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    « General Aviation Heroes Part V – Readers’ Top 16 Choices | Main | ATC audio of Pilot Passenger that Lands King Air B200 in Florida after Pilot Dies »


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    Vincent, from PlasticPilot.net

    Your raise some good points Max and I want to add some others regarding autopilot design and procedures. I flew a lot with the KFC 150, which has no toggle modes, except for the NAV intercept. I also like the KFC way of activating modes before engaging the autopilot.

    I don't really like the KAP140 because you must first engage it and them program it. Any mistake will bring you in an unwanted maneuver immediately.

    And this brings me to the last point: flight director. With the KFC150 and almost all flight director autopilots, the flight director comes in view when a mode is selected, before autopilot engagement. This makes possible to visualize what the autopilot wants to do before engaging it.

    My routine for the KFC150 was always: Modes - Check FD - Engage. No way to do that with a KAP140.

    Had this Citation a flight director ?

    Matthew Stibbe

    I had a partial fail on my IR checkride because I pressed the altitude button on the Cirrus but didn't press it hard enough for it to engage and didn't check. Result: a gentle descent below the approach path and a re-take the next day. Ouch!

    Luckily I had a very experienced examiner with me who was not wearing foggles and not under extreme stress!

    The moral of the story, at least for me, is similar to Vincent's (Hey, Vincent! how come you always comment before me!): press and check. Press and check. Press and check.

    Just like the drill they taught me for using a VOR: select ident and display, it makes sense to have a mini-checklist for autopilots. Especially in the Cirrus where you may or may not have a FD, a Garmin or an S/Tec a/p plus if it's an S/Tec you have to engage it in a specific way.

    Charles Scott

    I am a CFI and I know the captain's daughter. She has been terribly upset about the gratuitous info but I have had a few hours in Citations and know how hard it is to see some switches. I stopped flying when I went into bifocals. Just too many things can happen in IFR and bumpy conditions. Now I rent a 210 once in a while. I'll tell Jenn I read this article.

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