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#136 - amahran (03/31/2013) [-]
Alright, I'm going to clarify a ton of things here.
A. The autopilot does almost, all the time, all the control surface control from shortly after the plane lifts off until about 5 miles out from the runway, although many airliners are certified for autolands. That does NOT mean that the autopilot does all the work and the pilots sit back as a standby in case things go wrong. The autopilot is still rather stupid and can't make judgments. The pilots fly the plane and make decisions, and the autopilot is there to take the the actual surface control off the pilots hands to relieve stress. I could count at least 493 different ways to approach Los Angeles International, 17 ways for each type of approach. Pilots are there to make that decision, make sure the flight is in safe hands, and avoid SIGMETS.

B. Pilots don't fly 10 hour flights or longer solely. If flights get that long, they have something called a relief crew, as pilots are legally not allowed to fly for longer than 10 hours per day.

C. Takeoffs aren't done by autopilots. The closest you get to that is Airbus Flybywires, which set take off thrust automatically when the throttle levers are set to either FLEX/MCT or TOGA.

D. Landings are, most of the time, done manually, and are only ever automatic when RVR (Runway Visual Range) values are near the minimums for a CAT III c approach, in which case both the plane AND it's crew have to be certified for it. Otherwise, in clear skies, landings are taken over manually starting from 5 miles out.

Source: I'm an intern mechanical design engineer at Airbus, an aviation enthusiast, and an aspiring airliner pilot.
#207 to #136 - gilfhunter (03/31/2013) [-]
Pilots fly 8 hour shifts, generally, with, at least in the US, manditory 10 hour rest periods
User avatar #205 to #136 - altairibnlaahad (03/31/2013) [-]
Oh my god, somebody else who actually knows something about aviation.

#154 to #136 - anonymous (03/31/2013) [-]
Somebody knowing what the **** they're talking about on the internet??? ****** like Alka-Seltzer: "What a relief it is!"
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