flight control differences

Pro Member First Officer
jetman35 First Officer

Does anybody know what is the difference between flight director and auto pilot master? What are the Approach and backcourse options and when are they used? Fear

Radarman.. you may know the answer to this question

Just wondering.

3 Responses

Pro Member Trainee
ronaldpatton Trainee

When the Autopilot is in operation (keeping the plane on course and altitude), it sends signals to servos that move the control surfaces. Sometimes you want to "hand fly" the airplane but still want to know what the auotpilot "thinks". The flight director uses the output of the autopilot to move "command bars" on the artificial horizon to display corrections to keep the airplane on track according to the autopilot. Basically you fly the airplane to keep the little airplane symbol on the horizon tucked into the command bars. If you do it well, the plane will stay right where it is supposed to be. So, the autopilot needs to be on, but not engaged and the flight director needs to be on AND you need to have the autopilot set up to track something so there will something for the flight director to "direct" you to. I hope this helps


Pro Member First Officer
jetman35 First Officer

Thanks Ron.. I will give it a shot! 🙂

Pro Member Trainee
Jim Glockner (jimmyglockner) Trainee

RonaldPatton, your explaination was terriffic!. I had never thought of it that way. Now I understand. Many thanks.

Happy flying.


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