Autopilot On Approach

I’m curious how long other pilots use autopilot before touchdown. I’m brand new to multiplayer and nervous about violations and communications and as I’m messing with radios I start to turn and get off course or worse. So my last flight from SLC to DEN I controlled the plane (especially my speed) with autopilot until within ten miles and had called that I was on final. I turned it off when I was lined up and had decent visual on the runway from about 8-10 miles out. What do you do with AP on approach?

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I generally disable it once my gear is down and flaps are at full. Typically around 2000ft AGL.

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Hi there, I highly recommend this tutorial and the included video which features APPR/Autoland.

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I usually do the same, when about 6-8 NM from the airport. But it will also depend on the visibility and weather at the airport.

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I usually dissengage APPR ~300 feet AAL

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I usually turn it off once my localizer starts moving in and make the turn manually to capture it, and hand fly the ILS from there.

On some occasions, I use APPR to line up with the runway and shoot the approach, until my gear is down - then I turn it off and hand-fly the rest of the approach.

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I am a hand-flier guy - I tend to hand fly the plane for most of the approach once I am in the cone if weather conditions allow (Visibility specifically). I believe it is a whole lot more fun!

Of course I still tune into the ILS Frequency so i can see the glide slope and localizer diamonds on my instruments.

Also, PAPI light wire important during visual approaches. So if 2/4 lights are red and the other half is white my height is perfect, if there are more reds I am low, and more whites, I and too high.

You don’t have to manually fly your approaches, you can turn off APPR at 3NM or 1000ft if you are not too comfortable with the approach but would still like to get the feeling of hand-flying.

Have a great day!

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I’m kind of a lazy guy so I have APPR on from the beginning of final until crossing 1000ft. It depends on how you feel like.

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I disable autopilot when I’m at about 15,000ft MSL. Just personal preference since I like having the same hand-flying experience that pilots had in the 1950’s and 1960’s before autopilot became super advanced.

If you want that same sort of experience, I’d say practice holding headings and making smooth descents while hand-flying on the casual server before trying it out on the expert server.


Of course, you don’t have to do this, but it’s just personal preference and I find it super fun.

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I do it at 1000ft AGL. It gives the pilot a good ‘feel’ of the controls while maximizing use of the automation. Also speed adjustments do not have to be too abrupt at this altitude, should it be necessary.

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I usually like to disconnect the A/P when the gear is down, flaps are at the desired setting, and I’m about 5 NM from the runway. Make sure you have some positive trim because the nose will drop when you disconnect and make sure you are at your approach speed and the flaps are down. Oh, and gear too!!

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A tip that I would like to add is to ensure to calibrate before disengaging autopilot, so that the transition to hand-flying is smooth and so that you don’t pitch up or pitch down dramatically risking stalls or violations.

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I make sure I am fully established, and as soon as I get to my final approach speed (at around 1000-1500AGL) and my plane stops pitching up and down, then I hand fly from there.

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