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I am currently flying a Cessna 172M with a TruTrak Vision Autopilot installed under STC SA04231CH. Section 2.4 of the approved AFMS states:

This autopilot has not been evaluated by the FAA to meet the certification requirements for coupled instrument procedures, including coupled approaches. Therefore, these types of procedures are not authorized without further evaluation and approval.

The remark concerning "coupled approaches" is clear. However, does "coupled instrument procedures" remark mean that the autopilot is essentially a 'VFR operations only" system? My IRA check ride is coming up soon and I'm trying to understand what I can and cannot use the autopilot for, and therefore what I can be tested on.

Thank you for any comments.

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  • $\begingroup$ I don’t have an answer for you. But I would definitely reach out to Honeywell/Bendix-King, as they acquired TruTrak a few years ago. Or your avionics shop. You really need to know the answer prior to your check ride. You need to fully understand the IFR applicability of every system in the panel and be prepared to discuss with the DPE. He or she will not be OK with “I’m not sure so I’m just not going to use it for approaches.” $\endgroup$
    – Max R
    Commented Aug 30, 2022 at 2:52
  • $\begingroup$ (Continued) Remember too that a flight control system is really the combination of the GPS navigator, Attitude Indicator, HSI/DG, and autopilot. It is an approach capable autopilot so my assumption is that your plane has a GPS, or AI/HSI that are unable to support vertical nav modes. You may still be able to use it in HDG mode to fly holds, and in NAV mode to track a radial with altitude hold. $\endgroup$
    – Max R
    Commented Aug 30, 2022 at 3:03
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, Max. This is helpful. The aircraft does have a GNS 430W and is capable of LPV approaches. I’ll reach out direct to Bendix-King tomorrow. Much appreciated. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 31, 2022 at 4:49

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