Updated: Dec 9, 2020

Localizer Back Course Lesson by wifiCFI


A localizer approach is a non-precision approach that provides a pilot with azimuth (lateral) guidance to the landing runway.

A Localizer Back Course Approach is flown in much the same way of the Localizer Front Course.

We will discuss the technical differences in this lesson.

We suggest studying the “Localizer Approach Maneuver Lesson” prior to this lesson.


Vectored Approach Example to Final Approach Course.

“N736TB, fly heading 090, maintain 2400.”

While being vectored, we should perform “ABC”

A: Airspeed/ATIS

Slow airspeed to set up for approach.

Obtain the airports ATIS/AWOS.

B: Build and Brief

Build the approach in the Instrument Approved GPS if applicable.

Brief the “Briefing Section” of the approach.

While briefing, be sure to input all necessary comm and nav frequencies.

It is very important to put the Front Course Number at the head of the HSI/OBS!

In this example, we would put 174 at the Head of our needle.

C: Checklist

Run the approach checklist.


It is important to complete the ABC’s as soon as possible.

If a pilot is “ahead” of the airplane, it makes the approach much easier.

How to Brief the Approach

1: Name of Approach

2: Approach Navigation Frequency

Brief and Input

3: Approach Course

Brief and Input

4: Runway Length and TDZE

5: Notes

6: Missed Approach Instructions

7: MSA Altitudes

8: Final Approach Fix

9: Minimum Altitude and Visibility

10: Missed Approach Point

Timing can also be used to Identify the MAP

This chart references the time from the FAF to the MAP

Hence, a timer should be started when crossing the FAF

“N736TB, maintain 2400 until established, cleared for the Localizer Back Course Runway 17R Approach.”

Instrument Rating ACS Standards

Establish proper two way radio communications.

Select, tune, and identify the proper navigation facility.

Comply with ATC/Examiner Clearances.

Establish proper airplane configurations and airspeeds.

Maintain Altitude +/- 100’.

Maintain Heading +/- 10 Degrees.

Maintain Airspeed +/- 10 KIAS.

Maintain a stabilized approach course with less than ¾ scale deflection for lateral navigation.

At MDA/MDH maintain altitude -0/+ 100’.

Execute missed approach procedures without proper runway environment criteria in sight or,

Transition to a normal landing while following proper visual glidepath indications.

Normal landing made within the runway touchdown zone.

FAA Sources Used for This Lesson

Instrument Flying Handbook

Instrument Airmen Certification Standards (ACS)

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