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Thread: Plane doesnt follow autopilot

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    California, USA

    Default Plane doesnt follow autopilot

    I have had the sim about a week now, everything seemed to be working ok big learning curve. This morning I took off in a cesna jet from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon, set up my autopilot and took off, turned on autopilot but does not follow the autopilot settings for altitude and vertical speed. It will climb wildly up and then wildly down, ignoring VS and altitude settings in the autopilot. Any ideas?

  2. Default

    From what I understand when you have the autopilot on and you press ALT it holds the current attitude. I can climb using the vertical speed wheel - decrease vertical speed/increase vertical speed - to set a 500 fpm climb.
    I'm having some problems descending while on autopilot. Once I've pressed the ALT button the autopilot seems to want to hold at that altitude and won't allow me to descend. I end up having the AI co-pilot land the plane.

  3. #3


    Please consider watching this:

    It might help you :-)

  4. Default

    The problem is, that's a 49 minute video!

  5. Default

    There are shorter videos but in the end occasionally the AP will decide to kill you even after you switch it off.

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by Stevemill View Post
    There are shorter videos but in the end occasionally the AP will decide to kill you even after you switch it off.
    ^^^ THIS! ^^^

    I was flying the King Air 350 Saturday on a short hop from Santa Barbara over to Los Angeles when I got the sudden urge to go make myself a quick coffee (sadly no flight attendant service on this trip).

    My plan was to manual fly the route being that it's so short n'all... But figured I'd go ahead, set my relative heading to LA, kick on the Auto pilot, and select the altitude hold @ 13000ft. (yes, lucky #13... in hindsight probably not the wisest of decisions).

    Anyhow... So I got the AP configured and confirmed the altitude and track were holding as expected and headed off to the kitchen for that much needed coffee.

    Well no sooner am I out in the kitchen poring the hot water when I hear a faint autopilot disconnect sound off in the distance... Of course at that point I was in denial thinking "that surely couldn't have been MY autopilot?" --As if there was any other autopilot operating in the vicinity of my home--

    So I wandered back to the captain's seat with delicious coffee in hand only to find that my beautiful King Air 350 was now resting in the middle of Ventura Harbor!

    Moral of this story... DO NOT TRUST THE AUTOPILOT !!!

    .... And for god's sake, stop being so cheap & just hire a darn flight attendant!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Rio de Janeiro
    Blog Entries


    Most probably you have ALT autopilot in FLC (flight level change) in this mode, the autopilot uses the highest VS possible according to your speed/throttle configuration or your fmc.

    If you have speed or power it will climb fast. Its also usually linked to the flightplan waypoints in FMS, meaning if your waypoint has a speed of 280 kts and you set to climb level change it will climb at a VS that allows it to maintain speed of 280kts

    If you want to control the fpm you must change the altitude mode to VS, i dont know where you do that in the Citation cause i dont fly it and every plane is diferent, but it shouldnt be hard its there in autopilot panel somewhere
    Last edited by Kapitan; 09-22-2020 at 07:52 AM.
    Anything I say is...not as serious as you think

  8. Default

    I can work around the AP shortcomings but sometimes things just break and the AP will try to turn in a heading and/or reach an altitude even though you have switched it off and have taken manual control for landing.

    It doesn’t happen often but it happened to me yesterday. Switched the AP off to enter landing pattern and the plane consistently fought to bank left and high. Trimming the nose hard down could break the climb and repeatedly turning the AP on and off eventually broke the turn.

    It seemed like that if you use NAV and have a desired altitude set but later use Heading Mode and VS, switching the AP off has the effect of telling the AP to chase the original settings despite the AP being turned off. And it was, without any doubt, turned off. According to both the Garmin and the button mouseover tip.

    It doesn’t happen to me often but it happens. My intuition is that the problem has gotten a lot worse since they ‘fixed’ the issue in the last patch.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Halifax, West Yorkshire, UK


    My theory is that the stability scalars are too low in the flight_model.cfg files of every aircraft that has one (the deluxe aircraft don't).
    Some have their stability settings as low as 0.1, that's just 10%, and I don't think the autopilot can handle that in turbulence or higher crosswinds.
    In previous sims, the stability settings have always been 1.0, or 100%.
    I've re-set all my stability scalars to 1, or 100%, and the autopilots are totally reliable.
    The scalars I'm referring to are in the flight_model.cfg under the [FLIGHT_TUNING] heading:

    pitch_stability = 1 <-- reset each one to 1 or 100%
    roll_stability = 1
    yaw_stability = 1

    Changing these settings has no effect on how the planes fly, they don't handle as if they're 'on rails', and they still get bounced around in turbulence.
    Last edited by tiger1962; 09-22-2020 at 08:47 AM.
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  10. Default

    I've had altitude and vs off, with autopilot on, and somebody is still moving the trim.

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