There are two big problems concerning ILS / LDA approaches, in short:
- Currently all approaches which are offset in real life are aligned with the runway course in MSFS, see my Innsbruck (LOWI) example below.
- Bearing pointer or RMI give bearings towards the localizer antenna, this is impossible in real life.
If we take Innsbruck - LOWI airport as an example, there are two main navaids:
- The runway headings are 078 / 258 degrees.
- LOC / DME OEV is located at the airport and is used for the LOC / DME East approach to runway 26 which is offset in real life. This localizer should be aligned with the Innsbruck valley with a front course of 255 degrees, in MSFS however the localizer is aligned with the runway (258 degrees).
- LOC / DME OEJ is located approximately 10 nm off-airport and does not end up at any runway. This localizer should have a front course of 066 degrees and a back course reciprocal of 064 degrees. When following this LOC on approach you will pass the airport on the right at 7500 ft, you’ll then need to circle for either runway. Although this navaid is not related to any runway, both the front and back courses in MSFS are 078 deg, following it puts you in a dangerous location…
This blows my mind really, this is such an iconic airport and it is one of the “hand-crafted” ones. Its unbelievable that they got the primary navaids so wrong. Note the blue bearing pointers in the screenshot below pointing to both the localizer antennas. This is impossible in real life.
Turns out that if you fly the LOC DME east approach in MSFS you’ll end up flying parallel to the runway into the grass, as can be seen in the picture below:
This means that the geographic location of the localizer antenna is correct in MSFS. In real life the antenna is indeed located to the left of the runway into the grass but at an angle. The offset will cause you to end up over the runway threshold in real life before going into the grass when tracking the localizer. I have flown this very approach in real life down to pretty much minima, and you’ll definitely end up at the threshold eventually. You will see the lead-in lights on the left when breaking out of the clouds at minima, from that point you normally disconnect and visually line-up with the runway.