Autopilot Issues

Generally, when I play IF, I like to fly the classic KSAN-KLAX route. When I am on final approach to either airport, I disengage the autopilot so I could perform the landing for myself. When I disengage it, however, the plane takes a deep nose dive and most of the time crashes into the ground. I mostly fly 737 aircraft, approach speed around 130-145 knots. Whenever I disengage autopilot, something crazy goes on with the aircraft and it will be out of my control most of the time to land it. How can I disengage autopilot, but make it a smooth transition so that the plane won’t go out of control and I am able to land it?

Have you tried calibrating your device before disengaging autopilot? This’ll lead you to have a smoother transition from AP to manual.


Yes, when I’m about to descend I calibrate my device just in case. It seems that it does not do anything though…

Make sure to calibrate your device. Also, try taking off each autopilot separately instead of tapping the A/P button. Also, ensure the aircraft is fully configured and trimmed properly. Check weight and balance as well. Falls 30° in the 737 landing speed should be about 145-150 knots so make your approach at about 150-155. Hope this helps :)

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Check your weight and balance and also make sure that you increase your speed a bit.

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my weight and balance is around 50-60% most of the time. Sometimes if I decide to descend a little late, I’ll be on final approach around 150 knots

Do you have any trim applied?

First I take off the heading, then speed. When I take the altitude off, that’s when the plane plunges. Does calibrating work when autopilot is on?

Trim is rarely applied when I fly

Yes, when A/P is on calibration works. Try also moving your device towards you (after calibration) so that your elevators are up

With the 737, i usually use trim 15 degrees.

It’s best to do what @MacGamer04 said. When I calibrate my device prior to turning off my autopilot, I like to pull it back as if I’m going to climb, turn off the autopilot, and then push forward slightly and continue with my approach. There’s usually a little “dip” that occurs when switching from AP to manual but I’ve never experienced a drop and nose dive.

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Pull it back a bit because at that low speed, the elevators are up on autopilot to keep the pitch of the aircraft. Good luck with everything :)

Thank you. I hope this helps :)

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Thank you. Hope this works :)

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If you fly at 130-140 knots at a Norma weight, first, calibrate device, and then be sure that when you disengage it, you have the trim at 60%. Will help you a lot. Just reset it if you plan to do another flight!

Disengage them individually and this won’t happen

Although everyone says ‘re calibrate’ that’s not actually the issue. Apart from GA, the 737 is the only commercial airliner I fly, and I have never re-calibrated prior to disengaging autopilot, and I’ve never had this ‘major nose dipping problem’ there’s two tricks:

  1. Correctly calibrate the device the first time. This means don’t calibrate with your device up quite so vertical, it makes your neutral point too high and anything below that is you pushing the nose down. There’s no room for you to pull back without flipping your device past vertical. I calibrate my device with the screen almost as flat / horizontal as a dinner plate when I first spawn (about 10 degrees off completely horizontal). You don’t need a lot of room to push the nose down in commercial aircraft. High speed descents you will use A/P, and slow speed final when you are flying manual you are flying at between 1-3 degrees nose up and using your throttle to lower power to descend.

  2. Have the aircraft correctly calibrated prior to disengaging. This means make sure your speeds aren’t too low / high for your flap setting and trim setting at the moment you disengage. I have my aircraft fully configured at about 1500-1200 AGL (1000 is a common minimum for real world airlines that you must be fully configured otherwise a missed approach MUST be initiated). You may need to play around to work out your settings, but when I disengage I’m generally at around 140 knots IAS, flaps 30 (I land at this flaps setting - a lot of airlines that use the 737 land at that), trim +20, and throttle is around 60% (can’t remember exact N1% for that setting), and due to my prior device calibration, I’m sitting in a chair holding my device slightly ‘nose up’ to stop any dive.

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