If starting from the World Map the Plane Flies Itself and Won't Let Me Control It

I have experience with MSFSX, but I’m new to MSFS2020. I don’t understand why when I start by selecting a plane (e.g. Cessna 172) and a location on the World Map, when I click to start the flight, the plane just flies itself in a straight line until it runs out of fuel. I cannot move the ailerons or the rudder or change what the plane is doing. And the simulated pilot talks back and forth with the tower. It’s like riding in a ghost plane. Is there something obvious that I’m doing wrong, or is this simulator malfunctioning? Perhaps I need to reinstall it, which takes about 4-5 hours as it’s the digital version? I already tried resetting all settings to default.

Might be stating the obvious, but have you properly set up your joystick/yoke?
And in the menu at the top, do you have Flight Assistance - AI Piloting turned off?
Other than that, I don’t know. Cheers.

If I start airborne the autopilot is normally on, I think.

I cannot move the yoke. It’s like I’m a passenger in the pilot seat. The ‘pilot’ is talking back and forth with the tower. He took off and is flying the plane. I can’t do anything. I’m using a keyboard. He’s maneuvering now and landing, but I can’t do anything. The only involvement I have is towner called out to me and I responded an acknowledgment to land. Other than that, I can only sit and watch. To start, I just picked a plane and selected a starting airport and runway and a destination airport and runway. And when I get into the plane, all I can do is watch and listen to someone else fly the plane.

Hi GodzoneVF. I’m not starting airborne, but starting on the runway. But without doing anything at all … without even touching the computer, the plane just takes off on its own. I wonder if anyone else experiences the same phenomenon with MSFS 2020.

Go to assistance options and change it from “All assists” to “True to Life”, then try again

Yes, It probably is the AI as mentioned above.
There are a few settings that you will want to turn off to avoid that.
From the Welcome screen, select Options.
In there: Assistance Options.
Under Piloting:
Turn off: Assisted Yoke, Assisted Landing, Assisted Takeoff, and Ai Auto Trim

This will basically allow you to control the airplane yourself.
If you have rudder pedals, turn off Auto Rudder as well!

As already mentioned sometimes the Autopilot is engaged when starting with the aircraft airborne with a custom departure.

If you are flying the 172, it is indeed coded in the sim so if you spawn in flight, the AP will be on.
That can be changed.
Go to here:
wherever your installation is\Official\OneStore\Asobo-aircraft-c172sp-classic\SimObjects\Airplanes\Asobo_C172sp_classic (if this is the plane you are using. If not the file will be in the same spot for whatever plane you are using)
In that file you want the cruise.flt file.

In that file find this section:
Make it read
Save file.
Be aware, when the sim has an update, that will probably be overwritten.
You could make the file read only, but that can lead to other problems.
Just redo the edit when needed.

Thank you for the good advice. I haven’t tried it yet but I will.
The solution above about switching the AI to “True to Life” did fix the issue where I just sit there while someone else pilots the plane. :slight_smile:

Remaining issue are where in the Cessna 172 the plane will remain at a fixed altitude no matter what and also where while taxiing or taking off down the runway, it will never go straight but will always be in a fairly tight turn, right or left, until it finally crashes into something on the ground.

But I discovered that if I select the a low-wing plane, like e.g. the Diamond DA62, it operates normally like in MSFSX. The brakes work, it taxis and takes off straight, and I have control over the altitude. The gull-wing planes seem to be harder to control.


Turns out that was the right solution. That fixed the issue of the plane communicating, taking off, and flying itself while I go get a cup of coffee. :slight_smile: I set AI to “True to Life”. Thanks FrankPilot1530.


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Make sure the autopilot is off.

When you apply full power, especially during takeoff, aircraft have a tendency to turn left. This is due to engine torque, P-factor, spiraling slipstream, and gyroscopic precession. To counteract this, you need to use an appropriate amount of right rudder to keep the aircraft going straight down the centerline.

In the sim, there’s also an exaggerated tendency for the aircraft to “weathervane” into the wind. So that could be what caused your aircraft to sometimes turn right instead of left. The solution is similar. Apply a judicious amount of rudder to counteract the unwanted turning.

Also, check your Autorudder setting (try both ON and OFF - may depend on whether you are using pedals) and, as mentioned, turn off most/all of the AI pilot assist settings.

Thanks Synoxys787. Sounds like there are a number of contributing factors causing it to turn, and they programmed that in to make it realistic. On the issue of it always staying at one altitude, strangely, I did try turning off the autopilot, but the 2 and 8 keys would still have no effect.

But on the upside, another issue was resolved. When flying with the autopilot set to a given altitude, the tower says to change to a different altitude. Like with FSX, I tried just changing the target altitude, but that doesn’t work by itself. You have to then push the Nose Up or Nose Down button one or more times … maybe because in FSX I was primarily using the G500. :slight_smile: