Questions tagged [autopilot]

An autopilot is a system used to guide an aircraft without assistance from a person.

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2answers
190 views

What is the dutch roll filter? How does it work?

Some airplanes have a dutch roll filter for the "yaw damper." What is the dutch roll filter? When is it used? Is it ever required for certification or operation? How does it work?
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1answer
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Why are the A300/310’s electric pitch trim switches inhibited with the autopilot engaged?

The A300/A310, like most other aircraft (except for some small general-aviation aircraft), has an adjustable-incidence-angle horizontal stabiliser, which is used to trim the aircraft in pitch (for ...
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38 views

Why does an A300/310 in LAND or GO-AROUND mode have to be at least 400 feet AGL for manual control column movement to disengage the autopilot?

Each of the A300/310’s two autopilots has two modes of operation: In CWS (Control-Wheel_Steering) mode, the autopilot(s) attempt to hold the attitude that the aircraft had at the moment of autopilot ...
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1answer
60 views

What profile will a Boeing 737 NG follow after pushing the ALT INTV button?

If one uses the ALT INTV button during a Climb or Descent in the Boeing 737 NG on the MCP, what profile (Speed/Path) will the AP follow in such a climb and/or descent? Is it the same as programmed in ...
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Can commercial automatic flight control fly back-side?

For most commercial flight director, autopilot and auto-throttle systems (e.g. the A330-300, B737-800), the flight director/autopilot flies the altitude hold (ALT) or vertical speed (V/S) mode by ...
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1answer
957 views

Why is the autopilot of the DHC-6 Twin Otter powered by bleed air?

I was just reading through the POH of a DHC-6-100 Twin Otter and was surprised to read the following: 3.8.2 LOW PRESSURE - OTHER SYSTEMS. The airframe deicing system and the autopilot are ...
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67 views

How often is a commercial (airliner) flight flown without autopilot? [duplicate]

When it comes to commercial flights, I am aware that once the aircraft has reached a certain altitude, the autopilot activates and assists the pilots in flying the aircraft. It makes being a pilot on ...
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1answer
607 views

Why was pitch angle protection not active in the CRJ 200 during the crash of Sweden Air 294?

I have read about the CRJ 200 Sweden Air 294 crash. I understood that the main cause of the accident was faulty IRU and wrong declutter PFD design. The human error also lead the aircraft into a ...
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Do all GA autopilots use cable “clutches”?

In researching General Aviation autopilots it seems to me that most commonly the way control surfaces are affected is via a servo that attaches (via a clutch) to the control cable. References here and ...
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How often do GA pilots use the Autopilot approach feature while landing?

While flying in simulations, I found that using the Approach feature is very beneficial for riding the glide slope (clear weather or not), however, while watching videos of GA pilots, I do not see it ...
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What does it mean when autoland is fail passive / fail operational?

The below explanation is what I've got from the internet about fail passive and fail operational: Fail operational - Where you have 3 autopilots engaged, such that any single failure will result in ...
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Can I change the max bank angle on the Garmin G1000 in the C172SP?

I wonder if I can change the max bank angle on the G1000/GFC700 avionics in a C172SP, like you can on the MCP of the 737NG?
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When will robots take over pilots? [closed]

So, I am considering a career being a pilot. However, the course is real expensive, and I do not want to invest so much money if in a couple of years robots will replace pilots. So, anyone have any ...
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Does auto pilot take into consideration the altitude, speed, and the difference in heading change, to calculate the degree of bank?

Or is there a “standard” that the auto pilot follows at all times? By “standard” I mean the aircraft will bank at x amount of degrees each time regardless of the following mentioned? The more you ...
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Is there any obvious warning when auto-pilot is disengaged or when the mode changes?

Under the investigation section of the First Air Flight 6560 incident, it describes the catalyst for the accident: The approach was entirely flown on autopilot, which was correctly set to capture ...
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Does the AP disengage if the plane is upset and how would the flight controls react if not being held?

Does the AP (autopilot) essentially detect a rapid change in speed/altitude as a wild maneuver? If so, upon disengaging, if the pilots are not holding the control column in a neutral position, will it ...
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1answer
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last 747 flight path, was this hand flown? How was this communicated with ATC? [duplicate]

Elal's last 747 flight made this nice path of a 747, how was this done? Could this be entered into the computer and flown? or was this hand flown The path looks quite neat Also what is the ATC ...
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353 views

Can autopilot navigate automatically?

When the pilots enter their flight plan into the FMGS, the route will be shown on the ND. Can the autopilot automatically turn when needed with the given plan, or the pilots have to manually adjust ...
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259 views

What happens when auto-pilot fails over the ocean?

Let’s assume the current location puts the aircraft 2 hours from the nearest airport, but the destination is 2 1/2 hours away. Would the pilots hand fly the rest of the way? Are they allowed to fly ...
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213 views

On Airbus aircraft, can the pilot control the aircraft when the autopilot is active?

I am looking at the schematics of computerized control for Aibus aircraft and I do not understand the relation between the various control law and the autopilot. Under "normal law" can the pilot ...
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Are there take-over requests from autopilots?

I am thinking of the driver take-over request in automated driving, when the system limits are reached and the back-up driver has to intervene / drive manually. Is there something similar in aviation, ...
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1answer
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Are there any plans to make the QF-16 into a drone for actual combat missions, or a fully autonomous fighter?

It appears to a naive layman like myself that the QF-16 is an excellent platform to use for remote controlled missions akin to that of other drones. Except that the F-16 appears to have a broader ...
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Are there any aircraft with retractable vortex generators?

From this answer, “Of course, these also add drag, even when the wing is not stalling, so they are only added where needed”. Are there any aircraft that have vortex generators that are retractable so ...
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Why does the autopilot disengage even when it does not receive pilot input?

After having read the disturbing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1999_South_Dakota_Learjet_crash I'm left with the question as to why the computer allows for the autopilot to be disengaged when there ...
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1answer
254 views

What is the vertical speed limit when altitude mode is engaged?

This question applies to Airbus' autopilot but may not be restricted to just this manufacturer (there must be equivalent modes on ATR, Embraer, Dassault Falcons, etc.) For the vertical plan, the ...
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103 views

Changing the interception angle in autopilot for OBS or VOR in the G1000 from 30 to something more aggressive

I am flying the G1000 and have noticed that if I program in an OBS TO or a VOR TO (this might apply to FROM as well), the angle at which I fly relative to my programmed in bearing is 30 degrees. For ...
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QF72: How could a disconnected autopilot change the pitch?

So I was reading about flight QF72, where the A330 had incorrect sensor data. The aircraft automatically pitched the nose down twice in response to abnormally high incorrect angle of attack data, but ...
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221 views

Can an airliner be landed with only the auto pilot or remotely?

In this question: How autonomous are commercial passenger airliners? explains how automated the auto-pilot system can be. Could a pilot or more work the controls of the auto pilot that does not have ...
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313 views

Can the 737 Max autopilot be engaged when some sensors have failed?

If some instruments on the 737 MAX 8 fail on the Captain's side and autopilot stops, can the First Officer engage autopilot (as the instruments on his side are fine)? In the ET 302 crash the Captain ...
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Do aircraft use some kind of stability control to keep the aircraft on the runway during landing? [duplicate]

Modern automobiles use an electronic system called ESP to keep the car on track in slippery situations. Do modern jet liners have a similar system to aid the pilot in keeping the aircraft on the ...
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Why are on-board computers allowed to change controls without notifying the pilots?

Recently we've had the 737-MAX debacle, where it increasingly appears that the MAX on-board MCAS system repeatedly would issue nose-down events, leading to the Lion Air crash, and possibly another ...
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How is device control software checked for quality?

Many, many reports on the now infamous MCAS suggest a software patch is forthcoming in the next several weeks that will address the confounding single point of failure with the two AOA sensors that ...
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1answer
309 views

Why can’t takeoff rejection be automated?

According to this comment on my previous question about automatic instrument takeoffs (or, rather, the lack thereof), the reason takeoffs are always flown manually is to allow the pilot to quickly ...
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1answer
4k views

Are the Boeing MCAS and Airbus Alpha Protection systems the same?

I have a little question concerning MCAS from Boeing and Alpha Protection from Airbus. I think these two systems are the same, if I'm wrong please tell me. If the two 737 MAX crashed because of the ...
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1answer
256 views

Could the autopilot have rectified the flight path without any crew input on the Aeroflot Flight 593?

In the case of the Aeroflot Flight 593 air crash, could the autopilot have rectified the flight path of the Airbus at any point if the crew had not attempted to correct the spin, even while partially ...
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Does an autopilot that controls roll, pitch and a yaw damper meet the requirements of 135.105(c)(1)?

For single-pilot VFR operations, 14 CFR 135.105(c)(1) requires that: The autopilot is capable of operating the aircraft controls to maintain flight and maneuver it about the three axes Does this ...
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Why is autolanding ILS a thing, but not autotakeoffing ITS? [duplicate]

In this answer to the question of why zero-visibility landings are legal and routine but not zero-visibility takeoffs, the poster makes the following point: When an aircraft lands in near zero ...
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3answers
748 views

Can you fly the plane manually without disengaging autopilot?

Let's say you are engaged a Boeing 777 with autopilot on and you bank or pitch. Will the plane respond?. If so. will the plane try to return to its parameters once you quit handling the controls?. ...
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67 views

Does MCP Altitude change in the B757/B767 when ALT HOLD is pushed?

I have a question, resulting of a discussion in a different forum: When flying the B757 or B767 and the ALT HOLD button is pushed, will that also change the MCP Altitude to the current altitude, at ...
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112 views

How can I make a cheap and simple straight and level recovery device for an RC airplane?

I am a new RC pilot and I crash my RC aircraft a lot. I was thinking of a cool device which would be like training wheels for a plane: a device to return the plane to straight and level flight at the ...
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Are the terms “Coupled approach” and “Hand flown approach” strictly defined?

I was looking on SE and also Google for the answer, but couldn't find anything. My question is when to log an approach as coupled or handflown? All of the approaches I fly are CAT I but the aircraft's ...
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1answer
60 views

Process for Compensator in Altitude Hold

Trying to understand autopilots on a technical level. When making an altitude controller there is a compensator Gc that is used to acquire a Pitchcommand which is passed to an attitude controller (the ...
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Airbus A320 automatic speed mode protection in SRS vertical mode

According to the A320 FCOM, capter 22 auto flight, flight guidance, the "automatic speed mode protection" of the auto flight system of the A320 disengages the flight directors upon reaching current ...
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Can the autopilot (or stall avoidance system?) of the B737 MAX 8 be overridden by sheer force?

A New York Times article from today about the Lion Air Flight 610 crash claims that in order to control the airplane the pilot could have braced his feet on the dashboard and yanked the yoke, or ...
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Why is 0 ft a valid target altitude for an autopilot?

Inspired by this story; The pilot of a Flybe plane that dropped 500 ft (152m) in 18 seconds had selected the wrong autopilot setting shortly after take-off, an inquiry has found... ...The ...
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118 views

TCAS II manoeuvres? [duplicate]

What manoeuvres does the TCAS II advise the pilot to make? Is it RA or TA ?
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1k views

Can autothrottle be used without autopilot (and vice versa)?

In commercial passenger aircraft: Can autothrust be used with A/P disabled ? And can A/P be used without using autothrust? Citable references very welcome! If the question depends on a specific ...
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1answer
998 views

Is it possible to totally override the flight computer on the Airbus A320-family (in simple non-technical terms)?

As I know, in the autopilot oriented airplanes like an A321 the plane doesn't let the pilots pitch down when the plane gets an over-speed warning. So what if the pitot-static system isn't working ...
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394 views

What are the restrictions preventing more intelligent autopilot systems?

Current autopilot system is integrated with Flight Management System (FMS) for navigation such as LNAV and VNAV; both of them are based on preset parameters given by the pilot prior to departure (IRS ...
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Did these pilots break any regulations by hand-flying an A320 for most of the cruise?

A couple of days ago, I flew with a popular budget airline within Europe. The aircraft was an A320. It was also a brand new one (only in service since June 2018 and produces 15% less noise and fuel ...