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Advanced Avionics

Multi-Function Display

Information Systems

A multi-function display (MFD) presents information drawn from a variety of aircraft information systems. Many installations allow overlay or inclusion of systems indications in the primary flight display (PFD), in addition to the primary flight instrument indications. By allowing you to view information provided by any one or combination of the installed systems, the MFD […]

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Miscellaneous Autopilot Topics

Automated Flight Control

Autopilot Mode Awareness In addition to performing the basic aircraft control and navigation function described previously, some autopilots are capable of automatically switching from one function to another. These automatic mode changes can complicate the task of maintaining mode awareness, but every autopilot has some form of flight mode annunciator that shows which autopilot functions […]

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Deciding When To Use the FD/Autopilot

Automated Flight Control

In addition to learning how to use the FD/autopilot, you must also learn when to use it. Since there are no definitive rules about when an FD/autopilot should or should not be used, you must learn to consider the benefits and disadvantages of using the FD/autopilot in any given situation. One of the most valuable […]

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Coupled Approaches

Automated Flight Control

The approach function is similar to the navigation mode, but flies the selected course with the higher degree of precision necessary for instrument approaches and allows glideslope tracking in the vertical dimension. Most autopilots feature a separate button that allows you to engage the approach function, as shown in Figure 4-14. (NOTE: Usually, this mode […]

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Course Intercepts

Automated Flight Control

Flying an Assigned Heading To Intercept a Course or VOR Radial You can use the navigation mode in combination with the heading function to fly an assigned heading to intercept a course. The procedure illustrated in Figure 4-13 takes advantage of the ability to arm the navigation mode while the heading mode is engaged. Figure […]

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Climbs and Descents

Automated Flight Control

Vertical Speed The autopilot’s vertical speed mode allows you to perform constant-rate climbs and descents. Figure 4-10 illustrates the use of the vertical speed mode for one autopilot that is integrated with a PFD. When you engage the vertical speed mode, the FD/autopilot will attempt to maintain the specified vertical speed until you choose a […]

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Fly Heading and Maintain Altitude

Automated Flight Control

Fly Heading The heading mode is used to steer the aircraft automatically along a pilot selected heading. Using the FD/autopilot to fly a heading is a simple matter of selecting the assigned heading and then engaging the heading function or, more commonly, accomplished by first engaging the heading mode and gently turning the heading selection […]

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Follow Route

Automated Flight Control

The FD/autopilot’s navigation function can be used to guide the aircraft along the course selected on the navigation indicator. Since the navigation display in most advanced avionics cockpits can present indications from a variety of navigation systems, you can use the autopilot’s navigation function to follow a route programmed into the FMS using VOR, global […]

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Flight Director

Automated Flight Control

Flight Director Functions An FD is an extremely useful aid that displays cues to guide pilot or autopilot control inputs along a selected and computed flightpath. [Figure 4-5] The flight director usually receives input from an ADC and a flight data computer. The ADC supplies altitude, airspeed and temperature data, heading data from magnetic sources […]

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