Quit using the autopilot.

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Finnelly, Sep 26, 2019.

  1. Finnelly

    Finnelly Pre-Flight

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  2. Bonchie

    Bonchie Cleared for Takeoff

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    Probably some truth to it for foreign pilots jumping in the right seat with 400 hours.

    For our little planes, the A/P isn't landing it for us, so we get plenty of manual flying in every flight.
     
  3. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    Not me, bro. I hit the AP as soon as the wheels leave the ground and let it fly until short final. I want to own a Cirrus some day.

    :D I kid, I kid!!!
     
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  4. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Folks just don’t get the autopilot, this is very noticeable in low time folk.

    NOT using it at times is as bad as using it at other times.

    It’s a tool, simple as that, I’ve seen people task saturate themselves vs kicking the AP on because “I’d rather hand fly”, Ive seen people become enthralled with the AP vs hitting the button and flying the plane NOW, NOT using the autopilot thinking you’re building skills, that’s about the same as trying to take a Phillips screw out with a flat head because it’s more old school.

    What’s impressive is knowing when to kick it on and when to kick it off.


    Also was that opinion of the same FAA that removed real stall training from like everything, and eliminated instrument training from their new sport licenses? Lol, ahh FAA, you do you boo
     
  5. Unit74

    Unit74 Final Approach

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    Job security
     
  6. Deelee

    Deelee Line Up and Wait

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    Completely agree. I am a pretty low time pilot, but my instructors taught me the value of CRM/SRM and reducing workload whenever possible. I flip on the autopilot pretty much as soon as I am out of the pattern and on course (non-towered) or handed off to approach (inside the SFRA). Granted, the AP in the plane I fly only holds heading, not altitude. But it really makes life easier and reduces workload in terms of holding heading/staying on course, switching frequencies, checking weather, looking for traffic, talking on radio, etc. I actually like that it won't hold altitude for me because that has taught me how to trim the aircraft for straight/level flight. My goal is to get flying pretty much hands off using A/P and trim as soon as possible. I tend to turn off the A/P when I am about 10 miles away from the field. By then I am will into my descent from cruise and either following ATC instructions/vectors to final or am maneuvering to enter the pattern (untowered).

    Long story short - A/P = good CRM/SRM/workload reducer.
     
  7. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    This is an outgrowth of the Sum Ting Wong/Wi Tu Lo crash I think.
     
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  8. wayne

    wayne Pattern Altitude

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    And Air France 447.
     
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  9. wayne

    wayne Pattern Altitude

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    ^This.

    I kick it on soon after take-off. That's generally due to living in Atlanta and ATC has changes for me pretty much as soon as I switch to Departure from Tower. I want to be free to write down those changes, or start making them while the AP is keeping the plane on track and climb. Plus it leaves me more time to watch for traffic. Same on the descent into busy airspace. There are often lots of vector and altitude changes, plus checking on ATIS and more.

    A couple of the guys in the SR22 group I was in a few years ago started engaging the AP earlier after flying with me. They saw that it greatly reduced their workload on IFR flights during the climb and departure phase.

    When I shoot approaches for practice I do half AP and half by hand. I want to make sure I set-up the AP correctly, plus I also want to make sure I can do them if the AP decides to take a break or I set it up wrong.
     
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  10. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    What is this autopilot of which you speak?
     
  11. genna

    genna Cleared for Takeoff

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    Some kind of Tesla doohickey
     
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  12. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Someone said he was a real tool; glad I don't fly with him.
     
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  13. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    For what Otto cost I use him as much as possible. Hand flying long cross countries are over.
     
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  14. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Not really. The autopilot exited early in that sequence. The problem came from the Airbus's inane logic and lack of feedback that the pilots were inputting drastically different control inputs and not doing anything sensible to resolve it.
     
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  15. wayne

    wayne Pattern Altitude

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    It was that the pilots only knew how to program the FMS and not how to fly the plane. The stalled it into the ocean, or close enough that they couldn’t recover once the captain was woken up and brought to the cockpit.
     
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  16. Geosync

    Geosync Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It’s a nice tool but the first few hundred hours is better in a non-AP equipped plane. These days that is hard to find/make yourself do. Flying a small piston for work with an intermittent AP was a good experience. After a long period of using AP followed by an outage, my brain took about 30 minutes to adjust to actually flying to altitude and cruise on long XC, adjusting for wind, correct power settings and pitch for desired climb/descent. But after a while, you forget about actively hand-flying and it just happens, like driving a manual transmission. I can see how Euro airline pilots who never fly manually(and never really did in training) run into major problems when they have to.
     
  17. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

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    Cross country, is 99% autopilot, just going up for a ride it’s my turn to fly although I usually have autopilot enabled just in case.


    Tom
     
  18. Mooney Fan

    Mooney Fan Line Up and Wait

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    I’m fortunate to have most of my actual Instrument time flying planes without A/P. Use it or lose it.
     
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  19. JPA

    JPA Filing Flight Plan

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    A/P is a nice convenience, but not my thing.
     
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  20. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm fortunate to have most of my recent actual instrument time flying airplanes with A/P.

    I'm also fortunate to have at least enough brain power to know that both my A/P and hand-flying skills need to be exercised.
     
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  21. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Pattern Altitude

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    I was flying from North WI to an airport in SE WI a few months ago, longer leg, direct, with FF. My autopilot is more of a temporary wing-leveler, hardly use it.

    About 70 miles out the controller asked if my Nav is okay, asked something about a vector? I was hardly off, just a temporary few degrees while I was doing something, NOT using the onboard facilities. I later looked at my track line on flightaware, straight.

    Anyway, ATC seems to be getting used to lines like an arrow, unlike the ‘old days’ when you had a few miles between friends.
     
  22. Mooney Fan

    Mooney Fan Line Up and Wait

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    So Cal Approach will hammer you on V186 back in the day when that was primary routing through the basin to VNY. They were quick to give you the admonishment of 'vectors' to correct course. VOR needle would be dead center and within tolerance
     
  23. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Pattern Altitude

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    I am in the middle of a Maine to Nevada trip. I use the AP every flight unless we are just sightseeing.
     
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  24. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Local flying? Hand fly. XC? Use the AP enroute, arrive to hand fly the landing and/or approach refreshed.
     
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  25. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Again, that's a mischaracterization. The captain knew that they had to get the nose down. The FO was commanding the opposite thinking he had to pull back to arrest the descent. The problem is that the side sticks don't let you know that the other pilot is commanding something different than what you are doing. It was further confounded by the fact the plane was off in it's own lala land about what to do with such inputs. When the captain realized the FO was working against him it was too late.

    If this had been a more traditional controlled plane, the captain would have felt the FO working against him or vice versa and the relationship of the control column to the flight controls would have been obvious.

    The other problem of basic airworthiness of "you must lower the nose in a stall" is not always related to reliance on the autopilot. It just is lack of basic airmanship. The Colgan flight where the stick shaker/stick psher is activating and the pilot is still pulling back is a good example of that.
     
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  26. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Yeah. As I recall, the only thing that could have resolved the problem was the Attitude Indicator. Put the wings so many bar widths above the horizon and hold it there regardless of what the other instruments were saying.
     
  27. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Yeah. That’s a complex piece of sky where things are run tight. +/- 4 degrees will keep you off the rocks but not far enough away from other airplanes.
     
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  28. Stan Cooper

    Stan Cooper Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    I had an S-TEC 30 with altitude hold in my 172 and used it mostly in cruise at altitude. Climbouts and descents were hand flown. My LSA doesn't have an autopilot, and I now find hand flying a long cross-country flight refreshing. After a flight, I look at my track on Flightaware to see how I did holding altitude and course. I'm getting better at it.
     

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  29. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I have a brittain wing leveler connected to GPSS, to me the lack of any altitude hold promotes a healthy level of attention while maintaining heading/track offers just enough aid to accomplish other tasks easily.

    The GFC500 seems much more involved in setup and use that a guy just about needs to use it all the time to ensure they can quickly set it up and use when needed.
     
  30. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    That’s trim is for.
     
  31. WillFly4Food

    WillFly4Food Pre-takeoff checklist

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    For me, cross-country-especially when IFR, is flown with autopilot. But approach/maneuvering to land is by hand. And that final portion of flight is always so enjoyable. To feel the response of the plane and be one with it, after time spent doing practically nothing, it almost makes it hard to end the flight. It’s like transitioning from driving a bus, to driving a sports car.
     
  32. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    And the FAA removes full stall training from all certs lolz



    Bad recurrent training program?

    We fly single pilot IFR, lots of AP, but we demo raw data no AP stuff, if you cant handfly the plane raw data you’re going to be busting checkrides and looking for a new job with a now dirty PRIA.


    AP, no AP, VFR, IFR, all different skills, ALL need to be kept up and used at the right time and not at the wrong time.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
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  33. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    When I go out to practice approaches, I do each one TWICE. Once with and once without the autopilot. I want to be proficient at both. The last thing I want is to be on the autopilot for whatever reason and get into these "what the f*** is this thing doing" moments.
     
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  34. Mooney Fan

    Mooney Fan Line Up and Wait

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    Yep, use it or lose it like I said. The run of mill Cessna, or Piper trainers in the 90's lacked autopilot as that was considered a luxury. Now days, its not uncommon to see the 60's era Cherokee, Cessna's etc with the A/P added at some point.
     
  35. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    I can say by reading this thread most of you would not want a flight review with me.
     
  36. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Well that's a no brainer!
     
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  37. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Yeah button pusher do nothingers struggle with my flight reviews.
     
  38. Mooney Fan

    Mooney Fan Line Up and Wait

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    I can hear it now..... I need you to fly me the VOR xx into Podunk

    Um' say what?
     
  39. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Same with advanced avionics, if you are a great stick but are slow on your avionics or let yourself get task saturated, you lost the other half.

    Again, it’s as impressive as using a flathead to install a Phillips screw.
     
  40. Mooney Fan

    Mooney Fan Line Up and Wait

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    Regardless of complexity, staying ahead of the airplane is paramount. As Clint said, ' Mans got to know his limitations'. Or in aviation speak, man or woman