When to re-calibrate your device

Hi there everyone!

I have recently rejoined IF after a year or two off and I’m absolutely loving it! IF has come such a long way since I started in 2014/2015! So please let me know if this post isn’t in the right category etc and forgive me if the post in itself is a little noob-ish!

My question is regarding calibration of the device and actually WHEN to re-calibrate. I obviously calibrate just before take-off. However when I am on my final approach to a runway, after a while potentially away from my device, and I disable the autopilot (LNAV and/or VNAV), and begin to manually hand fly the plane down, there is often a sudden jerk in the plane either up or down as I take control and my device position controls the yoke… how can I make the transition from autopilot flight to manual control seamless? Do I need to re-calibrate my device again before taking the controls manually - even though I’m descending? I.E. when I am on the ground and calibrate pre-takeoff, the plane is level/flat, when I’m descending and re-calibrate - the plane isn’t level/flat but tilting downwards…? Does this make a difference to calibration?

I hope that all made sense,
I’d really appreciate your guidance on when to calibrate!
Many thanks,
Joe! :)

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Calibrate just before disengaging appr or lnav/vnav

That’s great to know Henry, thank you!

Does the plane need to be level before I re-calibrate, or can it be descending/tilting downwards?

It can be descending, but once you disengage autopilot, be sure to pitch the aircraft down just a little bit so you are still with the glideslope and not too high

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Thanks so much, I’ll definitely be implementing this into my approaches now!

Also make sure that the trim is ok. A sudden jerk can be caused if for ex. autopilot was applying constant back pressure. In that case when you turn AP off the nose would sink, and you should input positive trim

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This is great to know Ivan.

Since I’ve started playing again, I’ve always kept the trim at 10% after take-off, not sure if this is the best thing to do or not for a full flight. I think I need to have a play and see what works best.

Joe :)

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I personally use trim a lot. I dont reccomend keeping it fixed, but changing it according to aircraft beahviour. Because required trim depends on a lot of things. Weight, weight ditribution, altitude, speed and of course plane. For example when i fly the A321 (nicely loaded) i do a steep takeoff with around 40 percent positive trim, and then take it slowly back to zero on my way to cruise. Contrary to that, as i discovered recently, on the Citation X, when taking off fully loaded minimal trim is required, but when lightly loaded i use even 60 percent positive trim occasionally (then change depending on what i mentioned above)

Think of recalibration as setting your yoke to the neutral position. For example, if I recalibrated my device, that position would be the spot where no pressure on the yoke is being applied at all.

When about to disengage autopilot, recalibrate to where you want your yoke’s neutral position to be. Set your trim according to aircraft recommendations which can be found online. Disengage autopilot and you’re all set to fly!

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Hey! I normally re-calibrate my device just before I turn off autopilot! I used to have the same issue, however, I now get the device in a comfortable position when on final (or wherever I am taking over from autopilot) and I get a really smooth transition, with pretty much no movement when autopilot is disengaged!
Hope that helps!

Do you find this works for all aircraft, or some a lot better than others?

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Generally works for all aircraft in my experience, however, 777-200 ER it works really well with, especially once calibrate on final!

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