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Range Limitation on hand flown commercial flights

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Hi there, I was wondering if there was an FAA restriction on the amount of nautical miles that a commercial aircraft (such as a Dash 8 or jet) can be flown en route manually, or is it based on pilot preference or company policy?Thanks,J.C. (MYNN)

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Why would there be?What if the aircraft had an autopilot malfunction while the nearest suitable airfield is further away than the legal limit?What if the weather is such that the autopilot can't cope?There are more likely to be restrictions on when the autopilot can be used than on when it can't be.

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There are no regulatory limitations on hand flying any transport category aircraft. Most, if not all, airlines have limitations in their operations manuals on when and when not to use an autopilot, i.e. it must be used in certain types of approaches. I would presume, based on conversations with a number of big iron pilots, is that the norm is handflying the takeoff, approach and landing and letting George handle the enroute stuff.

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J.C.The only effect the autopilot being inop would have on commercial flights is if the approach and landing required its use. For example, on the MD-88 in order to shoot a CAT III landing the autopilot must be used. There is no authorization to fly such an approach with out the autopilot.In other circumstances the crew may decide not to take the jet if it does not have an autopilot. For example, long range over water flights, late night flights, or bad weather after a long day flying.MEL's usually do not require the autopilot except for approaches.Hope this helps, Grady Boyce

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Forgot to mention that there are many situations where the AP is illegal.On a CATI ILS approach manual control is required below 1000ft, CATII 400ft, etc.Crosswind landings are usually disallowed for the autopilot according to the aircraft AOM when the crosswind component is over 10 knots (manual landings can go far higher).

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>Forgot to mention that there are many situations where the >AP is illegal. >On a CATI ILS approach manual control is required below >1000ft, CATII 400ft, etc. >Crosswind landings are usually disallowed for the autopilot >according to the aircraft AOM when the crosswind component >is over 10 knots (manual landings can go far higher). Hey there,This is all aircraft dependant. For example, the MD-88 can use the autopilot until DH on an ILS and 50' below MDA on an nonprec. In the case of a CAT III it must be used until it disconnects itself on rollout. These numbers are pretty standard for each aircraft that I have flown.Take Care, Grady Boyce

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keep in mind that in cat-iii approaches BOTH autopilots must be on (one monitoring the other one). i just did a bfr on an ex f-100 driver for usairways and he was telling me about the autoland capabilities: pretty nice. the thing would correct for crosswinds and all.

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