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on automatic pilot

In an intuitive way without having to think about one's actions, generally because one has done something many times in the past. Also used in the shortened form, "on autopilot." By the second week of data entry, I could fill in the spreadsheets on automatic pilot. Making bottles, changing diapers, and putting the baby to sleep were all challenging at first, but now I feel like I'm doing it all on autopilot.
See also: automatic, on, pilot

pilot someone or something through (something)

to guide or steer someone or something through something, especially through a waterway. We hired someone to pilot us through the harbor entrance. The channel was treacherous, and we hired someone to pilot the ship through.
See also: pilot, through

pilot something into something

 and pilot something in
to steer or guide something into something. (Usually refers to steering a ship.) We need to signal for a pilot to pilot our ship into the harbor. Fred piloted in the freighter.
See also: pilot

pilot something out of something

 and pilot something out
to steer or guide something out of something. (Usually refers to steering a ship.) The chubby little man with a pipe piloted the huge ship out of the harbor. The storm made it very difficult to pilot the ship out. Help me pilot out this old tub.
See also: of, out, pilot

on automatic pilot


on autopilot

COMMON If you are on automatic pilot or on autopilot, you are acting without thinking about what you are doing, usually because you have done it many times before or because you are very tired. Note: `Autopilot' is often written as `auto-pilot' in British English. Steve seemed to be on automatic pilot and able to go on driving without apparent fatigue. Note: You can also say that you go on to automatic pilot or on to autopilot if you start acting in this way. When the kids came home I just switched on to autopilot, making the tea, listening to them fight. Note: In aircraft, automatic pilot is a device which automatically keeps the plane on course without the need for the pilot to do much.
See also: automatic, on, pilot

drop the pilot

abandon a trustworthy adviser.
Dropping the Pilot was the caption of a famous cartoon by John Tenniel , published in Punch in 1890 . It depicted Bismarck's dismissal as German Chancellor by the young Kaiser Wilhelm II .
See also: drop, pilot

be on ˌautomatic ˈpilot

do something without thinking because you have done the same thing many times before: I got up and dressed on automatic pilot.
The automatic pilot is the device in an aircraft that keeps it on a fixed course without the need for a person to control it. It is often shortened to ‘autopilot’: I did the journey on autopilot.
See also: automatic, on, pilot


n. a chaplain. The sky-pilot says we can park in the church’s lot, if we don’t mess anything up or make too much noise.
References in periodicals archive ?
After leaving NACA for North American Aircraft, he helped design the X-15 rocket planes and piloted them on their first flights.
Proponents say "remotely piloted vehicle," emphasizing that microcomputers and digital transmission now make it possible to control RPVs from ground stations, not just send them on preprogrammed courses.
Jansen is among six Test Pilot School students who can boast of knowing how the world's first piloted, heavier-than-air craft handled: not well.
In 1977, Fullerton piloted the space shuttle prototype Enterprise during its initial approach and landing tests at Edwards.
I'm just so excited,'' said Ascani, a retired Air Force major general who piloted a B-17 bomber during World War II, flew experimental aircraft at Edwards Air Force Base in the 1950s and set a speed record in 1951 in a then-new F-86 jet fighter.
Selected for the honor this year are Bruce Hinds, the first B-2 pilot; Louis Schalk, the first Blackbird pilot; Fred Ascani, a one-time speed-record holder; Stanley Butchart, the man who piloted the mother ship for numerous rocket-plane flights; and Corwin ``Corky'' Meyer, who piloted many of the airplanes developed by Grumman Corp.