I was following the FlightSim Veteran's Club guide to using the FS2K2 autopilot (flying a 777 as well), and everything was going fairly well. I was doing a short hop from KAUS to KDFW (landing at 36L), with IFR. I followed ATC's vectoring, and soon found out that having it direct you straight in leads to your aircraft being a few thousand feet above the runway; I expected a problem like this from the FSV's guide. So, I declared a missed approach, was handed off numerous times to several DFW Approach centers, and followed their vectors to circle the airport. I was happily moved to a little more than 20 miles Southwest of runway 36L; according to the FSV's guide, a great place to hit that "Approach" button. I made sure that my NAV1 was tuned to the 36L ILS a long while beforehand; in addition, the glideslope diamond had appeared. Again, I'm following the FSV guide (this is my first time flying an approach by autopilot. Ouch.) - so I think things are happy-happy.
This time, the Approach function starts making all the correct turns just as ATC is calling them out. As expected, the HDG light first turns off. I can tell that the Autopilot Approach is turning me towards the runway. A few moments later, and the ALT light goes out. All as expected from what I read in the FSV's guide. Like the guide's writer clearly stated, I made sure just to hit the APR function do its thing (as in, no hitting other autopilot buttons).
Hey, for a first-timer like me, things are actually going well. I am clearly aligned with the runway. There's a 737 on its final in front of me, although I'm noticing it seems a bit...higher than me. I have also made SURE to reset my altimeter by hitting the B key all throughout the flight.
There's one small problem: It appears the Approach function would like to bring me down a few miles out from the runway. I have made sure that I have mashed the "B" key several thousand times. Whee! I'm perfectly aligned with the runway, thanks to the Autopilot Approach function, but I land right into a building. Building Crash!
I am just...stumped. Why on earth did it do that? Why on earth didn't the APR function make ANY changes in throttle or pitch to avoid doing a ten-point-landing into a building, a good five miles away from 36L?
Sigh. I've spent all night reading that guide, playing around with the autopilot "features", and I thought I could do a simple Autopilot Approach to DFW. I ask of those of you who are more experienced: What happened? Why did the APR function DO that? And when exactly should you engage the APR function?
And for the love of practicality, is there SOME freeware something-or-other that disables Cessnas, Cherokees, and all those Itty-Bitty planes from landing at large, metropolitan airports? Sometimes, I can't even get a word in due to all their ATC chatter.