FSX - VFR, GPS+ ILS, flight with the Bombardier Learjet 45
Easy step by step instructions

In this sample flight I will use the Bombardier Learjet 45, one of my favourites airplanes in FSX, but the general flight procedure is the same for any other airplane (of course adapting the speeds and flight controls to its specs)

I want to make clear that this my own procedure for a VFR (Visual Flight Rules) flight, without ATC, and using the GPS for navigating and the ILS for final approach to the destination airport.
I don't claim it to be neither the best not the correct procedure, but it works for me and it based on what I have learned from own experience and reading procedures of other FSX pilots.

In this example we'll take off from the airport of Palma de Mallorca (LEPA), flight straight to Ibiza island and land in its airport (LEIB)


First of all we have prepared a simple flight plan using the flight planner of FSX.  This will takes us in almost straight line from LEPA to LEIB, passing by DO61N and CD24 intersections in order to facilitate the approach and alignment to runway 24 of Ibiza airport.


We are going to take off from runway 24R in Palma airport, what is good news as it is nearly aligned with the direct route to Ibiza.  Now lets make the start-up settings:
  • Reset altimeter, using its knob or easier using the "B" key in the keyboard.
  • In the GPS/NAV selector make sure that NAV is selected.
  • Using the HDG knob set the heading at 12 o'clock.  This will be useful to temporally keep the right course when we first enable the autopilot later.
  • Using the ASEL knob set the desired cruise level. In the example and taking into account that it is a short VFR flight we set it 5000 feet. In real life it normally would be higher.
  • Using the SPD knob set the desired cruise speed. For the Learjet 45 the recommended is 250 knots below 10000 feet and 280 knots above that height. (FSX begins giving speed warnings for speeds above 325 knots +-)
  • Enable HDG, SPD and ALT buttons in the autopilot (light should bright green).
  • Set flaps to 8 for takeoff


Let's take off now. We simply increase thrust smoothly up to full and release brakes.
When we get to the rotate speed (130 knots), we rotate and the climb-out should begin.


Let's keep it at about 10-15 degrees nose up and retract the landing gear.
Activate autopilot (AP button). It will keep the airplane accelerating up to the cruise speed and climbing up to the cruise level while keeping the current heading (12 o'clock)
When we get to 200 knots it's time to retract the flaps.


Using the HDG knob let's correct the heading go get close to the the route indicated in the GPS. GPS screen can be shown/hidden with the Shift+3 key. In this example as we are already aligned it is not necessary.
When we are close to the GPS route, we set the GPS/NAV selector in the GPS position and enable the NAV button in the autopilot. This will adjust the course if necessary and follow the GPS route that was loaded at the beginning with the flight plan. Notice that the GPS does not control height, only route.


It can be done later, but for this example and taking into account how short the flight is, we'll already set the ILS frequency of runway 24 of Ibiza airport, that is 109.500. We set the frequency in the Aux. frequency dial of the NAV1 and click the frequency change button.  If you don't know the frequency you can always find it in the GPS.


We confirm that 109.500 is in the main dial of NAV1 and enable NAV1 button in order to hear the audio signal of the ILS when we get closer to destination airport.


Time to have a look outside and say goodbye to Mallorca. Paguera bay in the above picture, with Dragonera island in the background.


Autopilot is maintaining the course indicated by the GPS and the programmed speed and level.  No more actions are required for now. Just leave it fly, relax and ask the hostess to bring you a coffee ;-)


When we get closer to the destination, about 20 nm from DO61IN waypoint in this example, we should start preparing for approach:
Using the SPD knob set the desired speed to 195 knots
Using the ASEL knob set the level to 2500 feet, an adequate level for later intercepting the ILS glide slope, taking into account that Ibiza Airport is almost at sea level


Arm auto spoilers (they will be deployed automatically when landing)
At about 200 knots set flaps to 8


We can already see Ibiza island


Decrease the desired speed to 170 knots.  When it's below about 180 knots set flaps to 20


At this point we should be already hearing the Morse code signal of the ILS which frequency we set before in NAV1. (The sound can be disabled using the NAV1 button in the radio)
Set the GPS/NAV switch to NAV and enable APP in the autopilot.  Now the airplane course is no longer controlled by the GPS but following the ILS approach route.


As we can see the airplane is already descending following the ILS glide slope.
Let's continue decreasing speed: Set desired speed to 150 knots and when it gets below about 155 knots fully deploy the flaps and landing gear.


We check that the alignment with the runway is correct.
At this point we can already see the PAPI lights.  Remember that two yellow and two red lights indicate that we are at the right height in the descending slope. As this is an ILS approach the own ILS system should guarantee it.


Let's continue decreasing speed. Set it to 140 knots.


Continue decreasing speed to 135 knots, that is the landing speed of the airplane.


When we are close to the runway we check again the alignment and PAPI lights and if everything is correct we disable the autopilot (AP button) to proceed to the final corrections and landing. Remember that at this point the speed will no longer be controlled by the autopilot but by you.  Use the normal landing procedure, stopping throttle right before touchdown.


Right after touchdown apply reverse thrust by keeping F2 key pressed and apply brakes as required.
At 60 knots cancel reverse thrust by pressing the F3 key for some seconds
Fully retract flaps and spoilers
Taxi to the terminal. Maximum taxi speed is 20 knots.


Notice that in this example speed is expressed in KIAS (Indicated Air Speed Knots)

Some keys associated to some actions depend on the keyboard layout (different depending on the country) and so they have not been specified here.  Use "Configuration - Controls - Buttons/Keys" to know the key associated to a certain action in your particular case.

See other FSX instructions

Disclaimer: These instructions are intended to be used only for MS Flight Simulator X and should not be used for real flights.


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