Copyright © 2016  Grand Rapids Technologies, Inc.

Electronic Flight Instrumentation for Experimental Aircraft Since 1991

Flight Director

Every GRT EFIS with vertical autopilot software is capable of displaying a Flight Director. Commercial pilots may recognize it as a tool for precise hand-flying that’s commonly found in larger aircraft. It is a visual indication of the same commands that the autopilot would follow to guide the airplane. Pilots who use the flight director report less fatigue during instrument conditions while hand flying because the computer does much of the instrument interpretation for you.

The concept is simple: Follow the magenta command bars. When the flight director is activated, the yellow horizontal bars and small chevron replace the wing/nose of the attitude indicator. The larger magenta chevron represents the pitch and bank angle required to achieve the heading/course and climb/descent profile entered into the system. Use the flight controls to nest the yellow chevron into the magenta one. If they are aligned, you are right where the computer says you should be. Note that upon activation, any active VOR/ILS needles will be replaced with scales to make room.

In the example above, the flight director command bars are properly aligned and the pilot is on glidepath. In the example below, the magenta command bar is calling for a descending left bank.

To enable the Flight Director feature:

Enable both the Lateral and Vertical autopilot functions in the General Setup menu. The flight director is controlled by the autopilot functions even if you don't have an autopilot.

To use the Flight Director:

  1. Press the right EFIS knob once to access the autopilot controls. Adjust the settings as necessary to set up the vertical and lateral navigation profile you would like to fly. For example, if the LAT A/P is set for HDG mode, the flight director will follow the heading bug. If the vertical autopilot is set up to capture a glideslope, the flight director will capture and follow it.
  2. From the PFD page, press the right EFIS knob twice. This brings up the second tier of autopilot controls. Press FLT DIR softkey to highlight ON. The flight director will indicate pitch and roll as necessary to capture the selected settings. Follow it using the flight controls. Remember to use throttle as necessary to maintain safe airspeeds.
  3. To quit using the flight director, press the right knob twice from the PFD page and highlight OFF with the FLD DIR softkey.