Landing with the Autopilot

RC Guest


I have been practicing landing with the autopilot using the instructions in the FS2004 strategy guide book (sybex) and its going ok but every time I seem to land the plane lands on the front landing gear instead of the wheels on the back.

I am turning off the autothrottle just before hitting the tarmac, but is the plane's autopilot meant to lift the nose just before touch-down so you land on the back wheels or is that still the job of the human pilot?

Also, I have used to 'rule of three' to calculate how soon I need to begin my decent but sometimes I still land before the runway and land in the sea before Vancouver Intl! When you hit the approach hold button does it matter how far away you are from the runway, i.e. does the autopilot know how far away you are from the runway and adjust the decent accordingly or does it have a set decent rate and the plane will decend to that rate regardless how far away the runway is, meaning you will land short of the runway if you hit the appraoch hold button too soon??

thanks for your help,


Answers 3 Answers

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Pro Member Chief Captain
tomthetank Chief Captain

😀 When you approach for ILS you fly towards the double magenta bars shown on the display,but do-not switch to auto untill you see the hight indicator in the display.If you do,you will see that the hight indicator light will go out and you will fall short of the r/way

If you are above you need to loose hight and if you are below it,slow your desent down
Now the auto pilot will handle direction and desent rate

Once you are lined up and at the correct d/rate you can (like most pilots) switch off autopilot at about 800/1000ft and fly in yourself

I can be tricky at first but keep at it and you will find it most rewarding

Hope it helps

Pro Member First Officer
leadfoot First Officer

If you are landing nosewheel first I submit that you are going to fast. If you are flying the 737, 140-150 kts is the target speed over the fence, 150-160kts in the 777. I always handfly the approach right from the IAF and glideslope capture myself.

Pro Member First Officer
Andrenaa First Officer

I use to land with autopilot because I was rubbish at landing, the I became aware that not all airports had ILS's and usually the ones without were the ones I wanted to fly to. So I bought a Joystick and it's the best thing I ever bought for FS, much more control over the planes! 😎 You can pick up a decent one for about £20.

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