hughVFR

Mooney with autopilot flying slightly left wing low (problem and solution)

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I'm posting this peculiar behaviour in case anyone else ever encounters this and wonders what the hell is going on.  Yesterday, I took the FSX Mooney-Bravo (non-G1000) out for an IFR flight from Montreal (YUL) to Ottawa (YOW).  I take advantage of the auto-pilot while I'm still trying to master straight and level flight.  On this particular flight, I was noticing that the plane, even with autopilot engaged had a left-wing-low attitude. This seemed odd given that auto-pilot was engaged.  Then it hit me, I had added some rudder trim prior to take-off - enough so I wasn't constantly pushing left rudder during the takeoff role. Evidently it was too much rudder trim for level flight and it appears that the auto-pilot was trying to correct by constantly steering the opposite direction. I applied right rudder trim and the aircraft was banking left to compensate to keep the course.  Eventually managed to get the rudder trim realigned and the plane flew wings level after that.

One of the problems in the FSX Mooney is that the rudder trim tends to not respond right away, or more to the point, you don't get a good indication from the display when you hit it. Best to leave it off.

Once again, I posted this in case anyone was ever flying with autopilot and was trying to figure out why the plane's wings aren't level. 

-hughVFR

 

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It might not hurt, after takeoff, to hit the Numpad 5 key to center all flight controls before engaging the

autopilot. That should keep the A/P from fighting with any of the control surfaces.

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37 minutes ago, charliearon said:

It might not hurt, after takeoff, to hit the Numpad 5 key to center all flight controls before engaging the

autopilot. That should keep the A/P from fighting with any of the control surfaces.

Thanks for the tip....I'm still trying to remember all the keyboard shortcuts.

-Hugh

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5 minutes ago, ryanbatcund said:

Also make sure fuel load is balanced.

+1

Regards,
Scott

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2 hours ago, ryanbatcund said:

Also make sure fuel load is balanced.

In this particular case, it was.

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