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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

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

also on automatic
doing something without thinking about how or why you do it All the actors in this play seemed to be operating on automatic pilot, and none of them was very good.
Usage notes: also used in the form on autopilot with the same meaning: I was so tired, I was simply running on autopilot.
Related vocabulary: running on empty
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of automatic pilot (a system that flies a plane without human effort)
See also: automatic, pilot

on automatic pilot

  (informal) also on autopilot (informal)
if you are on automatic pilot, or do something on automatic pilot, you do something without thinking about what you are doing, usually because you have done it many times before By the second week of the election campaign she was making all her speeches on automatic pilot.
See also: automatic, 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.