ELI5: Explain Like I'm 5

instrument landing system glide path

When big airplanes want to land at airports, they can use a special system called an instrument landing system glide path to help them land safely. It's like a helpful guide that tells the airplane where to go so it can land right on the runway.

Okay, let's pretend you're playing a video game where you have to land a plane. You're looking out the window and can see the runway in front of you, but it's hard to tell if you're going up or down, left or right. This is called visibility, and it's like when you're trying to see something far away on a foggy day. That's not good for a pilot trying to land a big airplane!

That's where the instrument landing system glide path comes in. It uses radio signals to send a message to the airplane that shows the pilots where to go. It's like a map that tells you where to turn when you're driving somewhere new.

The glide path system has two big parts: the localizer and the glide slope. The localizer tells the pilot whether they're too far left or right of the runway, and the glide slope tells them when they're too high or too low. It's like when you're trying to throw a ball into a basket - you have to aim just right to make it in. The glide path helps the airplane aim just right to make a safe landing.

The pilots can see the glide path on a special screen in the cockpit of the plane. There will be two lines that show them if they're on the right path or if they need to adjust their altitude. Just like when you're playing a video game and you can see where your character is going and where to adjust, the pilots can use the instrument landing system glide path to safely land the plane.

Finally, when the airplane gets close to the runway, the pilots will take over and land the plane themselves. They have to be careful and use all their training to make sure the landing is smooth and safe. But thanks to the instrument landing system glide path, they can do it with less stress and worry about visibility.