This Month In IFR Magazine: Altitude Preselect: Monitor, Crosscheck

Modern autopilot upgrades usually come with built-in altitude preselect and airspeed hold. Used properly, this automation is a useful tool in the bag of IFR utilities. It can reduce altitude busts and deviations, but with great power comes great responsibility. But it can be serious trouble—especially in the approach environment—if it’s misused.
Once sold as a complicated external option for retrofit autopilots, now-standard altitude preselect might be the best feature that’s been added to recent retrofit and OEM-standard digital autopilots and the IFR navigators and flight displays they are interfaced with. It allows you to dial in your desired altitude and then select the mode for climb or descent.
Whether it’s climbing or descending at 500 feet per minute or 2500 feet per minute, the system will calculate a smooth capture. Check here 
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Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. Great magazine.

    I’ve been a subscriber for a long time and carefully study the issues cover to cover. I find it a good way to stay up to date and proficient on the studying aspect of maintaining IFR aptitude.

    I especially like its a genuine paper magazine. That’s kind of nice nowadays.

  2. One of my most proud accomplishments of a 50 year flying career was flying a 20 series Lear with no altitude preselect for over 5 years with Zero altitude busts. The old Jet 110 auto-pilot was really only good for heading and altitude hold on its good days. I enjoyed flying more modern equipment with all the bells and whistles but the Lear 24D is still the most fun fixed wing aircraft I have ever flown.