ILS/ATC Landing Issue

Today I took a beautiful crossing of Lake Superior from Thunder Bay, Ontario (CYQT) to Houghton, Michigan (KCMX). Flying a TMB 930 on an ILS route with AP and NAV on I followed a perfect route. It was a beautiful day over the lake, however, it was free of ice which I know cannot be possible yet. As expected by the plan, I passed over the airport then made a nice 180 loop lining up with the runway to land to the north.

ATC got me to the final approach altitude about 3k and quit helping. With the “green” nav lit I hit the approach mode button and nothing happened. Seeing the runway approaching I forced it into a dive while the ATC warned me about being below assigned altitude and even yelled at me to expedite my climb as my plane landed. I was on my own from there on to find a parking spot.

Did I miss doing something?

A couple of things to try:

  1. Be at about 1500’ AGL when you hit the Initial Approach Fix.
  2. Switch to APR at that moment, but not before.
  3. If using the in-game auto-tuning of your NAV radios, verify that the ILS frequency is accurate - you can use free approach plates on the Internet like SkyVector.
  4. The sim should switch from GPS (assuming this was primary method of guidance) to ILS NAV1 automatically, but if you do it yourself too early, guidance may not be picked up.
  5. The AP should pick up guidance approximately 1NM before Final Approach Fix (Green Marker on right starts going down, aircraft pitch follows, Magenta for RNAV guidance).

In-game, ATC is supposed to hand you off from Center/Approach to tower anywhere from 10-20 miles before the IAF. If it did not, you may have missed a radio call and they decided to cancel your IFR plan. If nothing else, ATC is consistent in this regard, I’ve even been able to request an alternate approach that’s closer to where I am and they routed accordingly. But if you weren’t handed off to Tower, then that’s usually a missed radio call. Tower will confirm landing clearance and not talk to you again until you’re wheels down on the active and requests you clear the runway.

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Thank you. I will print this out and keep it handy for the next time it happens. This was not the only time that it has happened but it is the exception, not the rule.
I do use the automatic freq. tuning and I was somewhere about 2k -2.5 above the airport AGL. Maybe I missed a call.

Here is a video I made on ILS approaches in the TBM back in August. Pressing APR won’t do anything until the GS is close to being centered and it will move up on the flight mode annunciator from white (arm) to green (captured). When that happens the airplane should follow the GS and you can then set missed approach altitude. For the GS to capture you have to capture the localizer first and then the GS must be captured from below (the GS deviation pointer will be at the top of the display).
TBM 930 ILS Approach and Landing -PRO PILOT GUIDED TUTORIAL - Microsoft Flight Simulator - YouTube

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Great instructive video. So far, I have let the MSFS program do all my flight routing/plans and NAV settings. It has let me learn some basics yet have the time to enjoy the scenery. I am nearing the time where I will actually use charts and maps to plan out route and take more control. I will also look for more of your videos.

I have tutorials on about every type of instrument approach. There are a few I still need to do and I will get to them in due time. Here is a link to my video page where you can find everything. The later videos use Navigraph so the aircraft position will show up on the chart as the approach is flown. thecorporatepilotdad - YouTube

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Great TCPD5091! There are several subjects there that I need to understand. I’ve been clueless about what to do when MSFS ATC has told me to “go around”, I missed the landing, or I wanted to change a destination mid-flight. That’s an impressive library. You obviously love aviation to have it as your profession, use flight simulator, and produce video tutorials.

I do like aviation a little bit (sarcasm). There is a video on go-arounds in the library. I’ve been fortunate to have a career in aviation and a good career so far at that. I love MSFS and always have for as long as I have been flying. I can fly all day and still come home and play FS2020.

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