Old 26th Jul 2002, 03:31
  #63 (permalink)  
MasterGreen
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: New Zealand
Age: 70
Posts: 120
"A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. No knowledge at all is frequently fatal."

An Autopilot / AFDS is best regarded as an extra set of hands and a big help most of the time. However it is far from perfect some of the time and needs watching. The modern equipment is becoming more and more reliable it is true, but herein lies a big trap. (and if I need to explain that then you should not be reading this.)

An autopilot will only fly better than you if :

1. You are tired, distracted or busy.
2. You are disorientated or overloaded.
3. You never learnt to fly properly in the first place.

These are then the conditions when it is best to use the A/P. All other times its' use is best left to that old fashioned term - Airmanship.

Before anyone starts about Cruise Economy / Turbulence / Departure Tracking / Workload etc etc - I refer to the paragraph above.

There is a new generation of Nintendo Kiddies out there folks - Pinball Wizards to a man (I will totally discount the females here since,without exception, all that I have had the honour to train have been great handlers). On the rails these PBWs / NKs are fine, if mechanical. Get off the rails and then watch out for the recovery. It's a worry.

MG
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