#1 autopilot doesnt work von Jayviator 01.08.2007 20:15

Hi, firstly let me say thanks for such a great panel for the 146, at first i found it a bit annoying to have to go through the correct procedure to start the engines up, as most of the planes on flight sim are more simple and the engines are already running, but now i can do it, i feel very pleased with myself and more like a real pilot!!
I am using Jon murchisons 146 200 (in flybe colours) as these are regular aircraft at my local airport and i like flying all the planes i see operating from here, as i said, i can get everything running ok, but have found a problem in the autopilot, in that i cannot make it work!
The autopilot master switch is on, and as i think it goes you select the altitude you want, then when you are airbourne you climb so the vertical speed goes up , then press the main autopilot button then you hit VS to hold that vertical speed and the aircraft should climb to the selected altitude, but this is not happening, as soon as i lift of the ground the autopilot seems to shut down, i get a red line going across the altitude select and it doesnt climb, i tried using heading hold, i selected a heading and then clicked the autopilot and HDG , i use autopilot lots on other planes and was expecting the plane to turn to my selected heading but nothing, it just seems as soon as i am airbourne autopilt stops working, because when i am on the ground if i press the autopilt button i get a warning noise and a green triangle appears on the AP button but there are no noises or triangles when airbourne.
I am guessing i have not done the start up procedure entirely correctly or i did something wrong when installing the panel
Any help will be very much appreciated
#2 Re: autopilot doesnt work von ckyliu 01.08.2007 22:05

Well, simple things first. Before you take-off, make sure that all the annunciator lights are dark; if you've missed some part of the electrical or avionic system during the startup, that should show it up. Green ones are okay :-) Stuff like not having the AC BUS TIE in the AUTO position and leaving the START MASTER ON would cause the autopilot to not function.

I've tried to replicate your problem after a normal startup and I can't get it to occur. Just check the AP Master Switch on the overhead is set to ON before you leave the ground, and don't touch the AP switch on the glareshield until you've left the tarmac.

Also, just for your information, although your operation of the autopilot doesn't sound incorrect, it is not standard procedure to use VS hold for climbout after takeoff in any aircraft, unless you have ATC/SID restrictions you need to comply with.

It is much more usual to use set the IAS hold for 250 knots and set to climb thrust, allowing the AP to use pitch to maintain your desired airspeed, whilst you control the climb rate with thrust. In real life you might even use VNAV but we don't have that facility on this panel.
#3 Re[2]: autopilot doesnt work von Matthias_L 02.08.2007 07:57

Hi Jay, hi ckyliu,

Because of the fact that you see the red off flag (the red line) in the altitude selector just after lift off, I think I know the reason for your problem. It is not a problem of the autopilot itself but of the electrical system. The BAe 146 autopilot uses electrical power from the AC1 and AC2 bus. If either AC1 or AC2 is not available, the AP did not work.

There is now one reason why the AP seems to work on ground (off flag of the altitude selector is not visible) but not after lift off. When the start master switch is on and the APU generator is working, the engine generators are disconnected. The APU generator just could provide power for AC1 and AC2 as long as yoiu are on ground. As soon as you lift off, you lost AC2. When now the start master switch is still on, you're just running with AC1. That's why the AP don't work. BTW: this is not a bug of my panel - it is the same in the real aircraft. Take care to switch off the start master switch after starting the last engine.

I know that the description of those coherences is not very good in the current manual. I've reworked it in the new manual of the upcoming version 4 panel.

Best Regards
#4 Re[3]: autopilot doesnt work von Jayviator 03.08.2007 21:51

Aha, ive got it now, thanks! thats all it was i didntt turn the start master off! ive now done my first first flight and landing using autopilot! im still struggling a bit with how to make it maintain the airspeed i selected with the asi bug, i am used to autothrottle, i am not accostomed to maintining airspeed using pitch so instead i just concentrate on watching the asi and using thrust to keep the airspeed roughly how i want it, well just a hour ago, i took of from soutahmpton intl having already selected what altitude i wanted (i chose 3000ft, as i was only doing a take of circuit and land) i also had the ILS frequency dialed in on the nav 1 (110.75) so i took off, and when i was climbing about 2000 fpm i hit autopilot and VS and altitude select, i was worried because it started to descent but then started to climb and sure enough leveled out at 3000, i also had heading bug turned to runway heading and hdg hold, then i turned the hdg bug the oposite way and i turned round flew my circuit, decended to 2500 and when i was on the localise hit the approach hold or whatever its called (ssl, i think) and it brought me down slapm bang on the runway center line, i canceled ap about 200ft and landed manulay, as this is what i beleive you have to do? but anyway ive done it now and im very happy, does this mean i can actually start up and fly a real 146?
#5 Re[4]: autopilot doesnt work von Matthias_L 06.08.2007 09:59

Hello Jay,

Great, I'm happy that you could solve the problem with the disengaged AP after takeoff.

Just one thing about the airspeed hold. The autopilot did not hold the airspeed you select with the IAS bug of the airspeed indicator. This bug is just a help for the pilot and it is connected to the Fast / Slow indicator of the ADI but it is not connected with the autopilot. The autopilot always tries to catch and hold the airspeed which was indicated in the airspeed indicator at the moment the IAS button was pressed.

"does this mean i can actually start up and fly a real 146? "

What I could say is that you could handle the systems of the BAe 146 and that you could start up the aircraft. The question if a Flightsimmer could fly a real aircraft when he understand the systems is very often part of different forum topics. Some Flightsimmers say yes and they try to prove this in a full motion simulator. Others say no and argue that it is not enought just know the systems and to know what each switch do. I for myself also don't think that it is possible to fly a real world aircraft just with the experience of the Flightsimulator.

Best Regards
#6 Re[5]: autopilot doesnt work von nick 14.09.2007 09:55

I also had the same problem with the AP, or similar, with the Murchison QT model, and I could not get it to work.

I love this panel but I had to uninstall it in the end as I think that it is fat too complicated and uses up a lot of my time to start engines and systems.
Mathias: Your PDF Manual is good and exhaustive, but if you want to have more people use your panel, you should upload a simple tutorial file, with all the steps in sequential order, i.e. step 1, 2, 3 etc., which tell the flight simmer what to do to start engines, to have the instruments functioning and on in the main 2d panel, to have thwe AP on and functioning, and, for some who do not like those altitude callout sounds and other warning sound, how to disable these, as an option. The PDF that you have now is diffuse and does not give clear step by step instruction and it is a pity, as the panel is probably the best around for this aicraft, and you deserve praise for that. But it is difficult to make it work for some who do not have that much time and that is why I suggested a simple tutorial.

I know at least 13 flightsimmers who tried it and rejected it as they had problems, esp. with the AP, but who liked it a lot at the same time. Most of these guys turned the switches in the overhead panel all to on, and hoped for the best--I did the same. And that was because of the lack of simple step-by-step instruction. The diagrams you have of the electrical feeder connections are also confusing, as one does not know which way the feed goes, top to bottom or bottom to top.

I will reinstall it once a simple tutorial is uploaded. Make it as simple as you can if you do it, and leave out complex functions, or add them on another page for those who need them.


#7 Re[6]: autopilot doesnt work von Matthias_L 14.09.2007 10:58


I'm very sorry that you and the others you're talking about have problems with the panel. Nevertheless since version 2 or 3 such a simple startup description or startup list IS part of the manual. I also add an invisible startup button to the panel for those who don't want to go through the whole startup procedure. Unfortunately I could not do more.

Best Regards
#8 Re: autopilot doesnt work von Greg Goodavish 14.09.2007 15:28

Mathias, I am at the other end of the spectrum. The more real it is, the better I like it. Thanks for putting all this effort into your panels. I thoroughly enjoy all of them!
#9 Re[7]: autopilot doesnt work von BobF 07.10.2007 21:14

Hi. Thanks for a GREAT panel. Where is the invisible button to start the engines? I'd sure like to find it. Best regards, BobF.
#10 Re[8]: autopilot doesnt work von Matthias_L 09.10.2007 08:02

Hi BobF,

Thank you very much for your posting. I'm very happy that you like the panel.

The invisible autostart button is placed in the overhead panel. In the APU area you see something like a big red "button" which is normally the APU fire extinguisher. When you click on this red area, the autostart begins.

Best Regards
#11 Re[9]: autopilot doesnt work von BobF 10.10.2007 01:22

Hi. OK. Thanks. Best regards, Bob.
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