Spacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3365 posts, RR: 13 Reply 1, posted (12 years 1 month 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 1227 times:
They find the glideslope with the glideslope indicator on their navigational radios. (Autopilot can do this automatically.) Same with the runway - there's a directional beacon that's sent out from a radio tower at the airport that helps them line up properly.
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Duce50boom From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 2, posted (12 years 1 month 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 1214 times:
Pilots use what's called an approach plate (basically a map describing with pictures and words that describes the type of approach, ie, ILS, VOR, TACAN, etc. Different approach types have different procedures, and for each type of approach available at the runway, there is a different page on the plate. It has things like the inbound course of the runway (what heading the runway points to) and the height you'll intercept the glideslope, decision height. etc, etc. It's a huge amount of information that once you learn how to read it, is amazingly simple and straightforward