Should I expect all ILS approaches to include a glide slope?

Hi everyone,

Over the last week or so I’ve been learning more about IFR and trying my hand at doing some ILS approaches. I’ve watched quite a few videos on it and I think I have a good idea of how it’s supposed to work, but I find myself flying into quite a few airports where I don’t see a glide slope indicated on my G1000. The localizer works (i.e., my horizontal position is guided as I would expect it to), but I don’t see the “G” or diamonds on my altimeter indicating I could hook into the glide slope to control my vertical position by pressing the “apr” button. I do see it in some airports, but not all.

For some added context, I’m currently working my way through the “Experience Norway: Part I” tour in Sky Park, which is a 21 stop tour through northern Norway. Maybe these remote airports tend to not have a glide slope? Also, I have trouble finding approach plates for the airports, so I’m just going off of little nav map to figure out which airports have ILS and what frequency to tune into and I try to be about 3k feet once I’m ~10nm from the run way.

Here’s an example of an approach which does not have a glide slope shown on the altimeter (i.e., no “G” or diamonds). This is me trying to land at ENAN.

And here’s an example of an approach which does have a glide slope, flying into KSPA.

Is this just user error on my side? Do all ILS approaches include a glide slope? Or is this expected?

Thanks for reading!

Not all ILS approaches include a glide slope. The approach chart would tell you if it localizer only or with glide slope information. There are times when the glide slope is out of service and then a localizer approach would be mandated.

Hope this helps

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ENAN only has a Localizer ILS for 14

It does have a VORDME and RNAV approach for 14. The latter will provide GP guidance.

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And LOWI has a LOC with GS.

It is a matter of definitions. In general terms, an ILS includes a LOC and GS. An instrument approach without the GS is by convention just called a LOC approach. All approach plates that I’ve ever seen use this convention. You have exceptions, as pointed out at LOWI and you have approaches with inoperative components that are NOTAM’ed out but not in a game like MSFS.

Along these lines, I urge you to use actual instrument charts especially for approaches. Do not rely on the simplistic map in the game if you really want to learn about instrument approaches.


You’ll spend a little bit, but I highly suggest a subscription to Navigraph. It includes Charts, which gives you real world information. It is fabulous.

As an alternate, available as an app for your smart phone or tablet, you can download (for no cost) a utility called Flt Plan Go from Garmin. It includes approach charts and procedures, as well as airport information. It is a “real world” app that can be used to help navigate while flying, and certainly to help during the stages of pre-flight planning.

I use both of these tools, as well as SkyVector on a web browser, which provides similar functionality.

Happy landings!


Wasn’t Navigraph supposed to be included with MSFS? I seem to recall a preview video last year where they had all this cool integration. Am I remembering wrong?

there is indeed an option where you can connect/integrate Navigraph with MSFS. But to do so, you need to have a Navigraph subscription.

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Thanks for the responses everyone! That helps a lot. I suspected it might be that case that a localizer might not always have a glide slope, but it’s good to have that confirmed

Thanks @Downscc for explaining the convention that if a chart says ILS it usually includes a glide slope and if it says LOC then it usually doesn’t. I’ll keep that in mind.

And thanks for the tip @Seven7Tango. Sounds like I might need to take the plunge and look into a navigraph subscription. I’ve been excited about trying to do more IFR style flying, but have been stymied by not being able to find charts, or the charts are out of date, or the data I find online isn’t the same as in the sim. If I could pay a bit of money to make that problem go away, sounds very worth it :grin:

This link will help understanding the plate layout.

Tutorial - How to interpret an approach plate - SunAir Express

Why don’t you start with US flying and

That might get you some experience before shelling out cash.