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By using VOR and DME a pilot knows he is on the correct course and he also knows his distance to the VOR/DME station. With this equipment the aircraft will be brought directly over the VOR/DME station from which point an approach can usually be made.

In poor weather conditions, however, a more precise (1) landing aid is used. The ILS (2) is the ICAO (3) approved international standard electronic landing aid and is installed at nearly all major aerodromes.

The ILS functions with equipment in the aircraft and on the ground. On the aerodrome a localizer (4) transmits a narrow radio beam (5) and another transmitter provides a glide path (6) at a fixed angle of approach. On the aircraft instrument panel an ILS indicator (7) shows the aircraft's position in relation to the centre line of the runway and to the glide path. The ILS can, therefore, guide the aircraft along the proper approach path down to a point where the pilot must be able to see the ground and be able to continue his approach to land. If he cannot see the ground at this point, he must decide to overshoot (8), go around and try to land again.



Too high.     Correct is azimuth.   Too low. Too far to the left





In addition to the ILS localizer and glide path, an ILS installation also comprises two or three fan markers (9): one called the outer marker (10) is situated from four to six miles from the threshold (11) of the runway; a second called the middle marker (12) is situated approximately half a mile from the threshold of the runway, and the third, called the inner marker (13) (installed only when required) is about 1,000 feet from the threshold of the runway These fan markers alert the pilot of his passing over these markers by causing a light on the aircraft instrument panel to flash on and off while he is over each marker.



1. Precise ─ Exact; correct; accurate.
2. ILS ─ Instrument Landing System.
3. ICAO ─ The International Civil Aviation Organization.
4. Localizer ─ Part of the ground based ILS equipment.
5. Beam ─ A ray of light or of electronic radiation.
6. Glide path equipment ─ Part of the ground based ILS equipment.
7. ILS indicator ─ The ILS instrument on the pilot's instrument panel.
8. To overshoot ─ To cease descending (usually on final approach) and begin climbing. ─ The terms to pull-up or go around are also used.
9. Fan marker ─ Electronic equipment transmitting radio signals in the shape of a fan.
10. Outer marker ─ One of the fan markers.
11. Threshold ─ The beginning of that portion of the runway usable for landing.
12. Middle marker ─ − do −
13. Inner marker ─ − do −




What time is it? Is it precisely 0300 hours? Is your watch precise?(1)Is Big Ben precise because it is on GMT? Is this clock precise? What clock is precise? Is ILS a more precise form of landing aid than VOR? Does a pilot landing through low clouds need a very precise landing aid?

Is ILS (2)a landing aid? Is ILS short for Instrument Landing System? Is ILS short for Instrument Meteorological Conditions? What is ILS short for? What landing aid do pilots use?

Is ICAO (3)an international organization? Is this manual printed by ICAO? What is ICAO short for? Who printed this book?

Is the localizer (4)a part of the Instrument Landing System? Is the localizer on the ground? Is the localizer also in the aircraft? Where is the localizer? Does the localizer send signals to the aircraft? Does the localizer transmit a beam? A vertical beam? A horizontal beam? What sort of beam does the localizer transmit? At what sort of aerodromes are the localizers to be found? Is the localizer beam narrow or wide?

When I switch on a flash light is there a beam (5)of light? Is there a beam of light when I switch on the light in this room? When is there a beam of light? Does electricity radiate a beam? Does electricity radiate a beam of light? Can a transmitter radiate a beam? A beam of light? What sort of beam does a transmitter radiate? A flash light? A localizer?

Is the glide path (6)near the runway? Is the glide path located near touchdown? Where is the glide path located? Why is the glide path necessary in the Instrument Landing System? Does the glide path transmit a beam? In what direction does the glide path transmit a beam? Is the glide path beam narrow? Wide? What sort of beam does the glide path transmit?

Is the ILS indicator (7)on the pilot's instrument panel? Is the ILS indicator also on the ground? Where is the ILS indicator? Are there two needles or one on the ILS indicator?

Does a pilot sometimes decide to overshoot?(8) When a pilot overshoots does he pull back on the control column? What happens to the aircraft when the pilot overshoots? Does it take less power or more power to overshoot? Less fuel or more fuel? At what stage of approach would a pilot decide to overshoot? Give me other words for overshoot.

Is a fan marker (9)at the aerodrome? At the reporting point? Where is a fan marker? Is the fan marker a navaid? Is a fan marker an electronic piece of equipment? Fixed equipment? Mobile equipment? What sort of equipment is a fan marker? What does a fan marker transmit?

Is an outer marker (10) a fan marker? Is an outer marker located miles out from the runway threshold? How many miles out is the outer marker?

Is the runway threshold (11)on the runway? In the middle of the runway? At the end of the runway? Where is the runway threshold? What does a plane do at the runway threshold, take-off or land?

Is the middle marker (12)in the middle of the runway? At the beginning? On the threshold? Where is the middle marker?

Is the inner marker (13)the last marker on the glide path? Is the inner marker also on the aerodrome? Where is the inner marker at the aerodrome? How does the pilot know he is flying over the inner marker? What other markers are at the aerodrome? What service do they give to the pilot?


Instructions to students: Describe in your own words an aircraft approach at an airport under IMC due to fog, and how the ILS helps the pilot in the approach to the runway. Write on a separate sheet of paper.



Between a Pilot and a Flight Attendant

Pilot: Well! Miss Jones, are you looking forward to our flight to Tokyo?

Flight attendant: With three hundred and twenty passengers on board, I am expecting a very busy flight. I should imagine I shall be very tired by the time we reach Tokyo. What is our ETA? (1)

Pilot: 0800 hours. We are going to be a little late full load (2) and headwinds. Our ground speed will be less than 450 knots (3). I can see the first of your passengers coming aboard. I shall see you dinner time.

Flight attendant: Before you go, Captain, what is our flight level and do you think the flight will be smooth?

Pilot: We shall be cruising at 39,000 feet we couldn't get 35,000 because of traffic. The forecaster promised no turbulence so it should be smooth.


Between a Meteorologist and an Air Traffic Controller

A Barometer
Controller: Hello, Steve. I notice some clouds moving in from the West. Are we going to have a change in the weather?

Meteorologist: The forecast we gave you this morning is still valid except that the warm front is moving in towards us a little faster than forecasted. The barometer (4) is dropping rapidly and I believe the rain will probably begin by 0200 hours.

Controller: So I guess we are in for a wet night?

Meteorologist: It may get worse the spread between (5)the temperature and dew point (6) is two degrees so we may get fog before the front reaches us.

Controller: OK, I'll be prepared for poor visibility. Thanks, Steve, and good-night.


Between two Air Traffic Controllers

Tower controller: What a busy time we had in the tower tonight. I suppose it was not any easier in the centre?

Centre controller: It was hectic. (7) The cold front was the cause of the trouble; we had to vector (8) most of the aircraft around thunderstorms.

Tower controller: We had trouble with wake turbulence. (9) It was worse than usual on runway 24.We had to increase the separation between landing aircraft, particularly for the smaller planes. Plus that, there were a lot of local flights. (10)

Centre controller: Many of those local flights were probably the training flights from the local flying school.

Tower controller:Yes, they are always very active when the weather is above VFR limits. I wonder what the forecast is for tomorrow.

Centre controller: It is supposed to be good.

Tower controller:Well, I guess we are in for another busy day. Good-night, Dick.

Centre controller: Good-night, Tom, see you tomorrow.




Between a Pilot and a Passenger who is visiting the flight deck

Pax:I have always wanted to see what a cockpit looked like on a DC-8. I have a private pilot licence and fly a Cessna 172.

Pilot:Welcome aboard. This cockpit looks more complicated than it actually is.

It is probably easier to fly than the Cessna 172. We are just about to make a, procedure turn (11)in the holding pattern. (12)We shall keep turning until weintercept (13) the inbound (14)radial to the fix.(15)


Pax: What navaids are you homing on? (16)


Pilot:VOR. We shall continue to fly the holding pattern until given further clearance by the controller. We have already been given an expected approach time about three minutes from now in fact.

Pax: In that case I had better get back to my seat. Thank you for letting me visit you.




1. ETA ─ Estimated time of arrival.
2. Full load ─ Filled to utmost capacity.
3. Knots ─ A measurement of speed.
4. Barometer ─ An instrument measuring atmospheric pressure.
5. The spread between ─ The difference between.
6. Dew point ─ The temperature at which dew forms.
7. Hectic ─ Extremely busy.
8. To vector ─ To guide a pilot in flight.
9. Wake turbulence ─ Turbulent air behind a large aircraft which can turn over a small aircraft following too closely.
10. Local flights ─ Flights that take off and land at the same aerodrome.
11. Procedure turn ─ A manoeuvre in which a turn is made e.g. a turn made in a holding pattern.
12. Holding pattern ─ A predetermined circuit which keeps an aircraft within a specified airspace.
13. To intercept ─ To reach/arrive at an airway or radial.
14. Inbound ─ Towards an airport, a navaid etc. (the opposite is outbound).
15. Fix ─ Any navaid from which an aircraft can determine its exact position.
16. To home-on ─ Heading towards a radio station or navaids.


Is ETA an abbreviation for estimated time of arrival? Is ETA the exact time of arrival? What is ETA? Who wants/needs to know the ETA of a flight? Why would you want to know the ETA of a flight? When a plane has a full load (1)is it heavy? Can a plane with a full load travel fast? Does a plane arrive early with a full load? What can make a full load on an aeroplane? Do all planes have a full load? How does an airline know the plane has a full load?

Do planes measure their speed in knots? (2)Is a plane travelling at 500 knots going fast? What type of plane travels at 500 knots a 747 or a Cessna? If a barometer measures the atmospheric pressure, is it useful in aviation? Does a meteorologist use a barometer? Does a mechanic use a barometer? Who uses a barometer? What does a barometer measure?


The difference between the temperature and the dew point (3) is called the spread.(4) Could a narrow spread between the temperature and the dew point bring fog? Poor visibility? Does a pilot need to know the spread between the temperature and the dew point? The meteorologist? The navigator? Who needs to know the spread between the temperature and the dew point?

Do controllers sometimes have a hectic (5)time with the traffic? Do they always have a hectic time? When do they have a hectic time?

A controller vectors (6)a pilot when he says turn left 20; turn right 25 etc. Who vectors a pilot? Does he use radar to vector a pilot? Can he vector a pilot from the tower cab? What controller vectors a pilot? Why does a pilot need to be vectored?

Is wake turbulence (7)dangerous? Does wake turbulence form behind large aircraft? At take off? At landing? Where is wake turbulence to be found? What type of aircraft leave wake turbulence behind them?

Do local flights (8)take off and land at the same airport? Does a flying school have local flights? Does a local flight pilot need a flight plan? Does a local flight travel far? Does a local flight need much fuel? From where does a local flight take off and land?

The holding pattern
Does a pilot use his instruments to make a procedure turn? (9)Does he use his rudder to make a procedure turn? His undercarriage? What does a pilot use to make a procedure turn?

Is the holding pattern (10)above an airport? Can many planes take their turn to land in a holding pattern? Is it always necessary to hold in the holding pattern? When is it necessary to hold in the holding pattern? What turn does a pilot make in the holding pattern?

Does a pilot crossing the Indian Ocean intercept (11)an airway? Crossing Africa? Does a controller tell a pilot to intercept an airway at 35,000 feet? What does a controller actually say to a pilot when he wants him to intercept an airway at 35,000 feet? 39,000 feet?

Does an inbound (12)aircraft head towards an airport? Does an inbound aircraft head towards a VOR? DME? ILS? What does an inbound aircraft do? Who sees an inbound aircraft from the tower? What traffic pattern does an inbound aircraft join?

Where does an inbound aircraft join the holding pattern? In what direction is an inbound aircraft heading? What is the opposite of inbound? Is a fix another word for navaid? Is VOR a fix? Tell me the other navaids that are a fix. Does a radial lead to a fix?

When a pilot follows a VOR radial, does he home-on (13)the VOR? The DME? The ILS? What navaid does he home-on on a VOR radial? A DME radial?




Instructions to students: Using the following vocabulary or expressions, invent appropriate air traffic controllers' instructions communications for pilots.

Example: "to intercept", you could write the following: "Turn right ten degrees to intercept 'J' ". Or another example could be "passengers". You could write "Please advise how many passengers are on board". Write on a separate sheet of paper. You may use more than one of the following in any exercise.


a. a procedure turn f. holding pattern
b. expected approach time g. downwind leg
c. barometer h. hold short of
d. dew point i. cruising speed
e. wake turbulence j. maintain





Note to Instructor. The objective of this lesson is twofold, to practice pronunciation, and to enhance the students' understanding of words and terms introduced in previous lessons. For greater effectiveness, it is suggested that students take turns in reading aloud the parts of the pilot, the controller, and the narrator.



Nigerian Airways Flight 267 en-route from Lagos to Athens

Date: 2015-12-11; view: 1105

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