I understand you're having trouble with the autopilot feature on MSFS 2020, particularly with airliners other than the A320 NEO. The problem you've described is quite common, and usually arises from a few potential sources. Let's explore these possible causes and solutions.
- Flight Management System (FMS): This is essentially the computer brain of your aircraft, providing crucial data and commands to the autopilot system. If not properly set up, the autopilot won't be able to correctly follow the assigned flight plan. Be sure to initialize the FMS correctly with your flight plan details, particularly your waypoints and altitudes.
- Autopilot Modes: Familiarizing yourself with the various autopilot modes is essential. Depending on the aircraft model, different autopilot modes such as LNAV (Lateral Navigation) and VNAV (Vertical Navigation) might be used for following a flight plan. These modes control the aircraft's horizontal and vertical directions, respectively.
- Aircraft Specific Features: Depending on the specific aircraft you are flying, there might be some unique features or quirks in the autopilot system. For instance, in certain Boeing models, you need to push the LNAV and VNAV buttons before engaging the autopilot, whereas on the Airbus models this isn't the case.
Solution Approach: Here's a step-by-step method to troubleshoot this issue:
- Cross-Verify FMS Initialization: Double-check all the inputted data in your FMS. Ensure that all waypoints, airways, and altitudes are correctly entered. In case of any errors, rectify them before takeoff.
- Experiment with Autopilot Modes: Try experimenting with different autopilot modes and see how your aircraft responds. For instance, try using LNAV and VNAV individually to see if the problem persists.
- Check for Updates: Sometimes, software updates can address these issues. Make sure your MSFS 2020 and aircraft add-ons are up to date.
If the issue persists, I'd recommend referring to the specific manuals for the aircraft you're flying. They usually provide extensive details about the operation of the aircraft's systems, including the autopilot. You can typically find these manuals at the official Microsoft Flight Simulator website or the respective aircraft manufacturer's website.
Hope this helps you out. Happy flying!