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Can Autopilot Do All The Thing That Pilot Can Do?  
User currently offlineFear_of_fly From Hong Kong, joined Feb 2001, 13 posts, RR: 0
Posted (15 years 2 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2988 times:

Hi all,

Can Autopilot do everything that the pilot can do?
Can Autopilot do Takeoff and Landing?

Thank you

16 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineBaec777 From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 1231 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (15 years 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 2942 times:

Autopilot is only used during flight, Pilots has to do Takeoffs, Landing manually...

Baec777  Smokin cool

User currently offlineNAAcrew From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 44 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (15 years 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 2928 times:

And the autopilots cant hit on the F/As! That must be done manually.  Smile

User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 17
Reply 3, posted (15 years 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 2921 times:

Autopilots are getting there. Some aircraft (777 and some 767s I think) are now certified for automated landings. Takeoffs are still done manually, AFAIK (as are most landings, most pilots trust machines only so far  Smile )

I wish I were flying
User currently offlineN400QX From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (15 years 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 2910 times:

Some airlines are converting their aircraft so they can do autolands too(Alaska with their 737s comes to mind).

But as for takeoffs, its all the pilots.

User currently offlineRyu2 From Taiwan, joined Aug 2002, 512 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (15 years 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 2906 times:

Autopilots cannot taxi or take off automatically yet, but they can do most of the stuff for "landing".

They can provide navigation with the aid of navaids/GPS/IRS, and lateral and vertical guidance and throttle control for all other phases of flight, up until and including landing rollout (basically following the glideslope and localizer).

However, they can't perform non-control actions like flaps, gear, etc. They also cannot engage reverse thrust in a autoland.

And of course, no matter what, high-level judgement and situational awareness will always remain with the humans.

User currently offlineBoeing747-400 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (15 years 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2899 times:

All these Boeing aircraft can do an Auto-land:

B737-300 all the way to -900
B757 (all)
B767 (all)
B777 (all)

Just about all "non-classic" aircraft from Boeing and Airbus can Auto-land.


User currently offlineIndianguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (15 years 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2889 times:

Theoretically speaking, an Autopilot can fly a plane, and can often do it more smoothly than a pilot. On the A320, i hear that the autopilot can even detect air pockets in advance, and "iron" them out without the pilot (or pax) even finding out about it!

dunno about other countries, But the use of autopilot is restricted by law here. According to DGCA regulations, autopilot cannot be swtiched on until the aircraft has cleared 500 ft AGL, depending on terrain. Autoland also requires some special eqpt at airports, and airports not having these eqpt will have to be landed manually.

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User currently offlineSlawko From Canada, joined May 1999, 3804 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (15 years 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 2870 times:

IRON OUT Air Pockets??? What the hell is that??? You can not detect air pockets, and you can not stop a naturally occuring event in the atmosphere!!!!!!!! Autoland is avaliable on almost all aircraft designed from the mid-late 70's on. Even some of the later 747-200's were auto land capable. All airbus except the first line of A300's have autoland, and if you ask airbus they will tell you that YES an autopilot can do everything a pilot does...But would you fly on a plane with no pilot???

There are forms of automated take off avaliable on the 767, and as far as I know they are on the airbus line aswell... the plane does not literally take off automatically, rather the pilot puts the information (weight, runway length, temp...etc) into the FMC which then computes the various V speeds. The Auto Throttle is engaged before take off, the pilot must advance the throttles to a stable setting and then the the autothrottle can take over and maintain all of the speed settings...as the plane advances down the runway towards V1, and then ROtation, the flight director will raise the V bar on the HSI the pilot then knows to pull back on the yoke and the Flight director will indicate the attitude which is best, given the information provided in the FMC. Not exactly an auto take off, but more of an assisted take off.

"Clive Beddoe says he favours competition, but his actions do not support that idea." Robert Milton - CEO Air Canada
User currently offlineAirbus Lover From Malaysia, joined Apr 2000, 3248 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (15 years 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 2860 times:

i have not heard of auto-depart but more of a assisted take off like Slawko mentioned. but most planes built from the early '80s can indeed do an autoland but the gear, flaps, thrust reverser and some other things like the non-smoking sign / seatbelt sign has to be done manually.

however, auto-depart is "assisted" after entering info into the FMC (Flight Management Commands) and this is done on most flights capable of doing such. but, autoland is only used under bad weather conditions according to aviation law of most countries.

for example, me and my dad was on TG429 two or three weeks ago, an Airbus A300-600R from Bangkok to Penang (a malaysian island) and when the plane arrived at the island, it circuited the island for 45 minutes due to the low visibilty and strong winds contributed by the heavy thunderstorm. and i think the plane started to run out of fuel or something ( i am not sure) the pilot then attempt to land. when the plane was below minimum, 200feet, where i can see the industrial estates, the planes started to lose control and were not align the runway due to the very strong winds and heavy rain. the clever captain was not nervous so he push the throttle forward and aborted take-off on runway 22 which does not have instrument for Autoland. Luckily the thai captain did not pull the nose before applying thrust or it would end up with a stall like happened to a China Airlines A300 in Japan which claimed lives. the wind direction allowed landing on the other end of the runway, Rwy 04 which has ILS. The plane then flew into rwy 04 with autoland and guess what, the weather conditions at this end of the runway was way better than the other. when the plane was above the sea, and i think less than 200ft above sea level, the autopilot pulled the nose up around 8-10 degress accompanied by the increasing speed. the throttle was pushed and the plane came to a touch and thrust reverser were applied immediately by the crew. but the plane came to a halt after a very hard time braking at the end of the 11000 foot long runway.

ok, end of story.

airbus lover

User currently offlineIainhol From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (15 years 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 2849 times:

Auto pilots fail more often then pilots!

User currently offlineSxmarbury33 From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 447 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (15 years 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 2838 times:

I think the system that indian guy is talking about on the A320 is the windshear detection system. This system uses a doppler radar i think to inticipate windshear and microbursts and if it senses one will give the pilot an audible and visual windsjear warning. Also if the AT is armed will spool up the engiens. THis is not exactly a comfort system. It is used only in extreame weather when safety becomes an issue.

User currently offlineOverlord From Portugal, joined Jul 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (15 years 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 2832 times:

The autopilot doesn't complain about how much it's being paid.

User currently offlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3590 posts, RR: 44
Reply 13, posted (15 years 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 2801 times:

AA's 737-800s are not autoland capable. AA did not purchase that option, but instead installed Marconi's Head Up Display (HUD) system. Marconi claimed, AA confirmed in actual "fly-off competition" and my own experience has reaffirmed that hand flying the HUD is both more accurate and provides for smoother landings. AA claims the HUD system provides $100,000/yr savings vs. autoland on the 737-800.

*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
User currently offlineTWA717_200 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (15 years 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 2791 times:

Correct me if I'm wrong...

I would SWEAR that I read that an L1011 did a complete flight, take off to landing, either during a flight to Farnborough or it's delivery flight.

In anycase, I know that the L1011 is fully autoland capable.

User currently offlineCAETravlr From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 922 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (15 years 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 2786 times:

TWA717_200 beat me to it. I swear I saw a documentary of an L1011 doing this. The first airliner capable of complete flight via autopilot, though I believe that regulations have always required that the pilot manually take off and land.

Autopilots can take care of many functions, however, it cannot think, take evasive action, or go through checklists and handle cockpit resource management. It is great for normal flying conditions, however, a human will always be required to be in charge of the airplane.

A woman drove me to drink and I didn't have the decency to thank her. - W.C. Fields
User currently offlineJonPaulGeoRngo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (15 years 2 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 2761 times:

I don't believe (I could be wrong) Southwest Airlines ordered any "advanced" autopilot features with the 737s currently flying or being added to its fleet.

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