I was wondering, in real commercial aircraft how much do the pilots rely upon autopilot. Which parts of flight would be flown by autopilot and which parts are done manually and would the use of autopilot vary between different airlines??
As far as I know, the pilots generally like to take off themselves, then put autopilot for normal climb. Autopilot is on for the cruise. I am not so sure about the approach. Landing varies between autopilot and pilot, varying in the conditions ( and the pilot's mood 😀 )
Autoland must be used any time the weather is below CAT I minimums per company SOP.
Thanks. I presume if the pilot can't be bothered to do a landing he can just stick the plane on autopilot? 😀
Pilots rely on the autopilot heavily. They don't use it for take-off as that is a bit of a thrill, they normally engage the autopilot just before cruise altitude and they switchoff the autopilot for a landing as it's quit fun [thats what they say not what I say]. If the weather is bad they will do a CatII [cat 2] approach and if it is very bad they would normaly be advised to do a CatIII approach. CatII is an instrument approach system and pilots only use it when the DH [decision height] is less than 100 feet and the visibility is about 1 to 8 miles of the RVR.CatIII is also an instrument landing system and pilots only use it when the Dh is less than 50feet and the visiblity is less than 4 miles.