• NC Software is having a Black Friday Sale Event thru December 4th on Logbook Pro, APDL - Airline Pilot Logbook, Cirrus Elite Binders, and more. Use coupon code BF2020 at checkout to redeem 15% off your purchase. Click here to shop now.
  • NC Software is proud to announce the release of APDL - Airline Pilot Logbook version 10.0. Click here to view APDL on the Apple App store and install now.

Pitch and Power on the ILS

Bernoulli

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 4, 2003
Posts
227
Total Time
some
OK... Final approach fix down to the decision altitude... how do you fly the ILS? Do you power for the airspeed you want and pitch and trim for the glideslope or do you set your power to hold glideslope and pitch for your airspeed? I know... this is gonna open up another can of worms. I definitely do it one way but I think either way is probably fine... whatever keeps the needles centered. Just curious. Thanks in advance for all constructive answers.
 

say again

I love her ARSE!!!!
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
4,006
Total Time
5500
Pitch for GS and power for airspeed!!!!
 

Illini Pilot

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 7, 2002
Posts
245
Total Time
2000
set the known power setting for the approach and small pitch/trim changes to maintain the GS.

but...in the end either way you are doing it, its gonna end up getting you to a certain pitch/power setting that gives you an A/S and a descent rate that you want for the approach.
 

Foxcow

screwed
Joined
Sep 15, 2004
Posts
343
Total Time
meh...
Power for altitude, pitch for airspeed. Find a relative freeze heading and it couldn't be easier. If you pitch for the glideslope, you will be chasing it throughout the approach. At least in my experience.
 
Last edited:

BLing

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 3, 2005
Posts
462
Total Time
5K
As stated by an examiner that I did most of my rides with:

"When people say pitch for airspeed, power for altitude, I tell them on takeoff not use any power, just give me some pitch. If your theory is correct, then pitching us down the runway should give us all the airspeed we need for takeoff!"

I got a kick out of that.
 

Lead Sled

Sitt'n on the throne...
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Posts
2,066
Total Time
> enuf
Foxcow...
Over the years, I've given many instrument competency checks and I've seen pilots try just about every imaginable way to fly the glideslope and track the localizer. (The wildest was a Cessna 310 jock who insisted on tracking the localizer using differential power!)

Your method works well enough with the light aircraft you've been flying, but as you move up the ladder and you fly larger and heavier aircraft your method becomes less and less effective. Try pitching for airspeed in a jet and you're going to give the folks in the back a real ride. Aircraft with flight directors and autopilots fly ILSes with the ailerons & elevators and control the airspeed with the throttle. All in all, it's probably the best way to accomplish the task.

'Sled
 
Last edited:

say again

I love her ARSE!!!!
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
4,006
Total Time
5500
BLing said:
As stated by an examiner that I did most of my rides with:

"When people say pitch for airspeed, power for altitude, I tell them on takeoff not use any power, just give me some pitch. If your theory is correct, then pitching us down the runway should give us all the airspeed we need for takeoff!"

I got a kick out of that.

You do pitch for airspeed with with full or idle power, other times, it's vice versa!!!!:beer: There's always gotta be one wise-a$$!!!! All in due repect, I would've said the same if I remembered!!!:laugh:
 

midlifeflyer

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2003
Posts
2,047
Total Time
some
As always, performance is a combination of pitch and power. Which predominates and which control what is a matter of training technique and pilot preference.

On the ILS most pilots will set up a configuration that will closely approximate the performance they want (you =do= have a power chat, don't you?). Large adjustments require a change in both, so there's not much use it picking one over the other in terms of what controls what.

For the small changes to track the glideslope, some pilots make coordinated changes on both pitch and power. Others feel that the have more glideslope control with small changes in yoke pressure and accept the resulting small changes in airspeed. Still others feel more control with a power change while holding pitch relatively constant.

If you;re talking light aircraft, none of them are wrong.
 

Foxcow

screwed
Joined
Sep 15, 2004
Posts
343
Total Time
meh...
Lead Sled said:
Foxcow...
Over the years, I've given many instrument competency checks and I've seen pilots try just about every imaginable way to fly the glideslope and track the localizer. (The wildest was a Cessna 310 jock who insisted on tracking the localizer using differential power!)

Your method works well enough with the light aircraft you've been flying, but as you move up the ladder and you fly larger and heavier aircraft your method becomes less and less effective. Try pitching for airspeed in a jet and you're going to give the folks in the back a real ride. Aircraft with flight directors and autopilots fly ILSes with the ailerons & elevators and control the airspeed with the throttle. All in all, it's probably the best way to accomplish the task.

'Sled


You are absolutely right. I was only refering to the smaller aircraft that I fly :D
 

Axel

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2003
Posts
1,132
In theory, if the airplane is trimmed a power change will result in a change in descent angle accompanied by a pitch change without pilot input as the airplane seeks its trimmed AOA.

In practice, pilot A pitches to maintain the descent angle and adjusts power to maintain the speed. Pilot B adjusts power to maintain the descent angle and pitches to maintain speed.

End result: the same in all respects.
 
Last edited:

Tarzan

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 21, 2005
Posts
2,073
Total Time
.
Bernoulli, you're a CFI right? One thing to remember that lots of guys have done over time to not overload the student with information. I've seen way to many CFI's that wanted to show how much knowledge they had which led to confused students in the end. I liked the KISS method and it worked very well for me. I was able to get students through their ratings faster than usual for my school.

I taught the basics. Pitch, power, trim. In that order because students will try to fly the airplane with trim if you'll let them and they will chase all day. Sure. let them make big changes but hold off on the final pitch until cruise is achieved. So far as pitch and power, pick a spot on the runway on final, make it "THE" spot to "pitch" for. I used to use dry erase or little stickers on the windshield. Put the sticker on the spot and use power to get the airspeed right. It's amazing how quick a student will develop a stabalized approach doing that.

Pitch, power, trim.

BTW, I love the, "Pitch for airspeed down the runway." Classic. Wish I had heard it sooner.
 

No Delay

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2004
Posts
484
Total Time
4000+
As stated by an examiner that I did most of my rides with:

"When people say pitch for airspeed, power for altitude, I tell them on takeoff not use any power, just give me some pitch. If your theory is correct, then pitching us down the runway should give us all the airspeed we need for takeoff!"

I got a kick out of that.

Let's say I am at 5000' and I lose an engine...I can maintain any airspeed I want but I cannot maintain altitude (at least not for long).

But...you are right. Just giving you a hard time.

It has been answered over and over....it takes both. A change in one always results in a change in the other.

Also, like someone else mentioned, if you are planning to move up to jets do yourself a favor and power for airspeed and pitch for altitude.
 

cforst513

Giggity giggity goo!!!
Joined
Oct 20, 2004
Posts
1,854
Total Time
2100
i shoot ILS approaches at 100kts in a 172. when i intercept the glideslope, i throttle back to around 1800-2000 rpm, which will keep my speed at or around 100kts and follow the glideslope down. once i am 400-500ft above DH, i start to slow myself up by putting in 10 degrees of flaps and pitching back a bit, while reducing power to keep on the glideslope. then, as i see fit, i try to slow down more with flaps and pitch until i either land or go missed.
 

Pedro

Not too happy...
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Posts
401
Total Time
$$$$$$
Pitch should always be used to control path and power for airspeed. But if you change one you will need to change the other.

There are only two situations when you should use pitch for airspeed:

1. When the power is fixed (Full power, no power...).
2. When you are on the back side of the power curve (Slow flight, carrier landing..).
 

Lead Sled

Sitt'n on the throne...
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Posts
2,066
Total Time
> enuf
Axel said:
In theory, if the airplane is trimmed a power change will result in a change in descent angle accompanied by a pitch change without pilot input as the airplane seeks its trimmed AOA.

In practice, pilot A pitches to maintain the descent angle and adjusts power to maintain the speed. Pilot B adjusts power to maintain the descent angle and pitches to maintain speed.

End result: the same in all respects.
Axel...
You are correct, but you're not really considering the effects that mass and inertia bring to the party as aircraft size increases - and we're not just talking 747s here either. Any pilot understands the relationship between pitch and power (or their instructor has really screwed up.) It's just my personal opinion, but when you are teaching a student how to fly an ILS it's best to teach the method that works best in all aircraft. Like you said, the results are the same for either Pilot A or Pilot B if he happens to be flying a Cessna 172. The results won't be the same if Pilot B happens to be flying a Cessna Citation. Make it easy on Pilot B and teach him Pilot A's technique - that way he won't have to relearn it later if or when he get to fly larger airplanes.

'Sled
 

Caveman

Grandpa
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
1,580
Total Time
11000+
"once i am 400-500ft above DH, i start to slow myself up by putting in 10 degrees of flaps and pitching back a bit, while reducing power to keep on the glideslope. then, as i see fit, i try to slow down more with flaps and pitch until i either land or go missed."

I know that this works for you and I'm not being critical, but as your flying progresses and you move into bigger and faster a/c you'll find that the philosophy of a stabilized approach will become more and more important. At every airline I know of you must be established on glide, at approach speed, and fully configured to land by no later than 500AGL and that's in VMC. At our airline if it's IMC you must be stabilized by 1000 AGL or a missed approach is required.

I know your 172 is a lot different than an airliner but let me recommend establishing your own stabilized approach policy and then commit yourself to sticking with it. As you transition to turbine equipment it will be one less thing to incorporate into your flying.

Good luck.
 

cforst513

Giggity giggity goo!!!
Joined
Oct 20, 2004
Posts
1,854
Total Time
2100
i can see what you're getting at, caveman, but i dont' want to be dragging the 172 in at 80kts with 20 degrees of flaps 7 miles out. i know that in jets and other larger, faster aircraft, it is possible and neccessary to get established and stabilized pretty early on an ILS or any approach. but as a consideration to ATC, the tower, and others on final, i'll keep my speed up so as to keep things moving. this is, of course, when i'm shooting ILS's under the hood or while training. in real life IMC (which i've never tried to land in before) i will probably get the a/c stabilized pretty far out and going at a reasonable but slow speed so as to give myself plenty of time to deal with any situations that might occur while i'm on final.
 

Axel

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2003
Posts
1,132
Point taken. I was getting at the fundamental interconnectedness of all things.
 

cforst513

Giggity giggity goo!!!
Joined
Oct 20, 2004
Posts
1,854
Total Time
2100
Axel said:
Point taken. I was getting at the fundamental interconnectedness of all things.
remind me never to play you in scrabble... :)
 

Caveman

Grandpa
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
1,580
Total Time
11000+
cforst513,

I agree that dragging a 172 in at 80 KIAS from way out is inappropriate but you should still establish your own stabilized approach policy appropriate for the a/c. Our's roughly equates to about 45 seconds from landing at 500AGL and about 1.5 minutes for 1000 AGL. The 1000' point is inside the outer marker and even in a 172 if you are inside the marker that airspace and runway is all yours. Shame on ATC for crowding you inside that airspace. Your point is well taken though. A 172 is a lot slower than a CRJ and what is appropriate for one may or may not be appropriate for the other but a stabilized approach policy appropriate for the a/c is a good idea.
 
Top