For instrument landing do i tune in to localizer at front or rear of the runway?

if i want to land on a specific runway for instance L27, and there is a localizer at both ends, do i tune in to the one on the L27 end or the one on the other end?

Also, if it isn’t too much… how do i use the ‘back course’ function?

Each end of a runway will have a separate ILS frequency, so if you want to land on Runway 09 and that runway has ILS then always use that.
Some runways will only have ILS at one end of the runway, this is where the back course button comes in handy. For example, if you want to land on Runway 27 but it has no ILS, however the opposite end (09) does, then you can tune the ILS for 09 and enable Backcourse which will simply invert 09’s localiser (lateral guidance) and you can follow that. It won’t give you a glideslope though so the descent still has to be done manually.


Thank you so much for the help. I’m loving this so far!

Front (nearst to you)

I’m still getting the hang of this. sometimes i can set the localizer frequency and set ‘nav’ on and it will go to it. Other times, the plane turns away from the airport/runway. any ideas?

think this is a bug? or is it me?

In the FMC ‘appr’ page, there is a box labelled ‘crs’ or ‘course’. Type in the course given in the ILS box on the chart. (Usually the runway heading).

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Not sure if the approach gate concept is implemented, but the ILS frequency should be input to the nav radio at least 10 miles back from the runway. That gives the autopilot time to get on the localizer. You also have to be below the ILS glideslope to capture it.

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@Donws1957, depending on the autopilot system, there should be two buttons for ILS approaches. LOC and APCH or APP. You do not use NAV for the ILS.

As others stated, the setup is important. If you’re using an FMS type system, selecting the approach in the “box” should automatically input the ILS frequency and the inbound course. This may not be fully functioning in some of MSFSs default aircraft. If you’re not on an FMS, then you need to tune the ILS on the NAV1 frequency. Use the OBS function to dial the inbound course, and make sure you have your FDs on and you are displaying the ILS information on the PFD. As for flying the approach, unless getting vectors to the approach fix, you would:

  1. Use HDG mode to plan an intercept course to the localizer. No more than 30 degrees. If you are using charts, plan to intercept at either the IAF (Instrument Approach Fix) or IF (Intermediate Fix), depicted on the charts. This will provide you with an intercept altitude for Glideslope capture as well.

  2. ARM the localizer once on course. Careful here. This may be buggy in the sim but in the real world you would hit the “LOC” button. This would ARM the localizer capture function. Important to ensure your flight directors are on and you have your display mode set to display the instrument approach information. Once close enough, the autopilot will start to capture and lock on to the Localizer.

  3. Next comes glideslope interception. You would typically be coming in at or slightly below the glideslope. If you arrive at the IF or IAF at the published altitude, you can hit the APCH button on the autopilot. This serves to capture the glideslope and track the localizer. You’re now captured on the ILS and the aircraft will follow it inbound.

Our ATC in the sim is not this good but here’s how this would sound from ATC as they cleared you for the approach to 16R at KSEA “N1234, you are 5 miles from AGANE (IAF), Turn right heading 030, maintain 5,000’ or above until established on the localizer, cleared ILS runway 16R approach”

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Again, thanks so much…i will try these. I’m trying one of the airports right now that i have done this successfuly to see how that goes.

Again, thanks for taking the time for the ‘very detailed’ instructions.


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