Pilot's tip of the week

Vectors To Final Approach

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Subscriber question:

 "Why does ATC always seem to vector me too close to the FAF while shooting an ILS? I also frequently fly through the localizer because the intercept heading is more than 30 degrees. I do autopilot coupled approaches and sometimes the GS will not capture if intercepting localizer within 2 miles of FAF. Is there a way to request to ATC ahead of time to give a better vector and intercept angle?" - Thomas N.

John:

“Yes, you can simply ask for a longer final or a turn-on outside the Approach Gate.

Approach gateThe Approach Gate is defined as an imaginary point used within ATC as a basis for vectoring aircraft to the final approach course.

The gate will be established along the final approach course 1 nautical mile from the final approach fix on the side away from the airport and will be no closer than 5 miles from the landing threshold.

You can also request a Coupled Approach. This alerts ATC that the approach will be flown with an autopilot. The Glide Slope transmitter will also be protected during a coupled approach.”