FD lateral mode not working with AP OFF on any aircraft!

This is a a bug affecting nearly all aircraft in MSFS:

  • When flying with Flight Director ON but Autopilot OFF and any lateral mode selected (HDG - FMS - VOR - LOC doesn’t matter), the Flight Director commands wings level and does only respond to the active vertical mode.

  • When selecting autopilot ON the flight director starts responding to the active lateral mode and the autopilot starts following it.

  • Of all the aircraft I’ve tested so far only the Airbus A320 seems to be unaffected but that might be due to the A32X mod.

In a real aircraft, the only difference between autopilot ON, and autopilot OFF, is that when it is selected ON, clutches in the electric aileron and elevator servos engage, so that the flight director steering commands are applied to the control surfaces. The flight director is part of the overall autopilot system, and the command bars should reflect any adjustments the pilot makes to the heading or pitch modes, whether the autopilot is engaged or not.

A big annoyance for me as well is that the VS mode, when selected commands the last commanded vertical speed instead of the current vertical speed.

I dont know if it works like that IRL, but it sounds logical for it to do so.

It does, I haven’t flown the G3000 in real life, I did fly the G1000 and there it works. I have never seen any flight director system lateral mode not working with autopilot OFF.

1 Like

Especially since the FD is a guidance system for manual flight. The autopilot does not need any steering cues. :crazy_face:

(sorry, crazy face day)

1 Like

As a real world pilot, I can confirm that this is a bug. Its amazing that something like that passed through QA…


Maybe we could lobby for votes somehow? Its weird that nobody votes for these kind of bugs, while all the eye-candy is getting loads of votes!

The entire flight director system is completely stuffed. It 100% useless. I tried to raise this issue earlier but no one seemed interested.


@anon50268670 I agree completely. Some of the ‘hot topic’ bugs are so menial, and yet genuine bugs that effect the viability of MSFS as a simulation are just ignored. It gets frustrating at times.


I just don’t understand how they can have the lateral FD mode not implemented, it works with AP on, so why not with AP off?

Second question is why don’t I hear anybody (except you) about this on the forum? Why isn’t this somewhere high on the bugs list or wish lists?

Edit: Ok I did found some old threads now regarding this subject with 3/4 votes and one from September with 50 votes but thats all not gonna cut it.

I’m not so sure it works with the autopilot on either. I half think it’s just kinda ‘sticky’, and mostly just follows whatever pitch and roll the aircraft currently has.

1 Like

From the beginning they should have selected just a few aircraft, a Cessna, a Kingair, an Airbus, something regional, a glider and a helicopter and make those 100% working, focus on the flight model and other core simulator stuff, make the Garmin useable and leave the rest to 3rd party devs.

We are in a situation now that the default planes are buggy and half baked and 3rd party devs haven’t brought anything out yet. And who needs a long laundry list of single engine planes as long as my arm anyway?

Yeah, exactly. There’s so much to fix, I don’t know where to start. Unfortunately things like powerlines, trains, and the bloody press button screen get more traction than essential parts of the simulator that are just broken,

I mean things like piston mixture modeling, turboprop modelling, autopilot/avionics, navdata issues etc. These are all core functions that need to be 100% before any eye candy and such should even be looked at.

But it’s this candy which will sell, especially once MSFS hit the XBOX. My real fear is once that happens, these issues become the least important of all to Asobo.


To declutter they should make a “game” version of the forum and a “simulator” version. And then move all the visual stuff to the game side.

The forums are quickly becoming quite a mess. There probably a dozen different threads about flight directors, same with inaccurate ATIS, yet they all have 20, maybe 50 votes. Never enough individually to get any attention. Combined they might have a chance and gain som visibility, but that’s seems wishful thinking at the moment.

Maybe we need create a wishlist item to have to ability to combine or links threads (including votes) together :thinking:.

Yes please! Voted and shared to get more traction on this topic. I love to hand-fly from time to time when doing IFR flights, but the lack of a properly working FD limits the effectiveness when AP is off.

1 Like

Voted as well. If anyone finds similar post please redirect to vote for this one.

1 Like

I strongly agree with everything said. I was shocked to see how many people saw the “press key to continue” button as the most serious issue in this Sim. Also, it’s very annoying how often well-raised serious problems get watered down, and threads get captured away from the original subject. It is all not helpful to make this Sim better.
We will see soon if hard lobbying can be successful to push the true problems.

1 Like

My take:
In its current state this is a GAME, best suited for for GAMERS.
Asobo is a gaming publisher, they obviously lack flight simulator expertise. And it shows, too, given that simulator-specific options were left out, such as replay, full outside view for cockpit builders and more.

And since Microsoft no longer has the MSFS team that could otherwise contribute with any previous knowledge, Asobo ere essentially learning on the job, as they go. The present release shows their current understanding (of lack thereof) of flight simulation.

With all due recognition to its awesome worldwide scenery, the truth is that in all other respects this product is still leaving much to be desired as a simulator.

The flight director issue exposes this. As do various airplane handling quirks.
As of now, I use MSFS for VFR sightseeing, “see the world” flights only - which BTW is pretty fun in its own.

It may take a long while to finally have a proper simulator. In the mean time I’ll keep playing with MSFS for its beautiful scenery and fly other, more advanced simulators such as X-plane or P3D for anything else.

1 Like

It will get there eventually, I just hope the real bugs are gonna get more attention. The wish-list and bug reports are over populated with eye-candy while the sim already looks 100x better than anything else on the market…


The FD also causes issue when coupling the AP, since it’s way off the actualy intended flight path, it causes that hard “snap” of the autopilot to the current FD position, then it follows it to the correct position