ILS Landing Question

Hi guys,

Got a silly (perhaps) question regarding ILS landings.

I’ve tried them in A320 (worked great every time, except for 28R and KSFO which seems to be offset) and 747 as well, my question is - should the plane land by itself and then disconnect the autopilot, or do I have to take control at the last second and land myself?

I just had one with a 747 where the plane was positioned pefectly, the wheels touched the runway, the autopilot was disconnected and the aircraft bounced off back into the air. In that moment I had to very violently bring it down myself.

Any help and guidance will be appreciated, thanks!


Do you want the real world answer or the MS2020 answer?

In the real world, the aircraft can land itself completely and will be used on CATIII ILS approaches (when the airport is equipped and minima restrictions allow it, crew is properly trained, and aircraft is equipped). This is not something that very regularly occurs (such bad conditions at an equipped runway and equipped aircraft and crew and company procedures that allow it etc)

If its not CATIII conditions, the Pilot Flying will disconnect the autopilot once the runway environment becomes visual, and fly the rest of the approach to touchdown manually (or earlier if its clear weather etc).

Now, whether FS2020 has the ability to fly a full CATIII ILS approach (whether its in CATIII conditions or full visual and youre doing it just for fun) to a succesful landing, that I dont know.


I usually disconnect it at minimums or before.

Yes it does, but not very often, and usually it ends in tears.

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So far it seems like the aircraft can follow the ILS very well, but are incapable of flaring and touching down automatically. I expect it will only be in ‘study level’ aftermarket aircraft that this is fully modelled.

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Thanks! Seems like I need to keep my hand ready to land myself at the last moment, at least for now.

The A320 is practically doing it by itself, the 747 has some issues though.

If you bouncing back into the air, it is either carrying too much airspeed or your descent rate is too high. Hard to tell without seeing it.

Haven’t tested yet, but IF the A320 and 747 are able to perform an autoland, this can be recognized by the auto throttle / auto thrust reducing thrust to idle just before the flare.

If thrust isn’t automatically reduced, this is the reason for the bounce.

A320 was okay, can’t recall the speed in the 747, something around 170 knots maybe?

Landing speeds on the A320 vary from 111-160 knots depending on weight, weather, CG-Load and Environment. Normally as you know, landing speed is calculated by the aircraft by the FMS, so varies per flight.

So you could have carried 10 knots to much speed or if your verticle descent rate was too high, this could cause the bounce as well.

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I did a perfect ILS landing with the A320 today. It would have landed its self perfectly but I dropped the throttle to idle and flared at the last second anyway.

I did perfect with the A320, I had problems with a 747, it bounced off after lining up perfectly. Very odd, and I wasn’t going fast, 150 if I remember correctly.

Got another ILS related question - when you should you press the APPR button - how far away/at what altitude? Does it differ with each airport?

According to another Airbus add-on manual, it is recommanded to push “APP” around 5000’/6000’ AGL
For sure, you have to select it before capturing the final LOC/ILS/RNAV approach segment

Depends also on how you will be intercepting the localiser. For example if you are being vectored by ATC, to eventually receive the last vector of 30 degree course to intercept the localiser, then you will arm the APP mode after making that that last turn. You will see the localiser needle start to move and ‘line up’ and you arm the APP, which will then cause the autopilot to make that turn onto final for you on the ILS course (both localiser and glide slope)… the altitude doesn’t matter because it depends on each individual ILS chart, how far out you’re vectored etc.

If you’re following a STAR really you can just arm it in the final leg before you intercept the glideslope too.

Don’t know which add-on this is, but IRL it’s a very dangerous idea to arm the APP further away than 10NM (3000ft AGL).
Outside this range (and 30° left/right) you might capture a wrong GS signal!

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Turn off autopilot close to touching down, and keep auto throttle on, when you’re about to touch runway don’t flare too much or else you will touchdown and jump.

Yes reading it, I thought it was also quite high.
Thanks for the info

Which is what you should do, at least according to the FF A320 in XP.

The aircraft announces “Retard!, Retard!” at around 20ft-30ft from touchdown, which you really ought to do to avoid the instruction becoming an insult. :slight_smile:

Thats because you are keeping the autothrottle on during a flare. Big NO-NO. Pulling nose up with the autothrottle on is going to dramatically increase thrust, and thus lift. Engines to Idle for flare. Hence why the Airbus calls out ‘RETARD’ - It means retard the throttles to idle

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