Is the disengaging of auto pilot unrealistic?

Simple question guys, when you disable autopilot you first have to calibrate your device, and then if the yoke isn’t in the neutral position you have to tilt your device and guess where about it would be. Most of the time it ends up being unsteady and on final that can be a pain. Besides the calibration part is this how it’s done in real life?


Trimming the airplane helps a lot. That way you don’t have to recalibrate your device.

Here’s a fantastic topic explaining some facts behind this!


This info is based on my experience using A/P in a Cessna 172. It varies depending on aircraft type.

Control surfaces in real life cannot be moved around, or change their center position like a device can. The A/P, when disconnected, will leave the controls where the required input would be. If the A/P is holding a nose-up position, the yoke/joystick will remain. This does mean it may be a tricky transition.

This is where trim comes into play. Pilots can use trim to their advantage to reduce their strain on the controls.

Edit: Marc beat me to it. I’ll get him next time1


Thanks for that. Never used trim before because it’s never seemed to do anything for me, especially with the plane pitching up a little too high/unrealistic - could be because I was not using it properly.

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Yes, there isn’t much of a need to calibrate controls if you can trim the aircraft.

On an Airbus with sidesticks the sidesticks automatically return to the neutral position when released. As @Marc said trimming is important and that’s somethings automatically done by the aircraft in the Airbuses (at least the newer ones). (I believe that is the main reason why there isn’t any wobbling or up/down movement after disconnecting the A/P).

So basically, if you use the trim correctly, the yoke would be more or less in the neutral position while A/P is engaged/vertical speed is 0?

Same thing happens with me. If I accidentally turn off the autopilot (sometimes) on final, the plane starts going up, stalls, and then crashes (forcing me to leave)

No wobbling after disengaging in the game or in real life?

I was referring to real life, but that is applying to IF in my opinion as well (don’t take this for granted though).

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It was bad at the start for me but with practice and calibrating before disengaging it’s got better. But as I mentioned initially I still get a slight bobble if I don’t guess correctly how much to tilt my device - on final it can be a bit off putting.

Yes. It is easier to just calibrate before you disengage, though.

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Please use trim. It makes thing so much easier. Before you take control, make sure you can’t see the magenta line on the trim tab because the line indicates whether or not the autopilot is having to pull up or not. When I get home in about an hour I’ll post a screenshot of what I mean
Edit: Autopilot trim - #8 by TimShan05

I think I know what you’re referring to, the pink line? I always seem to have quite a bit of pink usually going upwards (positive?) - try to counteract this with the trim going up to even 70 but makes no difference. Will take at look at the tutorials posted earlier and try again.


Have a look at my edit

Ah yes, thanks for that. Does it take a while for the magenta/pink to go after administering the trim or is it instant? I waited a while and nothing happened. Set it back to 0 which caused the plane to bob quite a bit on the way.


Rather than making the magenta bar go way by changing the trim, it might be a better idea to make it go away by adjusting you speed. Changing trim will distabilize the autopilot.

By going slower or faster? If faster, and you’re told by atc to not exceed a certain speed that wouldn’t work I guess.

Well obiovusly that is a thing, but also you can tilt in the direction of the magenta bar when disengaging as well.

That sounds like it’d just be as rusty or is exactly the same as the current calibrating and guessing how much to tilt method then? Still ends up not being a smooth transition.