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I was looking for the point that you engage your auto pilot approach glide slope before the final approach fix in this question. How far back can you go?

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  • $\begingroup$ It depends on the airport. ATC is required to give you the glideslope intercept altitude for your specific approach when they issue your approach clearance, and that is the altitude that you should maintain until you get established on the glideslope. $\endgroup$ – jwzumwalt Dec 20 '17 at 11:39
  • $\begingroup$ @jwzumwalt One could argue that you should maintain that altitude, but you aren't necessarily required to. When ATC says "maintain [altitude] until established," you are established when you are on a lateral segment of the approach. Once established, you can descend to the lowest published altitude of the segment and intercept the glideslope at that altitude if you wish. (AIM 5-4-6 e 1) $\endgroup$ – ryan1618 Jan 20 '18 at 6:21
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From the navaid limitations section of the FAA Order 7110.65 (below), it's 10 miles from the transmitter. For the minimum altitude, it's shown on some charts as a lightning bolt.


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Depends upon the approach. In general for the ILS, the glideslope intercept will be at the approximate position of the outer marker or 4-7 miles from the threshold.

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