January 30, 2014

Did You Know? Dynon Autopilot 180º Mode

The 180º mode in Dynon’s integrated autopilot system is a quick and simple way to have the autopilot reverse the aircraft’s current course if you get into trouble.  

A good example of a situation in which a pilot might want to use 180º mode is during inadvertent flight into IMC.  Another example might be when some type of inflight emergency prompts the pilot to return to a known airport behind the aircraft’s current position.
In the SkyView system, the 180º mode is available only when using the Simplified control scheme.  It is engaged using Button 6, labeled 180º, in the AUTOPILOT menu.

In Dynon’s first-generation D10/D100/D180 EFIS systems, the 180º mode is engaged by pressing and holding the ENGAGE button on the AP74 autopilot control module.  Alternatively, it can be accessed via the soft-key menu system on the EFIS display. When the 180º mode is engaged by the pilot, the autopilot immediately engages both autopilot servos (if both servos are installed).  In the pitch axis, the autopilot will synchronize the Altitude bug to the aircraft’s current altitude (rounded to the nearest 100 feet), effectively maintaining the current altitude.  On the roll axis, however, the autopilot synchronizes the TRK bug to the reciprocal of the aircraft’s current GPS ground track value.  It then executes a 180º turn to capture that bug value. After turning the aircarft around, the autopilot then continues to maintain a GPS ground track at that bug value. With the press of a single button to engage the 180º mode, a pilot can quickly command the aircraft to safely reverse course while maintaining current altitude. Kirk Kleinholz, CFII
Sales Manager, Dynon Avionics