Learjet 45 Flight Tutorial

Welcome your own private jet, the Learjet 45.

For this tutorial we’re going to do a short flight from the Hollywood Burbank Airport (KBUR), taking off from runway 8. Our route takes us over downtown L.A., over the Hollywood sign, close to the Los Angeles airport, along the coast line to our destination: Santa Barbara Muni (KSBA). We’ll do an ILS approach and land on runway 07. We’ll do a manual sight seeing tour first and then resume the route but you can skip all this if you like. During the flight we’re going to show how to intercept a VOR radial, but you can skip this as well if you like. The parts that can be left out will be marked as optional.

This tutorial should take about 30 to 45 minutes to complete. Before we continue, it is advisable to read the flightdeck introduction.

Recommended Tutorials


Navigation Route


Create the flight plan as follows, either with the Aerofly FS Navigation Menu or using the UNS-1 FMS.

  • Select the Hollywood Burbank Airport (KBUR) as your route origin, runway 08 for departure
  • Select Santa Barbara Muni (KSBA) as your destination airport, ILS runway 07
  • Add the Santa Monica VOR: “SMO”
  • Add the Camarillo VOR: “CMA”
  • Add the Gaviota VOR: “GVO”
  • Cruise altitude 18,000ft

We’re starting this tutorial “ready for taxi” at the western end of the KBUR parking area from where we’ll taxi to runway 8. Towards the end of the flight we’ll overfly the field and use manual headings to intercept the ILS. We’re actually not going to flying over the Gaviota VOR (GVO) because it bring us too close to the mountains to the North of Santa Barbara.

Weather Conditions

You can set the conditions as you like, we’re going to use runways pointing to the East so wind coming from the East would be best. Suggested conditions are:

  • Time Of Day: 2300Z (3pm local)
  • Visibility maximum
  • Cumulus cloud density: 50%, height: 50%
  • Wind 140° (SE), light
  • Turbulence and thermals as desired

Takeoff Data

For those who are interested here are a couple of infos for the current setup of the aircraft:

  • Takeoff mass 7102 kg, 15657 lbs
  • Takeoff pitch trim 5.9 units
  • Takeoff flap setting is 8°


Prior to the flight we recommend setting up a few key commands that we need during this tutorial flight. Please go to the controls menu for the “autopilot” and assign the following functions to keyboard keys or joystick buttons:

  • Autopilot “Disengage” command (takeover button)
  • “Take off / go around mode” (TOGA button on the throttle levers).


Set Parking Brake

When the aircraft has loaded and you find yourself in the cockpit please set the parking brakes right away so that we have time to prepare and perform a few actions before we start to taxi.

  • Press the assigned key command for the parking brake or
  • Click the parking brake handle or
  • Grab the parking brake handle and pull it with the mouse or VR hand controller

Preparing The Autopilot

  • Press your “TakeOff/GoAround” - button which we assigned earlier in the control setup or
  • Click the black button on the left or right side of the throttle lever grip

Note - You can also press the “HDG” pushbutton on the Flight Guidance Controller (FGC) to select the heading mode. Then the go around (GA) vertical guidance mode will automatically be selected as well. A second click on that “HDG” button will select the basic “ROL” mode and you should get the same result.

Selecting Runway Heading

For our own guidance we’re going to put the heading bug to the runway direction, so that we have something to aim at after lift off to fly a straight takeoff.

On the Flight Guidance Controller (FGC)

  • Rotate the heading knob to select a heading of 078°
  • Verify the “YD” button in the center of the FGC is off.

Note - Do not press any other buttons on the FGC at this time, there should be no button illuminated yet, except the XFR arrow. If there is any button illuminated: Click the left “FD1” and the right “FD2” buttons to set both flight directors to off and to clear all flight guidance modes.

Selected Altitude

We’re going to dial in the cruise altitude of 18,000ft as our select altitude so that we can climb unrestricted. If you plan to do the little sight seeing tour select 2000ft for now.

  • Rotate the ASEL knob on the Flight Guidance Controller (FGC) and until the Primary Flight Display (PFD) shows your desired altitude in the top right corner.
  • Set 2000ft

Set Navigation Source to FMS

We’re going to set the navigation source to FMS which will allow the autopilot to follow our flight plan and we also get the lateral offset to our flight plan on our PFD. In the air we are going to engage the flight guidance “NAV” mode which uses the selected navigation source to steer the aircraft. With our selected navigation source being “FMS” the NAV mode will give us a lateral navigation from the FMS (LNAV in other aircraft) which we need to fly along the route.

  • Click the “FMS” pushbutton on the display controller left of the autopilot panel (FGC) to select the FMS1 as navigation source on our PFD.

Note - FMS1 should be indicated on the primary flight display, in the legend left of the HSI rose. If FMS2 is now showing that is fine, to set it to FMS1 just press the “FMS” button again.


Let us quickly review the meaning of the three V-speeds: V1, VR and V2

V1 is the takeoff decision speed, also called “V go”. When a critical malfunction occurs like the failure of an engine we can abort the takeoff roll when we are slower than V1. When we are already faster then V1 either the runway is not long enough to stop from that point with that high speed or the maximum brake energy would be exceeded which may also result in an runway overrun. Above V1 we are committed to the flight, we have to continue the takeoff.

VR is the rotation speed at which the yoke is pulled aft to lift the nose off the ground.

V2 is the climb speed for the initial segment after lift off up to flap retraction. This speed is flown when one engine failed during the takeoff and we decided to continue into the air, above V1. Typically the speed actually flown in the first segment is V2 + 10KT or faster.

With our current takeoff mass of roughly 7100 kg or 16,000 lb the v-speeds are:

  • V1 = 105kt
  • VR = 107kt
  • V2 = 116kt

MFD Menu V-Speeds

To edit the speeds we’re going into the MFD menu as already shown in the cockpit introduction.

  • Go to the MFD main menu by following pressing the “RTN” labeled buttons or deselecting TCAS from the main menu
  • Click the MFD labeled button
  • Click the SPDS labeled bezel button
  • Click the V-Speed that you want to edit
  • Rotate the lower right knob of the MFD to increase or decrease the selected v-speed.
  • Press the lower left “RTN” button twice to return to the main menu

MFD System Pages

Select FLT page on the left MFD and and SUMRY on the right MFD.

  • Exit out of any previous menu by clicking the bezel button labeled “RTN” (return) or deselect TCAS to get to the main menu.
  • Click any buttons on the bezel controller of the MFD that are labeled “RTN”.
  • Once you are in the main menu of the MFD click the SYS button.
  • Click the SUMRY button to select the system summary page.
  • Click it again to return back to the main menu of the MFD.

On the EICAS screen you do not have sub-menus, you can quickly select any page by clicking the bezel select button next to the page name.

Before Taxi

Flight Control Check

Before we get rolling we’re going to check the flight controls, move your control inputs to make sure they are working as intended.

  • Move elevator full up and full down
  • Move ailerons full left and full right
  • Move rudder full left and full right

Check Spoiler Extension

Extend the spoilers and check if they extend symmetrically.

  • Grab the spoiler lever tip with the mouse cursor, VR hand controller or with your finger and drag the lever aft or
  • Point your mouse cursor at the base of the spoiler lever and rotate the mouse wheel over that area to extend the spoilers

The spoilers extension is visible on the Engine Indication and Crew Alerting System display (EICAS) in the Crew Alerting System (CAS) as text info SPOILERS EXT as well as in the spoiler position indicator.

Arm Ground Spoilers

Move the spoiler lever all the way forward and just a tiny bit aft, to about 5% of the lever position where the “ARM” position is labeled. This will arm the automatic spoiler extension in case of a rejected takeoff. The Crew Alerting System (CAS) will show AUTOSPLR ARMED in white.

Set Takeoff Flaps

  • Either drag the flap lever or
  • Press the assigned key (default ‘f’) to set the flaps to 8°

Takeoff Trim

Our center of gravity is about 20% MAC, that means we’re going to use about 5.9 units of pitch trim. This should already be set and no action should be required.

To manually adjust the pitch trim setting we can either

  • Use the assigned pitch trim control on our input device or
  • Move the trim switch on the yoke in the virtual cockpit
  • Using the secondary trim switch in the pedestal

To use the secondary pitch trim switch in the pedestal

  • Set the pitch trim system switch to the SEC (secondary) position.
  • Either grab the trim rocker switch or use the mouse wheel scroll.
  • Set the trim system switch back to PRI (primary) when done.
Takeoff Pitch Trim
CG %MAC 1 - 10 12 14 16 18 20 >22
Trim Setting 8.7 8.1 7.6 6.4 6.4 5.9 5.3

Check External Lights

Configure the external lights as described below, a lot of this should already be set by default, just make sure they are set correctly.

  • Set the BCN/STROBE switch to the intermediate BCN (beacon light only) position.
  • Set the RECOGnition light switch to OFF.
  • Set the left and right landing lights (L LDG, R LDG) to the OFF position
  • Set the NAV lights to on.

Set Taxi Lights On

On the LIGHTS panel

  • Set both landing/taxi light switches (“L LDG” and “TAXI” written next to it) to the middle “TAXI” position.

Before Taxi Checklist

Before Taxi Checklist
No. Location Panel Name Action Remarks
1 Controls Flight Control Free and correct CHECKED Test your assigned controls
2 Quadrant Spoiler Lever Autospoilers ARMED
5 Lower Front Panel GEAR/HYD NOSE STEER ON Should already be on, button pressed in


We’re going to taxi out to Runway 8 which is already parallel to our parking position, off to our right. Turn right onto the taxiway and follow it onto the runway 8.

Release the Parking Brake

We’re ready to taxi and can now release the parking brake to get going.

To start taxiing, release the parking brake

  • Press the assigned key command or
  • Click the parking brake handle or
  • Drag at the parking brake handle forward

Brake And Reverser Test

  • Tap the brakes gently to test if they are working
  • Use your assigned thrust reverse to check if the reversers deploy and then store them right away.

Taxi Checklist

Taxi Checklist
No. Location Panel Name Action Remarks
1 Controls - Brakes TESTED
2 Controls - Reverse TESTED and STOWED
4 Front Panel EICAS TRIM SET 3x Pitch 5.9 units, Rudder and Aileron 0.0 
5 Front Panel EICAS FLAPS INDICATION CHECKED Flap display should display takeoff flap setting, 8°
6 Lower Front Panel PAX OXYGEN HI FLOW OFF

Runway Lineup

We’re now cleared for takeoff and are rolling onto the runway and will do our spool up shortly. Before we takeoff there are a few items remaining that we need to do now before we can start the takeoff roll.


Let’s turn on the transponder using the RMU

  • Press the 4th line select key on the left.
  • Rotate the tune fine knob to step the mode from STANDBY, TA to TA/RA.
  • Set the TCAS tilt to “ABOVE”, if not already set

Lights On

We are rolling onto an active runway and will therefor turn on our strobe light and also set the landing lights to on since we already have the takeoff clearance. Some Learjets also have recognition lights, we’re going to set them on as well.

  • Set the BCN/STROBE switch to the BCN/STROBE position
  • Set REGOC switch to on (RECOG position)
  • Set the left and right landing lights (L LDG or R LDG) switches to on

Before Takeoff Checklist

Before Takeoff Checklist
No. Location Panel Name Action Remarks
3 Lower Front Panel LIGHTS L+R LANDING LT ON
6 Front Panel MFD PAGE SUMRY or FLT Different from EICAS


Normal Takeoff Procedure

Hold the brakes. Advance your throttle control input forward until you see an N1 indication of 85 to 86% on the EICAS (first round two dials from the top). We call that takeoff thrust set, release your brakes.

The aircraft will accelerate quickly, maintain the center line of the runway with rudder and gently pull back when the speed exceeds VR of 107KT. Rotate with about 3 to 5 degrees per second.

Positive Rate Gear Up

When airborne retract the landing gear.

  • Click the landing gear lever to retract the gear.

Stabilize Pitch And Speed

  • Maintain a speed of about V2 + 10KT,

or roughly where the selected airspeed bug is placed, 140KT. Ignore the flight director pitch guidance, it only indicates a fix pitch angle in the GA mode and is not meant as guidance.

Yaw Damper (YD)

Even if you do not intent to use the autopilot at least press the YD button to improve yaw damping. The Yaw Damper (YD) always comes on when the autopilot is engaged and is disconnected when the autopilot disengages. But you can use the YD any time during flight, just not for takeoff and landing.

  • Press the YD button until it is illuminated

Set Maximum Continuous Thrust (MCT)

  • Move the thrust levers to set the maximum continuous thrust (MCT) of around 83.2%.

Engage Autopilot

When above 500ft, with stabilized pitch attitude and stable speed, set the autopilot to on. Engage NAV mode now.

  • Click the Autopilot Master (AP) button to engage the autopilot. Let go of your controls.
  • Click the NAV button, the autopilot will then start tracking the flight plan, because we selected FMS1 as navigation source earlier.
  • At 1000ft click the FLC button on the Flight Guidance Controller (FGC) to select Flight Level Change (FLC) as new vertical mode

Note - When you chose the sight seeing tour and selected 2000ft the autopilot will level off shortly, no need or time to set FLC. Reduce thrust to keep around 180KT.

Sight Seeing Tour (Optional)

As denoted earlier this part is purely optional and you can skip all the way to the “After Takeoff” section of this tutorial. If you do want to do this maintain a speed of 180KT for this right hand turn to work as intended with the autopilot or just fly manually.

Plan is to swing around the hills off to our right. On the back side, facing L.A. there is the Hollywood Sign tourist attraction which our passengers want to see. There is also a little tower up on that hill which you should be able to see after the first right turn of the flight plan.

We’re going to use heading select to steer around that mountain and we’re only using half bank angle so that we can see the sign from the cockpit as well, even from our left seat if everything goes as planned. :) You can of course fly this part manually if you like, fly around the hill a couple of times.

This isn’t totally realistic, you probably can’t fly that close to the sign in real life, but hey, we’re having fun and pretend to have rich people in the back who will pay for all fines, right?

Level Off

Because we set the selected altitude to only 2000ft earlier the autopilot has already leveled off now. Another way to level off any time a.s.a.p. would be to press the “ALT” button on the FGC. The altitude at the time of the button press is stored as target altitude and the autopilot is going to maintain that altitude.

  • Adjust manual thrust input

Fly Selected Heading

Now select heading 120° and fly a speed of 180KT.

  • Click the HDG knob first to synchronize the selected heading to the currently flown heading
  • Rotate the HDG knob with the mouse wheel to 120°
  • Click the HDG push button above the HDG knob to enter HDG select mode

FMS Leg Switch, Heading 210

Watch the HSI on your PFD. When it flips right to the next waypoint and no longer points towards 123° wait 10 seconds, then rotate the selected heading right to 210°, still with reduced bank limit.

When you are confident you can turn further right at your discretion.

The Hollywood Sign

It should look something like this, when you are close to the sign.

Resume Flight Plan

Look at the PFD and depending on the position of the deviation bar adjust the selected heading left or right to reintercept the leg. Click the NAV button on the FGC as shown earlier. The autopilot will pick up the flight plan in FMS mode shortly.

  • Increase the selected altitude to FL 180 and press the FLC button.
  • Advance the thrust to MCT to start climbing.

After Takeoff

Retract Flaps, Disarm Spoilers

When we accelerated above V2 + 25KT (141KT today) we can select flaps up. And while we’re at it, disarm spoilers.

  • Use the mouse wheel over the flap lever to set the flaps to up or
  • Press you assigned key command or button to retract the flaps.
  • Click or tap on the spoiler lever to disarm the auto spoilers or
  • Press your assigned key command or button to retract the spoilers

Yaw Damper (YD)

Even if you do not intent to use the autopilot at least press the YD button to improve yaw damping. The Yaw Damper (YD) always comes on when the autopilot is engaged and is disconnected when the autopilot disengages. But you can use the YD any time during flight, just not for takeoff and landing.

  • Press the YD button until it is illuminated

After Takeoff Checklist

After Takeoff Checklist
No. Location Panel Name Action Remarks
4 Glareshield FGC YAW DAMPER ON

10,000ft Checks

At 10,000 feet altitude we can switch off the landing lights and release our passengers.

  • Set the L LDG or R LDG light switches to OFF
  • Set the NO SMOKING/BELTS switch to the OFF

Recognition Light Off

After passing 18,000ft altitude

  • Set the RECOGnition light switch to OFF

Transition Altitude

Reaching 18,000ft (transition altitude in the U.S.) we are going to set all three altimeters to the ISA standard pressure of 29.92 inHg or 1013 hPa.

  • Press the STD push button to set the PFD altimeter to standard
  • Repeat for the right side PFD
  • Rotate the standby altimeter adjustment wheel to set 1013 or 2992

Note - The pressure indication won’t switch to a text “STD”, it just sets the pressure value to the standard pressure. To switch back to local pressure just turn the BARO SET knob right next to the STD push button on the PFD bezel selector.

Climb Checklist

Climb Checklist
No. Location Panel Name Action Remarks
1 Lower Front Panel LIGHTS LDG/TAXI OFF Above 10k
2 Lower Front Panel LIGHTS BELTS AS REQUIRED Above 10k
3 Front Panel PFDs, Standby ALT ALTIMETER STD 3x Above 18k


Remember that this aircraft does not have an auto throttle system and we have to manage speed ourselves. When the autopilot starts to level off at the desired altitude reduce the thrust to maintain a speed of about 280 knots, we used about 72% of N1 in our testing.

VOR Interception (Optional)

This is another optional part where we’re going to intercept a VOR radial with the autopilot of the Learjet 45. Skip this section as desired.

The plan for this section is to get a better understanding of the navigation source selection and the coupling arrows and XFR switch. We’re going to interact with the RMUs, use the copilot PFD to intercept the signal from nav source 2 and then resume the flight over Camarillo in FMS mode, before we need to start the descent.

We are at cruise altitude with a heading of about 278° or still during the climb, just after Santa Monica VOR (SMO) and well before the Camarillo VOR (CMA) station. We’re going to intercept the 255° radial towards Ventura VOR (VTU) and then turn back onto the flight plan, for this we will prepare everything on the right PFD and then just switch the navigation source from left to right PFD with the XFR switch.

Navigation Source Selection

NAV2 should already be source on the right hand PFD but if it isn’t:

Use the right display controller:

  • Press the NAV button to switch it to NAV1
  • And finally to NAV2 with a second press.

NAV2 Frequency

The frequency for the Ventura VOR is 108.20 MHz. To tune in this frequency:

  • Press the second line select key on the right on one of the two Radio Management Units (RMU)
  • Rotate the inner and outer TUNE knobs and to adjust the frequency. The outer knob steps full 1.0 MHz and the inner knob steps 0.05 MHz increments.

When the frequency of 108.20 is set in the cyan standby field transfer it across to the active field:

  • Press the first line select key of that RMU, the one just above the line select key that we just used.

NAV2 Course

The inbound course that we want to use is 255° but you can decrease that further if the course deviation indicator on the HSI is already left of the aircraft symbol. In that case use 240 or something like that, it is important that the needle is still right of the HSI center, otherwise we can’t intercept the turn with the present heading.

To adjust the course of the NAV2 use the CRS2 knob (right CRS knob!)

  • Rotate the CRS2 knob and set a course of about 240°.

Set NAV2 Navigation Source

Each PFD has its’ own navigation source, which can be FMS1, FMS2, NAV1 or NAV2. We select which one we want on our PFD with the onside display controller.

The autopilot then uses either the left or the right PFD’s selected navigation source depending on the coupling arrow direction and we can change which one has priority with the XFR button.

This makes it possible to have the FMS on the left side and the NAV2 on the right side, like in our case, and then quickly switch from one source to the next.

Set XFR, Arm VOR Capture

Currently the autopilot is still tracking our flight plan FMS mode from the left PFD, time to change that. First we’re going to change which PFD the autopilot is using, this will cause the autopilot to fall out of the FMS mode coming from the left side, back into its basic mode which is ROL. ROL means wings level when the bank angle is less than 6° and bank hold above that. We should be careful switching nav-sources when our current bank angle is high, we have to make sure that we’re not staying in ROL because the autopilot is just going to continue turning, no matter what… A safer option is to use the heading mode.

  • Push the heading knob to synchronize the target heading to the present heading
  • Push the HDG pushbutton above the knob to engage heading mode
  • Now press the XFR button so that the light points to the right side and so that the coupling arrows on the PFD point to the right side.
  • Arm the VOR capture mode by pressing the NAV button

Once the autopilot captures the VOR the FMA will display VOR in green. The screenshot shows the right side PFD when the VOR mode activates.

Summary VOR Capture

Let me summarize the actions we did so far:

  • Make sure the autopilot is not affected by our changes, it is currently coupled to the FMS mode on the left side, so we use the right side to prepare the new VOR source
  • We set the NAV2 frequency of the Ventura VOR: 108.20,
  • Select NAV2 as navigation source on the right PFD,
  • Adjusted NAV2 course (255 or less)

When the signal is received and the station is identified on the right PFD we can arm the VOR capture mode:

  • Sync HDG by pressing the HDG knob in, then push the HDG button above it
  • Set XFR arrow to the right side
  • Press the NAV button to arm the VOR capture

Return Back to the FMS Route

Now that we have demonstrated how to capture a VOR, we’ll rejoin our route. We still have the FMS selected on our left PFD so we can just swap back to the route but we’ll have to re-intercept the route to capture it.

  • Push the HDG knob to sync the heading
  • Press the HDG pushbutton to engage HDG mode
  • Rotate the HDG knob to turn towards the right, back to our route
  • Press the XFR button to select the left PFD with the FMS1 source
  • Press the NAV button to arm the FMS route capture

The FMS mode will engage once you are back on the flight plan. You can adjust the intercept HDG by rotating the HDG knob to accelerate this process.


Approach Briefing

Shortly after Camarillo VOR (CMA) we are going to start our descent down to 3000ft, descending in vertical speed mode (VS) at a rate of -2000ft/min with 250KT indicated airspeed. At 8.0NM DME before the Gaviota VOR (GVO) we are going to break off from the flight plan and turn left to 255° and slow down to 180KT. At 10.0NM DME from ISBA we are going to turn left to 130° and intercept the localizer of runway 07.

We are going to fly the ILS 07 approach into Santa Barbara Muni (KSBA), the ILS frequency is 110.30MHz, the approach course is 075°. The ILS localizer goes out to the open water of the Pacific Ocean, so no obstructions to worry about once we are established.

The airport elevation of KSBA is 14ft and the runway is 6000ft long (1830m). On rollout we are going to turn right onto the first taxiway after the two intersecting runway.

Top Of Descent

We are going to start our descent at the white #TOD marker on the map. Take a look at the MFD map display to see the position of the top of descent in relation to our aircraft. To start the descent we need to select a lower altitude and then press the vertical speed button on the Flight Guidance Controller (FGC). We’re going to descent to 3000 feet and use a vertical speed of -2000 feet per minute.

Manual Thrust

  • Reduce the thrust - Because there is no auto-throttle in the Learjet you have to manually adjust thrust again to maintain the airspeed. You can start slowing down once you approach 10,000ft. But for now you can still fly 280KT. During the entire descent your task is to manage the thrust by adjusting the throttle levers.

Vertical Speed Mode

  • Rotate the altitude select knob (ASEL) to reduce the selected altitude displayed on the Primary Flight Display (PFD) to 3000 feet.
  • Press the Vertical Speed (VS) button on the FGC
  • Rotate the combined SPD/VS knob to set the desired -2000ft/min descent rate, which you can see on the lower right of the PFD, on the vertical speed indicator (VSI)

Transition Level

We are now below the transition level of 18,000 feet in the U.S. so we have to switch back to the local pressure at the airport.

  • Rotate the pressure setting knob on the PFD to set the airport pressure (QNH) of 1013 hPa or 29.92 inHg, which should already be set
  • Set the recognition lights back on, for this set the RECOG light switch to the upper position

10,000 Feet

At 10,000 feet during the descent we are going to set the lights and seat belt signs back on.

  • Set the L LDG or R LDG light switches to the upper on position
  • Set the NO SMOKING/BELTS switch to the upper position as well.
  • Reduce thrust - Slow down to below 250 knots.

Descent Checklist

Descent Checklist
No. Location Panel Name Action Remarks
1 Front Panel PFDs, Standby ALT ALTIMETER STD 3x Below 18k
2 Lower Front Panel LIGHTS RECOGNITION LIGHTS ON Below 18k
3 Lower Front Panel LIGHTS BELTS ON
4 Lower Front Panel LIGHTS LDG/TAXI ON Below 10k

Approach Preparation

During the descent we are going to prepare the approach into Santa Barbara. We are going to fly in FMS on our flight plan up to 8 NM to Gaviota VOR (GVO) where we are going to turn left to 255° onto the downwind. By then we will have the approach set up fully so that we can switch our navigation source from FMS to NAV on our left PFD. We will slow down to 160KT and set flaps 5°. When we reach a distance of 10 NM to the localizer we will turn left to 130° to intercept it. The autopilot will intercept the localizer for us so that we can run final checks while it does that. At 200ft above the ground we have to disengage the autopilot and land manually.

Note - This arrival route doesn’t exist in the real world, I made this up for Aerofly FS training purposes.

This may look complicated at first but it is actually really simple. All you have to do is look at the PFD, left of the HSI on the distance that is sown. The first time you will just have to press one button when the number is 8.0, the second time you just have to scroll over the heading select knob when the distance reaches 10.0. We will prepare everything in time, there isn’t that much to do and we have a lot of time in between.

We are now going to prepare the ILS on the NAV1 and NAV2 receivers. For this we have to tune the receivers manually, set the navigation source to ILS1 or ILS2 and set the correct approach course.

Tune ILS Frequency

First we are going to set the frequency for the Santa Barbara ILS (ISBA), which is 110.30MHz, on both NAV1 and NAV2 receivers.

On the left Radio Management Unit (RMU)

  • Press the second right line select key (LSK 2R) to highlight the NAV1 standby frequency
  • Rotate the fine and coarse TUNE knobs to adjust the standby frequency to 110.30 MHz.
  • Press the first right line select key to swap the standby and active frequencies.

Repeat for NAV2 on the right RMU, in exactly the same way.

Set ILS Approach Course

Next we have to set both courses to 075°. We are going to do this on the right side PFD so that we can continue flying in FMS with the flight plan and don’t interrupt the autopilot. First we select the NAV1 navigation source on the right PFD:

  • On the right side display controller press the “NAV” button. The right PFD should now display “ILS1” with the identifier “ISBA” in the legend left of the HSI rose.
  • Rotate the right side CRS2 knob on the FGC and rotate the mouse wheel until the PFD displays 075° for the CRS.

Repeat for NAV2: Press the NAV button of the right display controller a second time to select NAV2, then rotate the CRS2 knob again and set the same course as in NAV1.

Later on we are going to switch the left side PFD nav source to NAV1 and leave the source on NAV2 for the right side. Then by a single press on the APP button on the FGC we can arm the ILS approach. But we’re not quite there yet, we have to descent a little bit further and position ourselves for the intercept.


We’re going to assume an arbitrary 200ft for the minimum descent altitude (MDA), the lowest barometric altitude to which we can descent without having the runway in sight. If we don’t see the runway we are now allowed to descent below this MDA and we have to go around and either hope for better weather or fly to an alternate airport, e.g. Camarillo.

  • Press the RA/BARO button twice
  • Rotate the MINIMUMS adjustment knob and set a barometric altitude of 200 feet.

Note - Look at the highlighted area on the screenshot on your PFD, that is where the MDA (“BARO”) value is found.

Approach Speeds (VREF)

The approach reference speed (VREF) for our current mass of roughly 15,500lbs and our landing elevation (below 4000ft) is

  • VREF = 115KT (flaps 40, gear down)

A typical pattern in the Learjet 45 uses the following speeds:

  1. Gear up, flaps up: VREF + 40KT ( = 155KT )
  2. Gear up, Flaps 8°: VREF + 30KT ( = 145KT )
  3. Gear Down, Flap 20°: VREF + 20KT ( = 135KT )
  4. Gear Down, Flap 40°: VREF ( = 115KT )

Note - The Flight Crew Operating Manual (FCOM) states that any use of flaps and spoilers at the same time is prohibited.

→ What does that mean for us?

When we turn onto the downwind leg of our traffic pattern we will slow down to 155KT. We will then extend flaps to 8 degrees and slow down to 145 knots but only after the base turn. When we capture the glide slope we will select the gear down and set flaps 20° and slow down to 135 knots. At around 1500ft we can select the final stage of flaps and slow down to 120KT where the white “RF” is displayed on the PFD.

Setting Approach Speed (VREF)

For our own reference you can adjust the airspeed bug to 120KT. To do so we cannot be in vertical speed mode, so you’ll have to do this a little later, once we have leveled off, or you can press the VS button again to enter PIT (pitch hold) vertical mode for a second, set the speed, then come back to vertical speed mode.

When you are not in VS mode you can adjust the selected speed easily:

  • Rotate the speed knob and spin your mouse wheel to select the speed. The selected value is displayed in the upper left corner of the primary flight display (PFD).

Approach Checklist

Approach Checklist
No. Location Panel Name Action Remarks


Alright, we have everything set up that takes a bit of time. You should be abeam the airport right now as seen on the approach diagram. Now the fun can begin, we’re going to fly the pattern around KSBA. Continue flying straight for now.

Here is the approach diagram from earlier again:

Reduce Speed

Slow down to VREF + 40 knots = 155KT but no slower than that.

  • Adjust your throttle input and monitor the speed.

Preparation For Downwind Leg

When the primary flight display (PFD) shows a distance of 8.0 nautical miles (NM) remaining to Gaviota (GVO) (as shown on the screenshot) then activate the heading select mode.

Turn Downwind at 8NM DME from GVO

Select the heading for the downwind leg, 255°.

  • Rotate the HDG knob to the left to set 255° on the PFD.
  • Press the heading push button on the FGC to engage HDG mode.

Switch NAV-Source NAV1

Switch over to the NAV1 navigation source on the left PFD. We already prepared the ILS1 earlier on this navigation source.

  • Press the NAV pushbutton on the left display controller

The left PFD should now show NAV1, the right one NAV2. Press the individual display controller NAV push buttons a second time if this is not yet case.

Extend Flaps To 8 Degrees

We are below the maximum extension speed for flap 8° which are incredible 250 knots in this aircraft. Hence the name LearJET I guess :D

  • Move flap selector to the first notch, 8°.

Arm the Ground-Spoilers

  • Click the spoiler handle to set it to the ARM position or grab the lever and pull it to the ARM position

Arm Approach

We are about to turn left onto the base leg, we can already arm the localizer and glide slope capture now, or after the turn. To arm the ILS approach mode:

  • Switch do the ILS navigation source, which we already did for both sides
  • Press the APP button on the FGC

Wait For Turn Base

At 10 NM DME from ISBA (as seen on the screenshot) or a bit later (11, 12 or 13 NM should work just as well) turn left to 130° to intercept the localizer. 10 miles is the earliest you can make this turn, that would be the shortest time. But to be sure everything goes as planned count to 10 and then start turning.

Please note - If you are not yet leveled at 3000 feet yet you should also extend further outward until you see the green glide slope triangle between the attitude indicator and altitude tape moving.

Turn Base

  • Rotate the HDG knob left to set 130° as the selected heading.

The autopilot will directly turn to this new heading because the HDG mode is already engaged.

Note - Make sure you keep your speed at or above 155 knots, adjust your throttles in the turn as needed. When you fly too slow at this point you may end up above the glide slope. You can notice this when that GS remains in white on the first line on the PFD and the aircraft doesn’t seem to descent on it’s own and you can see the runway far below you. In this case just use heading select again, as shown before. Turn back to the left to 255°, speed up to 180 knots, extend the downwind a bit further (beyond 10.0 DME), and then just try again, no big issue!

On the approach diagram we are now flying the 180° turn towards the dashed line.

Localizer Capture

The Flight Guidance will capture the LOC and very shortly after the glide slope (GS) but only in that order. The glide slope cannot be captured before the localizer even though you may already be established. On the screenshot below I want to raise your attention towards the highlighted areas.

  • At the top of the display you can see the Flight Mode Annunciator (FMA) which shows the localizer and glide slope capture in green. This indicates that the aircraft has captured the ILS and will descent down to the runway.
  • To the right of the attitude indicator you can see the glide slope indicator. On the screenshot the green glide slope triangle is already perfectly centered. If the diamond is below the center at this point and GS does still show in white you can attempt catching up with the glide slope using vertical speed mode (VS) as shown earlier and a rate of 1500ft/min. Or just turn around using heading select and a heading of 255° degrees and try again.
  • The yellow arrows in the screenshot indicate the movement direction of the deviation indicator on the HSI. Once the deviation hits zero you are exactly on the extended runway centerline.

Reduce Speed, Flaps 20

Now that the localizer and glide slope are captured idle the thrust and slow down to VREF + 30KT = 145KT. When you reached 145KT extend flaps to 20° and continue to slow down to 135KT (VREF + 20KT).

  • Set the flap lever to 20° by pressing the assigned key (default ‘f’), by grabbing the flap lever or by using the mouse scroll wheel over the flap lever base.

Gear down

At around 2000ft extend the landing gear to help slowing down the aircraft.

  • Press the assigned key command (default ‘g’), click the gear lever or drag the gear lever down

Flaps Full, VREF

Below 145KT set full flaps and decelerate to 120 knots. Adjust the thrust with your throttle levers to maintain that speed.

Check Spoilers Armed

During landing the ground spoilers will automatically deploy and dump excess lift to increase the wheel friction and improve braking action. The auto spoilers have to be armed for this, like we did before takeoff.

  • Click the spoiler lever to set the spoilers to the armed position (if not already set)

Note - On the EICAS in the Crew Alerting System (CAS) window a “AUTOSPLR ARMED” text will be shown in white.

Check all lights are on

  • Set the LDG and RECOG switches to the upper position, if not already set.

Landing Checklist

Landing Checklist
No. Location Panel Name Action Remarks
2 Lower Front Panel GEAR AUX HYD ON
3 Lower Front Panel GEAR GEAR INDICATION DOWN 3x green
5 Quadrant FLAPS FLAP LEVER DOWN Below 150KT, confirm down position on EICAS display
6 Glareshield FGC YAW DAMPER (YD) OFF
7 Front Panel EICAS/MFD SYSTEM PAGES SUMRY and FLT or vice versa

Final Approach

The one thing we have to do at the moment is maintain our speed at 120 knots because the autopilot won’t do that for us without auto-throttles. Get ready to take over controls, the autopilot cannot land the plane, we have to.

Autopilot Off

Disconnect the autopilot before reaching 200ft above ground. The autopilot is only certified for CAT 1 approaches and cannot land automatically.

  • Press the red button on the yoke or
  • Press the AP button in the middle of the flight guidance controller (FGC)

It is normal that the Yaw Damper (YD) also disengages now. The yaw damper also needs to be disconnect before landing, this is why it automatically disengages whenever the autopilot disengages.

Go Around

If you have to go around

  • Press assigned TOGA button on the throttle levers, fly manually
  • Advance thrust levers to go around thrust if required or MCT if possible
  • Reduce flaps to 8°
  • Set the landing gear up when the vertical speed is positive
  • Pitch to maintain 120 knots with flaps 8
  • Then accelerate to 140 knots or faster and retract flaps
  • Disarm spoilers
  • Turn left to 255° and repeat the approach procedure.



At 55ft radar altitude (the white boxed number on the PFD in the attitude indicator, at the bottom) gently move your thrust levers to idle. Counter the pitch up tendency due to the engine thrust change and steer the aircraft a bit towards the ground. Softly flare the aircraft, due to its low wing it has a lot of ground effect, not much pull up is required.

Touch Down

Check the spoilers extend, on the EICAS you can see the spoiler position going up and in the CAS you can also read the text “SPOILERS EXT”.


Activate the thrust reversers. Use your assigned controls for this. You may use the thrust reversers up to 40 knots airspeed in this aircraft.

Slow down with the brakes and try to vacate the first taxiway after the two runways. The best visual clue are the markings on the runway. We want to take the exit just before the large solid white rectangles (beginning of the touch down zone from the opposite direction).

After Landing

Welcome to Santa Barbara!

After vacating the runway to the right continue taxiing straight to the general aviation terminal (GAT).

Lights Off

When you turn off the runway turn off the landing and strobe lights.

  • Set landing light switches to the OFF position.
  • Set the REGOCnition light switch to OFF
  • Set the BCN/STROBE light to BCN.

ATC/TCAS Standby

On the Radio Management Unit set the ATC/TCAS to standby.

  • Press the fourth left line select key from the top (LSK 4L)
  • Rotate the inner TUNE knob to set the mode to STANDBY

Flaps Up, Retract Spoilers

  • Retract the flaps
  • Move the spoiler lever to the most forward position

Flight Directors Off

We can now reset the flight directors and clear any modes in the Flight Mode Annunciator (FMA) on the PFD.

  • Press the left FD1 button and then the right FD2 button to reset the flight directors

Note - When the autopilot is engaged in flight, if you press the flight director key on the side the XFR arrow points to, the flight guidance modes will be reset to ROL and PIT basic modes. If you press the opposite side the flight directors on that side will disappear from the PFD.

Now we reached a similar state compared to how we found the aircraft at the beginning of the tutorial.

After Landing Checklist

After Landing Checklist
No. Location Panel Name Action Remarks

Taxi To Parking

Continue straight on the taxiway. You’ll find plenty of aircraft parked South of the building with the red roof, find a nice spot and set the parking brake.

Final Words

Let us quickly summarize the flight that we did. At Bob Hope we prepared the aircraft for takeoff, taxied to the runway and used the FMS to guide us along the route. If you did the little sight seeing tour at the beginning I hope you got to see the Hollywood sign or at least now know where it is located. In the air we demonstrated the VOR capture and descended in vertical speed mode. The Learjet also has VNAV capability for the descent if you want to try that out, check out the Q400 tutorial, where we describe a VNAV descent for a very similar autopilot. Throughout the flight we had to manage the throttle ourselves, because the Learjet’s autopilot isn’t equipped with auto throttles. At the end we did a basic pattern in heading select mode and intercepted the ILS into Santa Barbara. I hope that this part wasn’t too complicated and that you managed to to fly the approach.

Hopefully this tutorial provided you with enough information to that you can manage your next journey in this aircraft all by yourself. You could retry the tutorial flight with the VOR capture and the Hollywood sign next to gain a bit more understanding about the navigation source selection to use it to your benefits. Or you could continue the flight northbound to San Francisco or South towards San Diego or Catalina.

If you enjoyed following this tutorial, maybe you might also have fun trying out the Dash8 Q400 flight tutorial next? There are plenty of similarities between their autopilots, the navigation source selections among other things. Once you understand the way the autopilot works in either of the two aircraft you will probably understand the other autopilot as well.

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