Automatic pilot

Aeronautics. an airborne electronic control system that automatically maintains a preset heading and attitude.
Also called automatic, autopilot, gyropilot, robot.
on automatic pilot, functioning in an unthinking or reflexive manner.
Contemporary Examples

Tell them that true friendship does not thrive on an automatic pilot.
Why Obama Will Address Israelis, Not Their Politicians Fania Oz-Salzberger March 18, 2013

Historical Examples

He centered the ship as well as he could on the Dome below and threw it into automatic pilot.
Postmark Ganymede Robert Silverberg

The automatic pilot caused the ship to drift with the rotation of the planet, keeping them in fixed relative position.
Eight Keys to Eden Mark Irvin Clifton

Without orders, without clearance papers, without an automatic pilot check.
The Long Voyage Carl Richard Jacobi

By the exercise of his will he has set his course, and on that course he will stay as if guided by an automatic pilot.
The Pursuit of God A. W. Tozer

Sherman flattened out, and without paying any attention to direction, snapped in the automatic pilot and reached for his gun.
The Onslaught from Rigel Fletcher Pratt

Ralph waited, expecting the automatic pilot to answer the radar warning and swing them safely around the obstacle.
The Graveyard of Space Milton Lesser

He punched down the keys, and sat back to wait for the automatic pilot to carry him out from Earth.
Starman’s Quest Robert Silverberg

He locked the automatic pilot on the copter and held out his arms.
The Very Secret Agent Mari Wolf

He set the automatic pilot and leaned back in his seat to enjoy the view.
The Onslaught from Rigel Fletcher Pratt

Also called autopilot. a device that automatically maintains an aircraft on a preset course
(informal) on automatic pilot, acting without conscious thought because of tiredness, shock, or familiarity with the task being performed


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