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Use of Autopilot During PPL Training

Asked by: 751 views Student Pilot

Hello - I am a PPL student pilot starting solo XCs.  I also fly a G1000 C172 having upgraded from steam gauge post first-solo.  Do CFIs teach the use of autopilot in any scenarios during training?  (I asked my CFI to teach me) I can think of a few scenarios where I feel like it could come in handy as long as it does not become a crutch:

1 - Accidental flight into IMC to avoid spatial disorientation and lock in altitude and heading, and also to execute the 180 standard rate out of IMC.

2 - Just workload management on a long XC when getting setup for Class C, D arrivals or VOR navigation for example.

Would love thoughts



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1 Answers

  1. Russ Roslewski on Sep 30, 2016

    Yes, if the aircraft is equipped with an autopilot, I teach it during Private Pilot training. It’s an installed piece of equipment and is fair game during the checkride. In addition, pilots should know how to use it in “real flying”, as it is a valuable piece of safety gear, for the reasons you mention and others.

    Additionally, from page A-19 of the Private Pilot ACS:
    “To assist in management of the aircraft during the practical test, the applicant is expected to demonstrate automation management skills by utilizing installed equipment such as autopilot, avionics and systems displays, and/or flight management system (FMS). The evaluator is expected to test the applicant’s knowledge of the systems that are installed and operative during both the ground and flight portions of the practical test.”

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