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Julian Diamandis

Heathrow new glide path phraseology?

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Julian Diamandis

I was listening to real EGLL ATC 120.40.   @6:25   BAW867 was cleared to descend on the glide path. But they are saying something different to normal?  I can't quite make it out. Is this just at EGLL?

Hoping to get back on to VATSIM soon, when I get my sound sorted out.

 

 

 

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Oliver Parker

The controller was saying 'descend microwave'  which is referring to the MLS - Microwave Landing System. Similar to ILS when in the flight deck in terms of indications but only used at LHR in the UK (I think). They had the choice of ILS/MLS/RNAV with instrument approaches I think at LHR. Guessing its only BA that have the equipment to fly it though.

Not entirely sure but I remember somebody saying to me that it was more accurate than an ILS. Don't quote me on that...

Edited by Oliver Parker

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Simon Kelsey

The instruction is to 'descend on the microwave'. This is the Microwave Landing System that used to be installed at LHR but I believe was decommissioned last year.

It offered some advantages over ILS in certain situations but never really caught on and basically only a few BA aircraft (the Airbuses and 767s for certain - I forget which, if any, other fleets) were equipped with suitable receivers.

It was the preferred approach for the BA aircraft so equipped. However apart from a different CDU selection, everything else - cockpit displays, lateral and vertical tracking, autopilot modes etc - is identical to flying an ILS.

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Julian Diamandis
8 hours ago, Oliver Parker said:

The controller was saying 'descend microwave'  which is referring to the MLS - Microwave Landing System. Similar to ILS when in the flight deck in terms of indications but only used at EGLL in the UK (I think).  

Not entirely sure but I remember somebody saying to me that it was more accurate than an ILS. Don't quote me on that...

I thought that's what I heard. I must admit, I have not ever hear it used before. I have heard of many types of instrument approach but not that.  

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Tom Szczypinski
2 hours ago, Oliver Parker said:

Not entirely sure but I remember somebody saying to me that it was more accurate than an ILS. Don't quote me on that...

It's the most accurate and precise system we have (as far as I know), but due to it's unique approach design, it is very expensive to maintain. That's why Heathrow stopped using it, as it is not commonly used.

Edited by Tom Szczypinski

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Simon Kelsey
2 hours ago, Oliver Parker said:

Not entirely sure but I remember somebody saying to me that it was more accurate than an ILS. Don't quote me on that...

Not especially more accurate as I gather, but I think the main benefit is that it is less susceptible to interference. Thus the critical/protected areas are smaller than for an ILS and this allows a higher flow rate in LVPs.

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James Horgan

Always hilarious when people ask for the microwave on vatsim... When it's not even simulated nor implemented in the sim haha

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Julian Diamandis
13 hours ago, James Horgan said:

Always hilarious when people ask for the microwave on vatsim... When it's not even simulated nor implemented in the sim haha

A lot of things are not simulated in Flight Sim. But hey, whos to know? It is a type of frequency which is invisible to see. An electromagnetic wave. One pilots ILS is anothers MLS. If it adds to the atmosphere of ATC at the time, great.  

I read this type of ILS easier to intercept with a tighter turn, but other than that you could still call an ILS an MLS? How is this approach selected in your payware aircraft?  Is it a pre-arranged plan to fly a MLS with ATC?

If it isn't simulated in flight sim there is no reason why it couldn't be.  It keeps flight sim interesting. 

The CAA are removing VORs, as well over time. A bit of a shame for flight sim fans.

Edited by Julian Diamandis

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Loui Ringer
1 hour ago, Julian Diamandis said:

A lot of things are not simulated in Flight Sim. But hey, whos to know? It is a type of frequency which is invisible to see. An electromagnetic wave. One pilots ILS is anothers MLS. If it adds to the atmosphere of ATC at the time, great.  

I read this type of ILS easier to intercept with a tighter turn, but other than that you could still call an ILS an MLS? How is this approach selected in your payware aircraft?  Is it a pre-arranged plan to fly a MLS with ATC?

If it isn't simulated in flight sim there is no reason why it couldn't be.  It keeps flight sim interesting. 

The CAA are removing VORs, as well over time. A bit of a shame for flight sim fans.

The microwave doesn't exist anymore, Heathrow now have an "EILS"

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Simon Kelsey
1 hour ago, Julian Diamandis said:

How is this approach selected in your payware aircraft?

It's not, on any payware aircraft: it's not in any of the Navigraph databases and obviously the guidance/framework for the navaid to be tuned and identified doesn't exist either. In real life on the Airbus at least it is selected in an identical manner to an ILS approach: one selects the MLS approach to the selected runway, if available, and the rest should be auto-tuned. Manual tuning, should it be necessary, would be via the normal RADIO NAV MCDU page.

1 hour ago, Julian Diamandis said:

Is it a pre-arranged plan to fly a MLS with ATC?

Requested on first contact with Heathrow Director. As I say though, Heathrow is the only place (anywhere!) I'm aware of one being installed, and I seem to recall ( @Michael Benson ?) it has now died a death in any case; as I say, it was only ever really used by BA as far as I know.

Good idea in principle but ultimately the Betamax of radio aids; RNAV now does almost everything the MLS could have done, is simulated in our FS aircraft, and as time goes on no doubt with RNP etc will eventually do it to the same or lower minima.

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Michael Benson
On 12/02/2018 at 15:48, Simon Kelsey said:

Requested on first contact with Heathrow Director. As I say though, Heathrow is the only place (anywhere!) I'm aware of one being installed, and I seem to recall ( @Michael Benson ?) it has now died a death in any case; as I say, it was only ever really used by BA as far as I know.

There are MLSs kicking around elsewhere but few and far between, but you are correct that the MLS is no longer at Heathrow for various reasons.

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Julian Diamandis

Thank you for your replies, on the MLS.

Best regards

Julian

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