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z06z33

Why do some simmers use the autopilot for every phase of flight?

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So I've been watching videos ,and it seems like a lot of simulator pilots turn the auto pilot on at 200 feet and off at 200 feet. What's the fun in that? To me hand flying an ILS with 200 ceilings and a 20 knot crosswind in the 777 is fun and its a challenge. What's the fun in watching the auto pilot do it? Not knocking anyone's flying style I'm just curious. I usually leave to autopilot off until I reach cruise and then turn it off a TOD.


David Womacks CFI,CFII,MEI

Copilot: Captain have you ever flown a 777 before?

Captain:Nope,but we got a strong tail wind and the bar in Hong Kong stays open till 5am, so lets kick the tires, light the fires and, get the hell outta here.

 

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So I've been watching videos ,and it seems like a lot of simulator pilots turn the auto pilot on at 200 feet and off at 200 feet. What's the fun in that? To me hand flying an ILS with 200 ceilings and a 20 knot crosswind in the 777 is fun and its a challenge. What's the fun in watching the auto pilot do it? Not knocking anyone's flying style I'm just curious. I usually leave to autopilot off until I reach cruise and then turn it off a TOD.

 

Try doing that in the real world when you're no.3 in the queue down the glide slope into Heathrow. Because your using your sim you can do what you like but it's not practiced.


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I love the way you can say "Not knocking anyone's flying style" whilst effectively doing so, I find that mildly amusing. Each to their own.

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I think it more likely due to the fact of copying realism. I use the autopilot on a tube liner the same as a real world pilot, I follow a flight plan the same as a real world pilot and I land on a runway the same as a real world pilot.

 

Automation is becoming more and more a part of the world. People don't use a hand saw to cut wood when you can use an electric saw, the same is flying, if you have automation then you use it. I could jump in a 777-300, hit the throttles, hand fly direct from A to B, then land on a road. This would not be a problem because it is a sim, but it would not be the same as real life.

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People don't use a hand saw to cut wood when you can use an electric saw, the same is flying, if you have automation then you use it.

I use AP when I go to make a cup of tea or chop wood, but I always like to turn it off for the approach.


Steve Waite: Engineer at codelegend.com

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I turn A/P on usually when reaching 5000ft more or less and turn A/P and A/T off about 1000ft


Joakim Kostet

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I enjoy GA flying without any AP, even in solid IMC I try to hand-fly approaches as good as I can, and I wouldn't enjoy it half as much with the AP on. However, when I fly airliners, I do quite enjoy the automation, but also only to a certain extent: I often fly manually until I pass 10,000ft, then let the AP do its (my?) job. Since I often have problems lining up the larger aircraft (which I simply don't take the time to fly), I let the autopilot fly that part of the approach for me, but as soon as I am aligned, I take over control again. Doesn't contribute to my landing skills, though B)

I can understand those people making videos on AP, though. If they want to film from an external or PAX point of view, the AP is convenient, plus the AP can compensate for lacking skills, and perhaps the best all: You can still impress people who don't look too closely. I for one have never recognized this before.


Florian

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Try doing that in the real world when you're no.3 in the queue down the glide slope into Heathrow. Because your using your sim you can do what you like but it's not practiced.

...yeah but before you had to crawl down the stack in the Lambourne hold from FL180 down to 9000' in 1000' steps :D

 

Nevermind, why shouldnt they do the work in an vitual airliner like they do in real life. Thats what lot of simmers want "as real as it gets".

Flying a T7 up to cruising level by hand the pilot non flying would kill you. If she/he havent done that in the first place then latest when starting manual descent and approach after 12 hours of boaring cruise flight in ###### weather.

Im using the autopilot in the Cessnas as well as in some military airplanes. Why??? Cause mid-high level cruise flight is boaring. At least for me...


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MJ


 


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I think it more likely due to the fact of copying realism. I use the autopilot on a tube liner the same as a real world pilot, I follow a flight plan the same as a real world pilot and I land on a runway the same as a real world pilot.

But that also depends on the pilots, too. Some engage the autopilot at much higher altitudes.


Captain Kevin

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I love the way you can say "Not knocking anyone's flying style" whilst effectively doing so, I find that mildly amusing. Each to their own.

 

 

Exactly my thought too.


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A lot of real world airline pilots turn off the autopilot, My dad was a 747-400 captain and would usually hand fly to cruise as well approaches to keep his skills sharp incase all the automation failed. Unless I'm literately forced not to hand fly the plane I'm going to when I get to the airlines. I don't want to end up like the Asiana pilot who botched a landing on a clear day or even worse the Air France pilot who kept pulling even though they were in a stall.


David Womacks CFI,CFII,MEI

Copilot: Captain have you ever flown a 777 before?

Captain:Nope,but we got a strong tail wind and the bar in Hong Kong stays open till 5am, so lets kick the tires, light the fires and, get the hell outta here.

 

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I generally take any airliner I install for a few hours of hand flying just to 'feel' the aircraft. I use a suitably sized, but not to busy airport and do touch and go and approaches. Then I do a climb to cruise altitude and then a descent back to the airport and land. After that I load up real world weather and do it all over again. Once I have a real feel for the aircraft I start using the AP and 'proper' procedures.

 

As for GA, I only switch on the AP when I have to leave the keyboard. Either that or I find a nearby small airport (if available) and land, taxi in, park and do what I have to do then continue the flight. For some reason my wife disapproved of me using a coffee can at the desk instead of using the bathroom / lavatory / restroom. Don't know if it was the odor or the leaky can. I tried to explain "real as it gets" but she didn't buy into that much "real".

 

Regards,


Mel

Flight Sim Addict

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I don't understand the draw of staring at a screen for 6+ hours watching George fly a perfect path along a some magenta line...but then again, many can't understand what is so fun about hand flying a slow little single engine 20 minutes en route, partial panel to shoot 3 approaches to minimums.


Chris

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This reminds me of the two AF447 pilots on the ill-fated Rio-Paris flight who took control while the more experienced captain took a rest break.

 

They had so little experience in hand flying they made fatal mistakes when attempting to get out of a dangerous (but not critical) situation.

 

Pilots are strongly encouraged to engage the autopilot as soon as possible after take-off usually for reasons of economy. It's not their choice.

 

When it comes to FSX I usually engage the autopilot simply because my lack of skills don't allow me to fly the aircraft well enough although I can usually land one reasonably well.

 

But engaging the a/p doesn't mean you can leave your brain back at the airport, Dial in something stupid and something bad will happen. It still takes some skill to use an autopilot effectively.


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