November 2016 Issue

Too Much Automation?

Autopilots usually fly just fine when everythingís working. When itís not, the pilot needs to step up.

Thereís no question in my mind that a good autopilot system tends to dull a pilot to what the airplane is doing and what it may be telling him or her. Iím fortunate to have a really good one in my traveling airplane and use it most of the time when Iím in cruising flight. It will fly a heading, follow a magenta line, climb/descend to a preset altitude at a rate of my choosing and shoot coupled ILS or GPS approaches.

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