Question about AP for IRL Pilots

For you IRL pilots, I have a question I’ve always wondered about. On an actual plane, after setting the AP and then doing something counter to the AP like moving the yoke, does that actually impact the plane, or does the AP logic completely disregard all input from the pilot? Just curious.

This should be a fun topic to watch some answers in :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

1 Like

You can disregard this. I had googled and couldn’t find an answer, but I changed my search parameters and did find the answer.

In case anyone is wondering, the AP will disengage when you try to override the controls. Manual control has priority over autopilot.


I thought this was for IRL pilots and not IRL Googlers?

1 Like

“First, don’t ever try to manually overpower any autopilot when it’s connected. Fighting the yoke with the AP engaged can cause the system to react by running the pitch trim in the opposite direction, and even though the AP is connected to the control system through a clutch so that it can (in principle) be overpowered, the force needed to control the aircraft in a completely out-of-trim situation can be completely overwhelming”
So you can, but it is not recommended. If you cannot disconnect autpilot for any reason by the AP button, remove it’s circuit breaker (or switch master button off in case of emergency).
it’s for GA. On Liner, i don’t think you can overpower AP.

And on some aircraft (like C172 G1000), controlling you can overpower AP is in the before takeoff checklist.

page 4-15

13. Autopilot - ENGAGE (if installed) (push AP button on either PFD or MFD bezel)
14. Flight Controls - CHECK (verify autopilot can be overpowered in both pitch and roll axes)

Except this is the new FS and the circuit breakers aren’t modelled as far as I can see. How should I proceed Kepten, from this point?

Your answer is correct, however have experienced locked up controls with inadvertent AP engagement on the ground during taxi.

1 Like

In the sim, trying to overpower the Microsoft Force Feedback Joystick is a “Fight”

Very wrong. EASA has required an autopilot force override for about the past decade, but the FAA only recently added force override as a certification requirement. The vast majority of aircraft in the field do not have a force override.

The result of battling the autopilot depends on how it is integrated with the flight controls. For the G1000 Skyhawk, the servos are connected via weak slip clutches, so overpowering the autopilot is easy. On larger aircraft, the servos connect via toothed clutches or pins, so you get to experience the full force of the servo.

There are other interesting implications of fighting the autopilot with hydraulically boosted flight controls. While a few pounds of force does nothing normally, the autopilot will trim off the servo torque. If you keep up the force, you can slowly push the controls all the way to the stop. If the autopilot decides to let go, or you disengage, you could be looking at a 737 MAX type scenario where the aircraft can’t be recovered using human force.

1 Like

In the sim, AP button never failed so you can always deactived it. You can switch off master or battery (electric bus) etc…to stop power the AP.