Please Help Me Decipher Landing Instructions From ATC

I am pretty familiar with ILS and somewhat with RNAV landings, but I have never seen landing instructions like those given to me today by ATC (see below). I’d appreciate it greatly if someone can point me in the right direction. Thanks.

Well it appears to be clearing you for the ILS via inbound BRK VOR Radial 91 (degrees), on the 111 mile DME arc. Which airport is this?

I’m guessing they are landing at KCOS (Colorado Springs Muni) approaching from the East V108.

ATC is giving ADANE (IAF) Transition (DME) to Approach ILS17L. Its actually DME11.1 though. 111nm would be insane and give you an arc to fix somewhere around Cheyenne. :slight_smile:


UIhh. MSFS ATC does not work. Trust me.

Yeah, an 111 mile arc would usually be considered insane - but seeing as we’re talking about the default ATC here - I was just simply saying it how it was displayed :wink: Have yet to fly in the Denver area much which is why I asked for the airport to look into what 111 mile arc approach this was!

Have you looked up the Instrument approach chart For this airport / approach on

It’s quite difficult to explain without having the approach plate in front of you.

It wants you to fly a 111 mile DME arc. Which is absolutely not correct. Don’t even bother with the default ATC.

1 Like

You don’t need to look up the approach plate to know that a 111 mile DME arc is not correct.


Yes, I know that, but his post is asking Someone to decipher those instructions. He doesn’t know what radials and arcs etc mean.

He wasn’t asking if the 111 was incorrect.

So, I’m asking him to go and look at the approach plate, so he can start to understand the instructions. Not one of the replies even begins to explain what the instructions mean, other than just repeating what the ATC said. He’s asking for help.


We are saying that these are nonsensical instructions, and to not use the in game atc because its basically useless.

1 Like

The poster stated he is familiar with ILS and RNAV approaches, I don’t think DME or Radials needed to be explained - but yes, looking up the airport would have been my first action too as it’s difficult, especially given the state of the default ATC, to explain much of the nonsense.

I know they could be considered ‘non-sensical’ … but if we look at the real approach plate, which you should have in front of you for all instrument approaches whether they are straight forward or not, we can most likely make sense of it. Exactly as posted above, it’s probably just a simple typo, with the DME arc meant to be 11.1 … if that’s the case, we can just explain in simple terms what a DME arc is etc, because, other than the ludicrous distance in the arc, the instructions do actually make sense

Yeah, best case scenario, if you are new to ATC, is that you are having to pause mid flight to do some research to see if the instructions make sense. Worst case scenario you will take it at face value and end up learning what I would describe as “Crazy Pills ATC”

Wouldn’t be supprised if in 2 years you can tell who started learning vatsim in MSFS because they are requesting the 111 mile DME arc, and report to be on final for their destination right after takeoff, just because the destination runway is vaugely pointed in the same direction as the takeoff runway.

1 Like

To try and be a little bit more explicit:

ATC tells you to expect to fly the DME ARC that is depicted here; the curved part that goes north from ADANE:

I strongly suspect the “111” is just the text to speech engine messing up and it is actually talking about the 11.1 DME arc, it just cannot pronounce it properly.

As for how to fly it (for the OP if unfamiliar, or anyone else who finds the topic and is unfamiliar), see page 9-17 onwards here (and 9-27 if using GPS in lieu of DME):

Also, this might be helpful:

1 Like

My issue with instructions like this is that I have yet to find an aircraft where the DME worked outside of GPS.


The solution is to use something like vatsim, pilotedge etc and not use the default AI ATC. The more I use default AI ATC the more frustrating it gets

It seems to work in the classic/steam gauge C172 using the DME readout on the GNS530. Not sure if that is the only one tho…

Thanks so much for your help guys. I’m still relatively new to MSFS, and I had never been confronted with a landing other than ILS and RNAV, so I really appreciate all of your comments and documentation to help me sort this out.

Hey FlyingBear01, thanks so much for the manual and aviation chart. I have no doubt this will be extremely helpful for my understanding this type of navigation better. I’m still somewhat new to MSFS and learning aviation in general, so any help I can get is greatly appreciated.

If you’re new and learning, don’t be scared off by all the folks telling you that MSFS ATC is terrible.

They are right that it isn’t perfect, realistic, nor is it super accurate all the time. If you’re a pilot, I’m sure it’s frustrating.

However, I am not a pilot and I’ve been able to understand and decipher what ATC wants me to do at ever single approach I’ve ever made in FS2020. If it doesn’t make sense, check out the approach plates online somewhere. I use a free app on my phone/ipad called FltPlan Go that lets me look up US approach plates. For international approaches, google is your friend.