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Do pilots take off and land on auto pilot? Does it depend on the type of aircraft and conditions?

asked in flights, aircraft

Drackon answers:


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PocketDemon answers:

Yes to take-off, but no to landing...

Well, it depends on the type of auto-pilot of course as some are more advanced than others, so the answer's based on the 'best' ones in use atm.

Supplement from 10/17/2006 10:12pm:

Having just seen the answer above mine (written at much the same time), i've done a quick search & the answer's yes to both -

Modern autopilots generally divide a flight into taxi, take-off, ascent, level, descent, approach, landing, and taxi phases. Autopilots exist that automate all of these flight phases except the taxiing.


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slfmarshall answers:

No to both, autopilot simply keeps the aircraft on a course set by the pilot, it regulates altitude, attitude, speed and direction. There are too many variables for the autopilot to control when maneouvering to take off and landing, take off has to be manually controled. However ILS or instrument landing system is a computer controlled function on many planes which allows the plane to be landed automatically providing the destination airport has ILS supported systems in place. The computer recieves a signal from the airport which it uses to calculate the direction vectors, the pilot inputs the landing speed based on aircraft landing weight and size of runway and the computer controls the aircraft's landing, the pilot still has to brake though.

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charmling answers:

If visibility was low, pilots would use auto pilot for landings. Pilots, also, need to check and maintain recency with all procedures and equipment. Most modern / larger jets have autopilot capabalities.

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