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Trimeresurus
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Pilots of airliners with yokes(Boeing/MD/Embraer/CRJ etc), do you keep your hands on the yoke during autopilot?

Thu Oct 29, 2020 2:05 pm

If so, when do you start to touch the yoke(I assume during cruise you let it be)? Below 10.000 AGL? 5.000? How do you make sure A/P doesn't disengage because it sensed a pressure on it? Also in FBW aircraft like the 777, why does the yoke move during autopilot if it's not connected to flight surfaces? Does it have tiny servomotors inside that make it mirror the flight surface movements?
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Pilots of airliners with yokes(Boeing/MD/Embraer/CRJ etc), do you keep your hands on the yoke during autopilot?

Thu Oct 29, 2020 2:34 pm

During coupled approaches, yes, light touch on both yoke and throttles. It won’t disconnect to auto flight systems.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Pilots of airliners with yokes(Boeing/MD/Embraer/CRJ etc), do you keep your hands on the yoke during autopilot?

Thu Oct 29, 2020 3:00 pm

No different on Airbus really. As GalaxyFlyer says, on approach you should keep your hands on the stick and thrust levers unless said hands are otherwise occupied. There is no specific altitude but I was taught either on the approach or at the latest on the glideslope. Below 1000-1500 feet, I wouldn't move my hands away from the stick and thrust levers at all. If something needs pushing, pulling, setting, or pressing, ask the PM. It is also good practice to keep your hand in the stick "area", maybe resting behind it, below 20000 feet.

Just as on Boeing, on Airbus it takes a fair bit of force to disengage the autopilot by stick movement. Just keep your thumb away from the instinctive disconnect button. (It is actually easier to accidentally disconnect the AP with your knee in the cruise if you have your feet up in the footrests. :D)

Thrust levers on Airbus are in the climb detent on approach if using autothrust, so not much risk of them moving either.

AFAIK, on the 777, when the autopilot is engaged, the yoke mimics control inputs, not surface movement. But I'm not a 777 expert. And yes there are servomotors, and not so tiny ones.
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Florianopolis
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Re: Pilots of airliners with yokes(Boeing/MD/Embraer/CRJ etc), do you keep your hands on the yoke during autopilot?

Thu Oct 29, 2020 11:29 pm

There are a lot of accidents that would have been prevented if flight crews kept their hands on things to make sure the airplane wasn't trying to kill them.

Here's a short segment from an old training video that talks a little about it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ESJH1NLMLs&t=11m32s
 
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barney captain
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Re: Pilots of airliners with yokes(Boeing/MD/Embraer/CRJ etc), do you keep your hands on the yoke during autopilot?

Thu Oct 29, 2020 11:58 pm

At my company we are required to have our hands on the yoke/thrust levers once we start configuring for landing - ie, when we start putting the flaps/gear out.
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ACMIdriver
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Re: Pilots of airliners with yokes(Boeing/MD/Embraer/CRJ etc), do you keep your hands on the yoke during autopilot?

Fri Oct 30, 2020 12:42 am

I will usually start to guard the yoke and throttles from Top of Descent downwards. It's nice to have your hands on the throttle in Boeings as you can feel the thrust changes. Also the autothrottle will go into HOLD mode once you are in an idle descent allowing you to adjust the levers manually and with it your descent rate if needed. And it feels weird to have hands on the throttle but not the control wheel, so I do both.

It's not obsessive at first but more and more hands on as you get lower into the terminal area, it's not something you really think about, just occurs naturally.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Pilots of airliners with yokes(Boeing/MD/Embraer/CRJ etc), do you keep your hands on the yoke during autopilot?

Fri Oct 30, 2020 1:18 am

Florianopolis wrote:
There are a lot of accidents that would have been prevented if flight crews kept their hands on things to make sure the airplane wasn't trying to kill them.

Here's a short segment from an old training video that talks a little about it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ESJH1NLMLs&t=11m32s


That video never gets old. Excellent presentation in an engaging manner.

I'll note one difference on Airbus is that in the climb, you don't keep your hand on the thrust levers unless you're moving them. There is no need to guard the thrust levers in the climb since they stay in the detent, and you get no feedback from them anyway.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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zeke
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Re: Pilots of airliners with yokes(Boeing/MD/Embraer/CRJ etc), do you keep your hands on the yoke during autopilot?

Fri Oct 30, 2020 5:16 am

barney captain wrote:
At my company we are required to have our hands on the yoke/thrust levers once we start configuring for landing - ie, when we start putting the flaps/gear out.


A very sensible policy
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CRJockey
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Re: Pilots of airliners with yokes(Boeing/MD/Embraer/CRJ etc), do you keep your hands on the yoke during autopilot?

Sat Oct 31, 2020 7:11 pm

zeke wrote:
barney captain wrote:
At my company we are required to have our hands on the yoke/thrust levers once we start configuring for landing - ie, when we start putting the flaps/gear out.


A very sensible policy


I agree. And it is how we handle it as well. And you can be sure to get a comment from your colleague next to you if for any reason you don’t follow the procedure.
 
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Horstroad
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Re: Pilots of airliners with yokes(Boeing/MD/Embraer/CRJ etc), do you keep your hands on the yoke during autopilot?

Sat Oct 31, 2020 8:39 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
AFAIK, on the 777, when the autopilot is engaged, the yoke mimics control inputs, not surface movement. But I'm not a 777 expert. And yes there are servomotors, and not so tiny ones.

That's correct. The Primary Flight Computers send column, wheel and rudder pedal backdrive commands to the Autopilot Flight Director Computers to operate the backdrive actuators. The backdrive actuator moves the wheels/colums/pedals the same amount as the pilot would move them manually for the same surface movement. In cruise, one wheel and one column backdrive actuator operate. In autoland all backdrive actuators operate. There are six backdrive actuators in total.
The two backdrive actuators for the control wheels are also used for bank angle protection.

Here you can see one of them (CPT control wheel):

Image


Edit: The MD11 is technically a FBW aircraft as well. Autopilot and control wheel inputs only though. The Flight Control Computers give commands to one of the four aileron actuators and one of the four elevator actuators. Which one is dependent on which FCC and which channel is active (two FCC, two channels each). As all four aileron actuators and all four elevator actuators are connected by linkages and cables, all move together. The cables also give mechanical feedback to the control wheel and column.

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