Usage of the autopilot [Poll]

When do you engage the autopilot?

  • Always except for takeoff and landing
  • Always except for takeoff
  • Always except for landing
  • For all phases of flight
  • Never

0 voters

Remember that even if only one of the four functions is active, the A/P is considered engaged!

Let’s see how many of you are skilled pilots ;)


Mostly for stabilized portions of flight, long climbs and descents, never for takeoff or landing.


Sometimes if it’s windy, I’ll set autopilot on heading for takeoff. Otherwise, only in the climb and cruise altitude.

Best, Boeing707

I really often use the autopilot when looking at my flight plan or consulting the map.

In the Southern California region you sometimes run into dense fog. It basically reduces visibility to zero 😳 AP helps to stay focused and I have time to watch controls then.

Once I begin climb out I am using it 100% for the flight and landing in the Citation X. On landing I only adjust the VS and SPD. I leave the ALT on but move it down to zero and get a perfect flare and landing every time. It works like an auto-land feature.

I have specific methods for AP use. On take off, I always (only) lock the heading of the plane, so I only have to worry about VS and ALT manually. This is because when AP is engaged the plane lurches forward when not on full flaps take off and the AP is engaged, so I just focus on getting a smooth AP engagement for the VS. I usually set the altitude while taxiing to the runway. Then I use it throughout the flight using the ‘bearing to next [waypoint]’ slot on the bottom, and I just adjust it to the flight plan as I fly meaning I always pass through waypoints. For landing, I just lower the ALT gradually and the VS more quickly and then take them both down completely to bring the plane smoothly to 3000ft and then just a manual land from there! :)

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I only use autopilot on landing i only have it on Heading control and speed i turn off the heading control once i have visual of the runway i keep the speed control on until im about 200-400 feet AGL

Really unfairly classified. How about “When Appropirate”

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Usually after >4500 ft altitude I turn on the vs , speed , altd autopilot
its great
after approach landing , that’s the time ti turn off it

I turn on the A/P after taking off, only deactivating it once I´m close to land. The problem is that I when I turn off the ALT, the V/S turns also off, and when I turn the V/S again, the plane goes up and down without control.
I wouldn´t mind calibrating the device, but since I want to upload to youtube, I prefer having no interruptions.

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I use it for cruise and decsent

I use it most of the time, if the visibility is low i’ll use autopilot to stay focused on terrain and surrounding traffic, if the weather is fine i will descend manually and sometimes land manually, i always climb manually to at least 12,000 feet.

I engage it the second I lift off

I’m guilty of using it to control my throttle while landing…