Essential Skills Checklist
Chapter 4: Automated Flight Control
Climbs and Descents
- Use the FD/autopilot to climb or descend to and
automatically capture an assigned altitude.
- Determine the indications of the ARM or capture
modes, and what pilot actions will cancel those
- Determine if the system allows resetting of the armed
or capture modes or if manual control is the only
option after cancellation of these modes.
- Determine the available methods of activating the
altitude armed or capture mode(s).
- Determine the average power necessary for normal
climbs and descents. Practice changing the power to
these settings in coordination with making the FD/
autopilot mode changes.
- Determine and record maximum climb vertical speeds
and power settings for temperatures and altitudes.
Ensure the values are in agreement with values in
the AFM/POH for the conditions present. Make
note of the highest practical pitch attitude values,
conditions, and loading. Remember powerplant
factors (e.g., minimum powerplant temperature, bleed
air requirements) and airframe limitations (e.g., VA in
- Use the FD/autopilot to fly an assigned heading to
capture and track a VOR and/or RNAV course.
- Determine if the FD/autopilot uses preprogrammed
intercepts or set headings for navigation course
- Determine the indications of navigation mode armed
- Determine parameters of preprogrammed intercept
modes, if applicable.
- Determine minimum and maximum intercept angle
limitations, if any.
- Use the FD/autopilot to couple to a precision
- Use the FD/autopilot to couple to a nonprecision
- Use the FD/autopilot to couple to an RNAV
- Determine the power setting required to fly the
- Determine the power settings necessary for leveloff
during nonprecision approaches and go-around
power settings for both precision and nonprecision
- Determine the speeds available for the minimum
recommended powerplant settings (useful for
determining if an ATC clearance can be accepted for
climbs, altitudes, and descents).
Miscellaneous Autopilot Topics
- Demonstrate the proper preflight and ground check of
the FD/autopilot system.
- Demonstrate all methods used to disengage and
disconnect an autopilot.
- Demonstrate how to select the different modes and
explain what each mode is designed to do and when
it will become active.
- Explain the flight director (FD) indications and
autopilot annunciators, and how the dimming function