When do you usually disengage the autopilot?

I like to do it on downwind.

  • I never use it
  • When I start my descend
  • At 10,000 feet
  • On downwind
  • On base
  • When I enter the ILS cone
  • 5nm to touchdown
  • At 400 feet
  • I use all the way till touchdown

0 voters


It depends. When I am using an aircraft with auto land, I dis-engage at around 1000ft depending on minimums. If I am not flying an aircraft with auto land, I disengage when I’m on base.


Usually on downwind. :)

Usually at 500 but sometimes at minimums.

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It all depends on the circumstance. If I’m flying an airline livery, I show respect and make my turns as smooth as possible and I don’t make UltraTight™ patterns; therefore, I use autopilot until I’m about 6 miles out if I’m going for a straight in ILS or GPS approach. If I entered the downwind or base leg, I disengage it once established on the base leg.

If I’m flying a corporate livery, I can make the turns as tight as I need to. I usually will fly by hand about 10 miles out (or at the latest when established on the localizer) and if I have to enter the airport traffic pattern, I disengage it on the 3 mile 45 for downwind or when entering base.


Varies but I don’t disengage the AP all at once as I prefer to use the SPEED AP until shortly before touchdown as its easier to control via the AP then manually manipulating the throtttles.

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Good point. I usually slowly disable functions until it finally is completely off rather than just pressing the master A/P switch and disengaging it all at once. Good to get a “feel” for the aircraft and how it reacts one bit at a time.


If the wind is relatively calm, I disengage when entering the ILS triangle but if the winds are pretty strong, I leave it on until I’m on 3-5nm final.

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I use APPR until about 4nm, or until runway is in sight. Then I disengage, and fly my self.

I make sure to calibrate my device before turning AP off. If I’m in an aircraft with APPR I let it land the plane for me. I think the only time AP isn’t on is when I take off.

If theres a lot of fog, ill disengage when I see the runway, unless I can see it before Im 5nm away.
If Im on an A330 or A340, it will be like 7-9nm away

When I’m cleared to land. That way I have plenty of time to correct or position if the aircraft dives or the nose goes up

Usually between when I start my decent to the ILS cone.

Defiantly when I enter the ILS cone , but now and then sometimes the second I pick up the LOC I fly her in by hand.

Also Happy Anniversary @Aviationluver!

If weather is nice, as soon as I intercept. Nasty turbulence and cross wind then about 4-6 miles out. Extremely low visibility, once I have visual or 1.5-2 miles out. If its less than a mile visibility I use appr if available.

Not my anniversary yet. Half an hour to go ;)

I usually turn off autopilot right before entering the ils cone, which can vary with circumstances. I usually turn base and intercept ils manually and if I am coming straight in I disable ils 10nm out

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