In the above context, the yoke is the device that controls the movement of a plane. It determines the direction the plane heads in. The pilot has the ability to put the plane on auto pilot, but in doing so he yields a level of control over to the plane. Now, the plane while in auto will maintain a previous input course, but it will not make drastic changes based on upcoming obstacles. If you want to change course you’re going to have to take control of the yoke. Now That’s a Word!