Do you use AP while landing/on final?

I don’t know if I should feel bad about this, but when I land I usually only have Heading managed by Auto Pilot (sometimes speed). Do you guys use auto pilot shortly before landing, use it to a degree before landing, or don’t use it at all?

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I don’t use it for landing, but when I’m on final I use the autopilot I switch it off when I’m close to the runway.


I use it for maintaining speed until I’m very close to the runway because I’m lazy, other than that nope. Only time I could think of using it is for APPR which I never use anyway.


I do after long flights or if it is late where I am but other than that nope

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Depends on the situation really, if the weather is terrible I’ll turn off AP and just handle it myself.

If there is not much of a crossword I’ll keep the heading engaged and possible the speed while I handle the nose.

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When there is a lot of turns and manouvering over mountains I do it manually with out autopilot so like Madeira for example. But when it straight I use APPR and when its really foggy and windy, I always switch off AP before landing. Never use auto land xD!

I use it when I’m descending towards the airport. I switch off the altitude and heading mode when I’m about 5000 feet but the a/p for the throttle stays active. At about 1500 feet I switch the a/p completely of and land it myself.

I use AP for most of the descent, if on visual I hand fly from about 5000ft, though keep the Auto Throttle on till about 1000ft when it’s fully hand flying (if vision allows!)

It’s good to practice flying free hand especially in favourable conditions. You will build up confidence in no time!

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I use AP for my descent. On final, I switch off AP and land. The more you do it, the more you’ll enjoy it!


Once on the localizer/glideslope, I only use it for the auto-throttle function until about a mile out. If I’m landing while on the bus or in a car, the I’ll use the heading occasionally. Other than that, I don’t use it.

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I use only speed option to maintain speed. It isn’t right, but if I forget about controlling speed, I’ll stall. It’s very offensively for me, especially after long flight

I would only recommend using the speed A/P on final, until you are around 500 feet. 👍🏻

AP should be disconnected at 500 feet AGL. Unless, there is a need for a autoland such as CAT3 conditions. Besides, doesnt AP take the fun out of landing? That’s one of the best parts!

See you in the sky,

real life pilots use the Auto Throttle funcation until eiter at minmums or even on the deck if doing an auto-land, so still realistic and profesional to use it.

I use A/P all the way even when landing and on final and touch down with all SPD, HDG, ALT, VS. I just really suck at manual landing my plane just wobbles and start going into stall or doing free fall. Only time I turn off A/P l is when I take off.

Depends on the aircraft type and airline. Some leave the auto throttle in all the way down but hand fly, some disengage the auto-throttle on the approach and hand fly with manual throttle. I don’t know Airbus systems, but on the Boeing there is also a half way house where you deselect the SPEED mode and the auto-throttle remains in ARM mode so available for a go-around but otherwise the thrust is manually controlled - not available on IF of course.

Folks should just try whichever they prefer, and perhaps try each option. There is no right or wrong way.


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It’s okay man. I’m sure we we were all there at one point… You’ll get tired of the AP landings, and you’ll start practicing how to do manual landings. It’s just much more fun and challenging.

Now there is a friendly person named @JoshFly8 that I’ve heard cannot land a plane. So sometimes, landing planes isn’t for everyone. 😂


I personally always use Appr (when able) or AP till 1000ft, then I cut ATHR at 500ft.

I generally use A/P for the entire flight from 2000 ft on takeoff and <1000 ft before landing…depends on weather, airplane and aiport location. But i might use APPR when the visibility is 0. if the aircraft doesnt have APPR then i would go around or divert