Real Answers from Real Pilots

Aprroaches in the US

Hi all,
I was just wondering what approaches are carried out in the US and how much do they vary because I know most of the time they give out visual approaches when the weather allows it, but would they ever give out an ils approach on a sunny day with lots if visibility, another thing is: at night do you do visual or ils?
Thank you :blush:

Martin,

When shooting an approach, whether VFR or IFR, you always want some sort of guidance to assist you in. At the big airports, it is not uncommon to get an ILS approach on a clear sunny day. With 5 parallel runways and 3 runways having simultaneous approaches, it’s not that hard to get lined up on the wrong runway if you don’t have instrument guidance.

Yarden

Martin,

Our SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) are to always back up every visual approach with some instrument guidance. As Yarden said it’s easy to get confused and it’s always good to have a backup. Same thing at night.

Adam

Ok, thank you very much and how often do you get ils approaches in comparison to visuals?

I fly out of HNL. We get visuals EVERY day :slight_smile:

Adam

I fly in and out of major airports on the coasts of the country. We routinely fly ILS approaches, even in good weather, because it helps ATC maintain aircraft separation.

Chris

Oh alright so it pretty much depends on the airport and traffic :grinning:Thank you, great website btw

Martin, you’re right that it depends on airport and traffic. Every controller is different. I have found that accepting a visual, if able, does allow for controllers to squeeze in a few more aircraft in a given time period because of the reduced separation. The pilot has to request the visual, you won’t be forced to accept it even if you have the airport in sight.