Me and this CRJ7 nearly got into a crash I probably couldn't have saved

the plane is bobbling up and down while I’m almost on final at lax, I disengage the VNAV and it goes up, at an extremely sharp rate and the plane goes full throttle as I did have auto-throttle on, then for some reason before -everything- disengaged the plane made a really sharp bank to the right, I was able to catch this before it continued because even after LNAV disengaged it kept banking right. I’m sure this is pilot error but just wanted to share this and the fact the CRJ7’s auto pilot is very odd and aggressive. wish I could upload video.

From what I got by reading this:

  • The VNAV disengaging part would likely be your device’s calibration - its a setting that fixes your plane’s yoke from the position of which you hold your device, you may have placed your device in a certain position where the calibrated yoke would pitch high up. So before you disconnect the autopilot, you just press calibrate in settings to adjust the yoke if you are holding the phone in a new position.

  • The LNAV disengaging could be interpreted in two ways: The next checkpoint the LNAV picks up is in a different heading than parallel to the runway. Or, what I had said about the calibrated yoke.

2 Likes

Device was calibrated correctly before this and as for the LNAV/HDG I still don’t know why the plane banked right so hard, I wish I could post video but I can’t, it happened all very quickly, and I partially blame this on the CRJ7’s autopilot thats really aggressive for some reason

irl of course aircraft have their own unique performance personalities. In IF too. And the way autopilots interact with their aircraft, has itself a unique personality. There is a question of how much and when, even irl, pilots give how much of their trust to any particular autopilot.
Ideally a good autopilot reduces workload, but not at the expense of an unexpected safety event!

I recently went back to flying CRJ7 for a number of flights. Two things I learned to watch like a hawk:
1)strictly thinking ahead on getting my airspeed right for the phase of flight
2)double thinking ahead my autopilot disengage (speed, calibration, trim, ready to add pitch pressure)

Sounds like your aircraft stalled.

CRJ series is a difficult aircraft to fly. It’s very sensitive. Too high of a flap setting in contrast with your speed can cause the aircraft to increase pitch. If your aircraft loses too much speed from a sharp incline, it is possible for your aircraft to bank as it’s losing its lift.

on final approach, your CRJ should be between 130 and 145 knots IAS, flaps 30 or 45, and 60% or 70% trim. It’s best if auto throttle is off in the CRJ as it has a very dependent throttle to pitch ratio.


I’m no professional pilot, I just fly the CRJ often in IF, and I roll by this.

3 Likes

I think it’s good you pin it down to numbers. I have to admit I have a feel for the number ranges as stepping stones only. I watch AoA that the FPV is indicating to help with speeds.

But I think it’s interesting you say autothrottle off. I’ll have to try that.

1 Like