Pilot induced oscillation

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Pilot induced oscillation (PIO) is a condition where the aircraft moves backwards and forwards in a plane due to repeated overcorrections by the pilot.

A typical example is a new pilot attempting to keep the aircraft in a hover over a fixed point. As the aircraft drifts off, the pilot will apply a control input opposite to the direction of movement, but will fail to cancel that input before the aircraft stops drifting in the original direction and starts accelerating in the new commanded direction. The pilot will then make a larger input in the original direction, and so the cycle repeats with increasing violence.

Slop in the controls can make it harder to judge the correct amount of control input to use, increasing the chance of pilot induced oscillation.

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