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RandallR

Pilatus Autopilot test button

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1) Does the Pilatus Autopilot test buttton work?2) Does the altitude capture function work on the Pilatus autopilot?3) If so, how?:-beerchug

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G'day Flyfisher,I must admit I didn't find any need for the test button on the Pilatus but I recall the test button working on the Malibu.As for Altitude selection. Works like a dream! :-)1. engage the AP. ( wing leveler / heading / or NAV modes )2. Selector - Double left mouse click toggles between altitude select and rate of climb select. right mouse click and left mouse click adjust the display valueSo set the rate of climb and desired altitude.3. Arm button - arms the altitude select function.4. "Alts" in white confirms that the altitude select function is acknowledged/accepted by the auto pilot.5. The aircraft will now climb at the selected rate of climb to the set altitude and then level off. The auto pilot will automatically be set to "altitude hold" mode.Once it is set don't mess with it because if you do alter any setting the AP loses the altitude select signal and the aircraft will continue to climb up through the desired altitude and NOT level off.If you must change one of the settings then make sure that you arm the system again and that the white "Alts" is visible in the top right hand corner of the Efis AH.Hope this helps, see attachment.Cheers,Roger @YSSY

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1) Nope - That's the only thing that doesn't work, though2) Yes - If you know how to use the Vertical Speed control on the Malibu (Sahara), then you're almost ready to use it. It's identical in control placement to the Malibu, but engages Vertical Speed and arms Altitude Select differently.The Altitude/Vertical Speed Preselect control is to the left of the AP, immediately above the Altimeter. The knob on the right is used to select the vertical rate and preselect altitude. The upper-left button engages/disengages Vertical Speed. The lower-left button arms/disarms Altitude Select.Here's how I use it:a) Stabilize the aircraft on climb-out:( Set the heading bug on the HSIc) Select HDG on the APd) Turn on the AP - the AP will lock onto the heading set on the bug and instantly activate the Vertical Speed control to match your current climb rate. There is no need to press the engage button - you can see that the "on" symbol is already there.e) If the window in the preselect window isn't showing the climb rate, double-click the rate knob on the right to get climb rate showing. Using right-click/left click, dial in the rate you want. Since it's already on, the aircraft will instantly change to that rate - I use 1500-1800 fpm for cruise-climb.f) Double-click the knob again to show altitude - dial in the altitude you want. As soon as you change this setting, the Altitude Select will engage - just like the climb rate, there is no need to press the arm button.The aircraft will now climb at the selected rate and level off at the selected altitude.Here are the main things to remember:1. In the Malibu, you could use the Vertical Speed control with the AP in "idle mode", having initialized the AP with the test cycle, but not necessarily having activated the AP in any operational mode (HDG, NAV, etc.). Not so in the Pilatus - there is no test mode. The AP must be ON to use the Vertical Speed system.2. In the Malibu, you could change the altitude setting or rate setting with no response until you then pressed the Engage or Arm buttons. Not so with the Pilatus - if the AP is on, either control will engage/arm as soon as you change the setting! If you press either button afterwards, you'll actually turn the item off.This actually mimicks the real control system of the Pilatus, where the Vertical Speed instantly matches your current rate when you activate the AP. Watch out on the level-off, however! The Pilatus is very powerful, and will climb right through your selected altitude if you don't watch out, ballooning as much as 500 feet above the selected altitude until it finally descends back to your selection - this is not appreciated much by ATC. :-)To get around this, start backing off the climb rate about 1000 feet below your selected altitude. I back it off to 500 fpm at 500 feet before my altitude, then slowly pull back the power until the aircraft stabilizes at that rate. It will level off normally - I then slowly add power back in to hold that altitude and to accelerate to cruise speed.

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