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Pro Member Trainee
deKoven Trainee

Okay, yesterday I flew down to Portland OR from Everett WA. Just a hop, skip and jump, so to speak. Since I'm still learning what all the s/w can do I tried a GPS flight. Entered Portland destination in the GPS and then turned on Autopilot. We proceeded south in a fine-ly manner except that I could not level the plane. I decided to just let it run and see what happened. When I got to Portland I was at 20,000 ft and I could NOT see exactly what would happen. I contacted Portland ATC and was given a runway (twenty-eight {won't display the number}). Well, I went into a large spiral slowly descending from 20,000 and finally just spiraled right into the ground.

Now here's the questions. Do I take it out of autopilot to land? Does Autopilot control flight altitude? Do I have "India", and what is it/that? ATC told me to "make right, runway 28R" which I interpreted to mean that if I had done correctly I should have turned right (but the runway is on my left) to go out to the descend position? I guess I thought the Autopilot would control everything, "Fly by wire, sort of".

Does all this make sense? Help is gratefully appreciated!

2 Responses

Pro Member First Officer
Arkydave First Officer

deKoven wrote:

Now here's the questions. Do I take it out of autopilot to land? Does Autopilot control flight altitude? Do I have "India", and what is it/that? ATC told me to "make right, runway 28R" which I interpreted to mean that if I had done correctly I should have turned right (but the runway is on my left) to go out to the descend position?

Firstly, just having A/P on isn't the whole story. You need to have the NAV/GPS switch (somewhere in the cockpit) set to GPS, then on the A/P, select NAV. That will cause your heading to track the GPS track. For altitude, you need to set the desired altitude in the A/P and select ALT. That will cause you to climb/descend to the selected altitude and hold it. Yes, you need to deselect the A/P to land, although by fiddling with the A/P settings, you can get pretty close to the final approach using it. I suggest you read the A/P section in the FS9 literature. When ATC asked if you had India, they were refering to the ATIS weather info. When you tune an airport's tower or ground, ATIS will be available to be tuned for latest weather info. And lastly, when ATC says "make right downwind, runway 28R", they're instructing you on the visual pattern they want you to fly. Read the FS9 material on visual approaches to see what that's about. Hope this helps.
-- Dave

Pro Member Trainee
deKoven Trainee

Arkydave wrote:

deKoven wrote:

Now here's the questions. Do I take it out of autopilot to land? Does Autopilot control flight altitude? Do I have "India", and what is it/that? ATC told me to "make right, runway 28R" which I interpreted to mean that if I had done correctly I should have turned right (but the runway is on my left) to go out to the descend position?

Firstly, just having A/P on isn't the whole story. You need to have the NAV/GPS switch (somewhere in the cockpit) set to GPS, then on the A/P, select NAV. That will cause your heading to track the GPS track. For altitude, you need to set the desired altitude in the A/P and select ALT. That will cause you to climb/descend to the selected altitude and hold it. Yes, you need to deselect the A/P to land, although by fiddling with the A/P settings, you can get pretty close to the final approach using it. I suggest you read the A/P section in the FS9 literature. When ATC asked if you had India, they were refering to the ATIS weather info. When you tune an airport's tower or ground, ATIS will be available to be tuned for latest weather info. And lastly, when ATC says "make right downwind, runway 28R", they're instructing you on the visual pattern they want you to fly. Read the FS9 material on visual approaches to see what that's about. Hope this helps.
-- Dave

Yes, I had the Autopilot working correctly in that it took me right to Portland. Didn't know about setting the alt on the AP. All help is gratefully accepted! 😀

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