When AP disengages the aircraft goes into a slight roll or the possibility exists for the aircraft to go into a degree of roll.

Do you think it would be prudent for airlines to include as an SOP for Land flaps to be selected before AP disengages on final approach to minimize the pilot work load while manual flying? - This is viewing the situation from a safety perspective on an aircraft like 787.

I am new to the aviation business.

  • $\begingroup$ Which aircraft? What AP mode? What circumstances? $\endgroup$
    – DeepSpace
    Mar 14 at 10:51
  • $\begingroup$ Say a 787, on approach. AP disengaged. $\endgroup$
    – oshsec
    Mar 14 at 11:04
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @oshsec edit your question to include that info up there. Not everyone will read the comments. $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Mar 14 at 14:42
  • $\begingroup$ I think more important is having auto trim after disengage. $\endgroup$
    – Gabe
    Mar 16 at 16:50

1 Answer 1


Until 2013 several airlines promoted the idea of using as much automation as possible during all phases of flight to improve safety. The idea was that autopilots are less likely to make handling mistakes than human pilots and the pilots can focus on other tasks, especially during high workload situations.

However, the FAA noticed a decline in pilots hand-flying abilities and eventually published SAFO 13002:

A recent analysis of flight operations data [...] identified an increase in manual handling errors. [...]

However, continuous use of autoflight systems could lead to degradation of the pilot’s ability to quickly recover the aircraft from an undesired state. [...]

Operational policies should be developed or reviewed to ensure there are appropriate opportunities for pilots to exercise manual flying skills [...]

It is generally better if pilots regularly experience how the aircraft feels and responds by hand-flying it. This includes feeling how the aircraft responds to changes in the flap position. Never experiencing this in the real aircraft reduces the pilot's ability to hand fly when it is needed (e.g. autopilot not operational).

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for the feedback. Learning a lot in this business. $\endgroup$
    – oshsec
    Mar 14 at 11:17
  • $\begingroup$ Unfortunately, there's nothing that will enforce this for Joe Average car driver who has a self-driving car. Eventually, the self-driving computer will say, "tap-out, it's on you now", and I've seen instances of drivers who are otherwise engaged while the magic of tech does the driving - they have zero situational awareness and will end up as dangerous as a new driver during his first driving lesson because they'll be so out of practice. Of course, this could be remedied by a semi-annual driving test, but that'll never happen in the US. :( $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Mar 14 at 14:41
  • $\begingroup$ That's an interesting comment FreeMan. Data monitoring programs to overlook operational safety of these systems is my initial thought on combatting the risks. $\endgroup$
    – oshsec
    Mar 16 at 14:32

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