Autopilot Landings and T/O

SkyyAngel

Well-Known Member
I had heard that you could use autopilot during landing and T/O...how's that possible and how often is it used commercially?

Pardon my ignorance and thanks ahead of time for the replies.
 

xdashdriver

Well-Known Member
Autopilots are sophisticated enough on many airliners (A320/330/340, B744, 777 etc) (and maybe even some of the largest business jets) today so that they can land the aircraft, rollout and come to a stop on the runway. I am not exactly sure of how they do it, although I know it means having multiple backup systems available should something go wrong with the A/P at the last minute.

If anyone else knows the technical side of it, I'd be interested to find out myself.

I am not aware of any aircraft that can do a fully automated T/O, although I am sure that the technology is probably there for it.

Ray
 

John_Jones

New Member
Not a 'techy' kind of guy either but an autolanding can be done in most medium-large sized jets (if I'm not mistaking-but then again dont fly many planes or any for that matter with autolanding
). An autoland can be done I believe with capturing the ILS and then turning on APP A/P switch. I believe it flies it right down the glideslope.
 

Baronman

Well-Known Member
Well, autoland and having an autopilot that can capture a localizer and glideslope of an ILS are two different things.

Most autopilots (even in light singles and twins) are capable of flying an ILS approach.

I believe the "autoland" function requires that the aircraft has more than 1 autopilot. (3 I think are needed??).
The three are contsantly monitoring each other during the approach to land, if an inconsistancy is encountered than the approach can't be continued.

The autoland also has to do with the ability to flare and roll-out, I'd imagine the radar altimeter might get involved but I'm not really sure....
Let Doug/A300Capt/Tenny answer that one!
 

FL410

New Member
You need at least 2 autopilots to autoland. Never heard of an autotakeoff mode, but it's rumoured that a QF 747 did it in FLCH mode.
Would have been something interesting to see.
 

PFactor

New Member
I have a buddy who claims his V-tail Bonanza is CAT III capible. I'm going to fly it sooner or later, ( busy trying to get multi hours and my CFI) it sould be interesting.
 

John_Jones

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
Just because the airplane is Cat II/III capable doesn't mean the pilot is.

[/ QUOTE ]
Good point!

I have never ran into a CAT III light...and rarely fly with anything 'Auto' other than a trim wheel which isnt even really 'auto'.
 

SkyyAngel

Well-Known Member
I seem to remember that Airbus that ran off the end of the runway...at an air show or something I believe. I think it was 2-3 years ago maybe or not even that long. I seem to remember that it was in a t/o "mode" of some kind and the pilot was trying to take it off and rotate but the "plane" wouldn't let him (the computer system wouldn't switch off auto) and they overran the runway and crashed into some trees.

I was under the impression that that was done on an autopilot-type t/o. I could be wrong though, I don't remember many of the particulars. I sure someone here does though.
 

A300Capt

Freight Dawg
Actually, autoland capability has been around for a long time. I believe the British Comet was the first airliner to successfully autoland back in the late 50's or early 60's. The L1011 had a very good autoland capability.

Being trained to autoland in an aircraft is one thing. Being trained to use the autoland feature during actual CAT II/III operations is something different. You can autoland in severe clear conditions. During Actual CAT II/III wx conditions, the aircraft, crew and airport have to be certified to do so.

In the B75/76, we normally had 3 autopilots (triple redundancy on all systems) coupled when performing an autoland and we were certified to 300ft RVR. 3 autopilots for what is called "fail/operation" operations (meaning if one quit the other 2 could perform the autoland flawlessly). If we started with only 2 autopilots initially it's a "fail/safe" autoland (meaning if one of the two quit the airplane wouldn't deviate substantially from it's current track but couldn't autoland).

The A300-600 is certified to, and we are trained for, CAT IIIb operations (600ft RVR). Certain equipment is required for CAT II or CAT IIIa/b wx operations and we use a CAT II/III checklist if something is deferred to determine the aircraft's capabilities for any given approach.

During real CAT IIIb approaches we use an 100' "alert" height and not a "decision" height. The difference is that you aren't required to see ANYTHING when you get to the "alert" height. If all systems are green, you continue to land. At certain radio altimeter heights (we have 3 RA's) the airplane will automatically flare, retard the throttles, apply autobrakes and track the rwy centerline until the autopilots have been disconnected. We just have to monitor, aply the thrust reversers and be able to turn off the rwy and find our way to the gate using the SMCGS lighting system.

I know of no airliner that can perform an auto T/O.

BTW, we are required to autoland for any actual CAT II/III approaches.
 

A300Capt

Freight Dawg
[ QUOTE ]
I seem to remember that Airbus that ran off the end of the runway...at an air show or something I believe. I think it was 2-3 years ago maybe or not even that long. I seem to remember that it was in a t/o "mode" of some kind and the pilot was trying to take it off and rotate but the "plane" wouldn't let him (the computer system wouldn't switch off auto) and they overran the runway and crashed into some trees.

I was under the impression that that was done on an autopilot-type t/o. I could be wrong though, I don't remember many of the particulars. I sure someone here does though.


[/ QUOTE ]

No, not even close to the actual truth.
 

sopdan

Well-Known Member
What I saw on TV (so take it for what it's worth) was that the Airbus was doing a fly-by and the plane's computer wanted to land, but the pilot wanted to keep going and climb. I believe it's used as an example of how some types of automation can sometimes be undesirable.
 

SkyyAngel

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]


No, not even close to the actual truth.

[/ QUOTE ]


No need to be rude. I didn't claim to know all the particulars of the event. But thanks for the info on the autoland.
 

N519AT

Ahh! This is how I change this!
[ QUOTE ]
I seem to remember that Airbus that ran off the end of the runway...at an air show or something I believe. I think it was 2-3 years ago maybe or not even that long. I seem to remember that it was in a t/o "mode" of some kind and the pilot was trying to take it off and rotate but the "plane" wouldn't let him (the computer system wouldn't switch off auto) and they overran the runway and crashed into some trees.



[/ QUOTE ]

It was done at the paris airshow, and no one was on board it was a fully automated plane I belive if you look you can find video of it somewhere on the JC Forum or at least a link
 
HERE is a link to the site, Click on the one that has a caption that mentions an Air France A-320. You'll see it, it has its landing gear down and looks like it is about to land. According to this site, there were 137 passengers on board, and only 3 were killed. Kind of hard to believe when you see the large fireball at the end.
 

A300Capt

Freight Dawg
[ QUOTE ]
No need to be rude. I didn't claim to know all the particulars of the event. But thanks for the info on the autoland

[/ QUOTE ]

Wasn't intended to be a rude comment, sorry you took it that way. I was merely pointing out that what you wrote was untrue.

The Capt and crew were at fault, not the airplane. They bypassed proper safety procedures and pulled circuit breakers causing problems with the automation during their little fy-by stunt killing innocent people in the process.
 

Baronman

Well-Known Member
As an earlier poster pointed out, there were people on board. It wasn't a revenue Air France flight although that would be funny!!

Pardon us ladies an gentlemen, the home base has asked us if we can deviate a little from our 4pm arrival in Charles D'Gaulle in order to participate in an airshow. Thank you for your patience.

I think those on board were AirFrance/airport reps and distinguished guests.
 

SkyyAngel

Well-Known Member
I apologize for taking it in that context. The internet isn't exactly the greatest place to figure out tone of voice. And I thank you for your help.
 

UAL747400

Well-Known Member
Personally I like the way a human flys as oppose to the auto pilot. I just think a human is smoother. I've heard other pilots say the same thing about this as well.

Tom
 
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