always picks up signals no matter where I am relative to the runway

I would like to throw an eye on the MCDU, you need to put in the flight level manually on the init page

  • @CroppingPoem113 said you have the altitudes of the point appear as constraints, you need to click the constraints button to see them (above the navigation display range and mode switches)

@dreampage might I suggest you A) definitely download the free FlyByWire A32NX mod, and B) watch some of 320SimPilot’s videos on YouTube.

He explains things very clearly and watching one of his live streams in the A32NX will give you a really good overview of a flight.

He has a great tutorial on autoland :grimacing:

1 Like