When doing a VFR-Flight, the runway to land on is usually approached visually. However, I would like to do some ILS-Training but in VFR.

  • Is that possible?
  • If yes: What's the procedure? Do I have to include something in my flightplan? Do I have to notify the Approach/Tower-Controller? In VFR the control zone is approached via pre-defined entry points like Echo or Sierra. But then I can't do an ILS-Approach because there is usually no entry point on runway track.
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This may be a dupe of this question or this one. In the US it's common to practice ILS approaches under VFR at both towered and non-towered airports, but only if you know what you're doing, i.e. you're already instrument rated, or training with an instructor. $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Commented May 28, 2017 at 18:05
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Procedures do vary between countries, so please specify the jurisdiction which you would like the answer to address. As it stands, it's too broad and impossible to answer for all countries in the world in one answer. $\endgroup$
    – Lnafziger
    Commented May 28, 2017 at 18:53
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    $\begingroup$ As a VFR pilot you are responsible for terrain avoidance and avoiding other aircraft. As long as the tower clears you for a straight-in approach, there is nothing to prevent you from flying the ILS. That being said, it is fairly difficult to watch for terrain and traffic while also watching the needles. If you do it, you should have a safety pilot along. $\endgroup$
    – JScarry
    Commented May 28, 2017 at 19:13
  • $\begingroup$ Related: aviation.stackexchange.com/q/88954 $\endgroup$
    – StephenS
    Commented Aug 31, 2021 at 1:54

1 Answer 1


Sure you can. Just request to fly the approach using either radar vectors or initial approach fixes, if available. The tower will usually comply and grant you the approach clearance, adding "maintain VFR" i.e. The approach should be flown under visual flight rules and you cannot use a view limiting device unless you have an appropriately rated safety pilot onboard with access to dual flight controls.

For non towered airports, you will need to listen for traffic in the area on the CTAF and provide position reports often for the benefit of other pilots in the pattern.

Flying practice instrument approaches in VFR is quite common and many pilots do this to maintain instrument proficiency. It is also common for instrument rated pilots to file a local IFR flight plan to practice as well.


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