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Airbus Autothrottles And Landings  
User currently offlineMilan320 From Canada, joined Jan 2005, 871 posts, RR: 11
Posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 7469 times:

I performed a search, but couldn't find anything substantial. Could any of the Bus drivers enlighten me about auto-throttles and manual landings (non-autopilot).
I know that the throttles should be set to idle just before landing (from what I heard when the verbal RETARD is heard), but what about the final approach?
Is it preferable to disconnect the autho-throttles and control them manually, or can you use them when hand-flying the landing.

Thanks,
/Milan320


I accept bribes ... :-)
28 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offline744lover From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 187 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 7432 times:

Hi Milan320,


On my airline, the AP is disconected when you have visual contact with the runway and the AT is left on (leaving the levers on the "CL" postion) until you hear the "RETARD" voice.
This is a good practice 'cause if you encounter variable wind on final, the AT will correct the power to mantain the speed on approach.


See ya,
GHN


User currently offlineMilan320 From Canada, joined Jan 2005, 871 posts, RR: 11
Reply 2, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 7390 times:

Thanks 744lover.
That's what I thought, and I figured it's also one less thing to worry about on approach. I wonder if this is standard practice on other airlines.

/Milan320



I accept bribes ... :-)
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 3, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 7291 times:

It was at my airline too.

As a review; the A/T can control the engine thrust from just above an idle anywhere up to the thrust lever setting which should be CLimb at this point. It can make for lazy piloting because with the A/P disconnected all we have to do is "point" the plane where we want it to go (down a three-degree glideslope, for example) and the box runs the engine power to maintain the approach speed that is commanded. Simple!

In general (non-airline and non-aircraft specific) the good advice is to select an "appropriate" level of automation. That can range from doing everything to doing almost nothing. In the Airbus system it is almost always desirable to leave the A/T connected.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently onlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4670 posts, RR: 77
Reply 4, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 7259 times:
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There are a few airlines where manual flying means manual throttles.
I find full manual flying very rewarding on the 'Bus.
After all it's an aircraft like any other.

What about the Boeing drivers ?

Cheers



Contrail designer
User currently offlineB747FE From Hong Kong, joined Jun 2004, 230 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 7137 times:

We always use manual throttles, except when flying a CAT II approach.
Not yet a "driver" though. Hopefully soon.

Regards,
B747FE.



"Flying is more than a sport and more than a job; flying is pure passion and desire, which fill a lifetime"
User currently offlineMilan320 From Canada, joined Jan 2005, 871 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (9 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 7025 times:

Good stuff, thanks to all of you for the information.

Cheers!
/Milan320



I accept bribes ... :-)
User currently offlineJETPILOT From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3130 posts, RR: 29
Reply 7, posted (9 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 6721 times:

Airbus A320,330,340 don't have auto throttles. They have auto thrust. Different system operation than auto throttles.

JET


User currently offlineJonty From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2004, 226 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (9 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 6687 times:

do pilots like to use the A/T to land? Is it not more fun/interesting to do it yourself?
And can you turn that annoying guy off who shouts retard at you? It allways makes me laugh when I hear that, not that I fly like, but when I watch videos!


User currently offlineJetlagged From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 2577 posts, RR: 25
Reply 9, posted (9 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 6640 times:

As has been explained above the A/T makes landing much easier, by reducing pilot workload. That's true of any type, whether the throttles move or not. It's not really about fun. The A320 is designed to be flown that way.

I've only flown an A320 simulator (not being licensed to be let loose on the real thing sadly) but I found it rewarding to hand-fly and a great improvement on the traditional yoke style of control. You soon get used to the idea of leaving the throttles at the CL detent, even if "REtard REtard REtard" is a bit annoying.

You can pull a couple of CBs to kill the voice, but why bother. You know it's not a reference to your flying skills or personality Big grin



The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
User currently offlineSchooner From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 139 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (9 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 6618 times:

Can only comment on the 757 but Boeing strongly recommend "autopilot out/auto-throttle out" and autopilot in/auto-throttle in". The only exception being during departure when climb thrust is selected you are "allowed" to fly manually whilst leaving the auto-throttle engaged.

Cheers.



Untouched and Alive
User currently offlineJetlagged From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 2577 posts, RR: 25
Reply 11, posted (9 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 6602 times:

I'm just lazy. I find using the auto-throttle helps me on manual approaches as a non-pilot in a sim. I wasn't aware of the afore mentioned Boeing recommendation.

I do recall that British Airways 747 Classics were set up so that if you disengaged the A/T, the AP would automatically disengage, and vice versa. This was not the normal 747 config, where an AP mode might disengage as a result of A/T mode changes, but this would not cause a complete AP disconnect.



The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
User currently offlineWing From Turkey, joined Oct 2000, 1575 posts, RR: 24
Reply 12, posted (9 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 6570 times:

While flying the 737,it was Auto pilot off/Autothrotlle off.That was because of the small speed changes on the final approach(especially in windy and gusty weather) autothrottle gives thrust changes to maintain the final aproach speed set on the speed window,this causes aircraft nose to pitch up and down with the thrust changes(because the engines are wing mounted) and requires trim changes also.So Boeing recomends AP/AT disangage together.(In some really gusty weathers you can see the Airplane goes mad while trying to compensate 2-3 knots excess speed even if it was not said, you feel like you want to disengage the AT anyway to end the stupidity)

But on the Airbus there is a marvel called Fly by wire.This helps reduce the nose pitch up and downs with power application and the airplane trims itself perfectly.Result is you can fly a perfectly stable approach with the "Autothrust" engaged.The retard callout is only a reference, pilot decides when to close the thrust depending on the wind,gust,airplane weight(but there is something you have to keep in mind until you retard the throttles the autothrust will keep the last speed it was maintaining)



Widen your world
User currently offlineJonty From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2004, 226 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (9 years 9 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 6319 times:

Quoting Jetlagged (Reply 9):
You can pull a couple of CBs to kill the voice, but why bother. You know it's not a reference to your flying skills or personality

lol.

but doesn't using all this auto stuff just mean that you do even less actual flying, as in at takeoff you pop it into TO/GA and the computer does it, you lift off, and then pop the A/P on and let the computer do the rest, then come in to land, and have the A/T on so the computer does that, and then when it shouts retard you do that and then the plane can stop its self (I think - using autobrakes that the computer decides how much to use of - is that right?). Don't you just end up sitting there and watching a computer do your job?


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17172 posts, RR: 66
Reply 14, posted (9 years 9 months 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 6317 times:

Quoting Jonty (Reply 13):
Don't you just end up sitting there and watching a computer do your job?

You can trace the increase in automation and ease of flying very far back. I'm sure pilots balked at the prospect of not sitting in an open cockpit. But that's progress.

If you Airbus pilots most of them they don't feel this way. The job of the airline pilot is to stay as close to the center of the envelope as possible. If you want to fly on the edge and really "pilot" by the seat of your pants, you should stay in the military.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineWing From Turkey, joined Oct 2000, 1575 posts, RR: 24
Reply 15, posted (9 years 9 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 6217 times:

The job of the airline pilot is to stay as close to the center of the envelope as possible.

Thats not quite correct,being in the center of the envelope is being to far behind the aircraft and it is not desirable.A jet pilot should be way ahead of the airplane and should anticipate what the airplane will do next as a reaction of your command and you should plan accordingly.Most of the times we even anticipate what an ATC will ask us next even if you are not familiar with the area.(You expect a late descent clearence when hearing another traffic comming towards you at a lower alt than you are,or when you see there is surrounding terrain which prevents the ATC to clear you lower,you have see and anticipate this before hand.If ATC gives you late descent and you keep flying with .79M(since you are in the center of the envelope) when you recieve the clearence you will be very high and struggle to descent and reduce speed all the way down,and if there are other traffics and speed restrictions you put yourself in a highworkload situation.

Jonty;
There are many people thinks that the airline pilots are actively manupulating the controls of the airplane to fly the airplane.Thats not quite the way in most of the "normal day"operations.
I can define an airline pilot as a chief of symphony orchestra.You never see a maestro play an instrument but because of him a whole bunch of instruments create a very harmonic music.

As an airline pilot thats what we do.When you buy a ticket to travel from point A to B a whole team of people works to make this travel possible and the captain is the maestro of this orchestra,providing the operation goes smooth and on time.

Inside the cockpit its the same.This time the orchestra is not the humans but the instruments inside the cockpit and the others around you.The state of the art "auto stuff" is so dumb that it doesnt even know where it is unless you tell it .You have to be ahead of everything to make precise and timely decisions(which is the number 1 job of the pilot,flying the controls comes later)As an example you wake up to a sunny day in Antalya,you come to the dispatch office see that its raining with very low visibility in London.Can you land there,what if you divert,how much fuel extra you need?What will you do the pax?take them to a hotel or drive then with a bus?Who will arrenge the bus?Will this effect the publicity of the airline?Do you have an handling agent on the alternate airport?who will bring the stairs?How much will this diversion cost to the company?
Now you have to decide for something which will happen 5 hours later.And this is what you will be doing constantly during the next 5 hours.Be infront of the game decide accordingly.Flying the airplane is a big extra load while doing that,thats why the engineers work very hard to reduce this load from the pilots shoulders,so the human can make more healthy decisions.

While I was flying the 737400 the min AP engage alt was 1000',on the 737800 it was better at 400 ',Now in the A320 its 100 feet or 5 secs.It constantly reduces my manual flying time but does this makes me a lesser good pilot?Ofcourse not.Flight training will never end even if you are the chief pilot himself,we all practice manual flying skills with all the chances we have. And in the simulators too.

And during the normal day operations do what we are supposed to the "make decisions" and let the dumbest pilot in the cockpit fly the airplane which is also called as the "Autopilot"  Smile



Widen your world
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17172 posts, RR: 66
Reply 16, posted (9 years 9 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 6180 times:

Quoting Wing (Reply 15):
The job of the airline pilot is to stay as close to the center of the envelope as possible.

Thats not quite correct,being in the center of the envelope is being to far behind the aircraft and it is not desirable.A jet pilot should be way ahead of the airplane and should anticipate what the airplane will do next as a reaction of your command and you should plan accordingly

I meant it as "not straying towards the unsafe edges of the envelope".



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineSpeedracer1407 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 333 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (9 years 9 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 6088 times:

Quoting Wing (Reply 15):
Inside the cockpit its the same.This time the orchestra is not the humans but the instruments inside the cockpit and the others around you.The state of the art "auto stuff" is so dumb that it doesn't even know where it is unless you tell it .You have to be ahead of everything to make precise and timely decisions(which is the number 1 job of the pilot,flying the controls comes later)

This is part of Wing's interesting analogy that piques my curiosity about the younger generation of Airline pilots. Seems to me like a young airline pilot experiences way more automation than those who sharpened their teeth on 707s and the like. Which, of course, isn't to say that such younger pilots are less safe or less capable, but rather, masters of a different kind of flying. Certainly a young pilot doesn't need to know the "feel" of the hydraulic/mechanical tanks of yore. But what IS the feel of modern FBW planes? When a pilot hand flies, is he now calculating speed, thrust, angles of attack, and such, then making the necessary inputs on a lifeless stick? Or does he still "drive" the plane, in part, from the seat of his pants?

I suppose questions like these are eternally nagging ones for those of us "wish-we-were-pilots" enthusiasts, but I'm curious about the differences in skills that pilots of very modern planes must master, versus those of older ones.

O



Dassault Mercure: the plane that has Boeing and Airbus shaking in their boots.
User currently offlineWing From Turkey, joined Oct 2000, 1575 posts, RR: 24
Reply 18, posted (9 years 9 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 6057 times:

Starlionblue ,
I misunderstand the word "envelope",my mistake,sorry.  Smile

Speedracer1407,

I don't know how to start(I m in a hurry for an afternoon flight)but I like to make my words a little clearer for you.

No matter what equipment they fly and no matter what generation they come from,every pilot has to have certain level of "basic flying" what we say "stick rudder" which does not involve any level of automation.

As I wanted to explain above the the state of the art Automation and the Autopilots are nothing but a tool which helps to reduce your workload,therefore increase safety.I have never seen any autopilot which knows where we are on the ground,which airport we are flying to before I come in an load it.In every day operation any kind of automation is there for you to use it,using it doesnt make you a lesser good pilot.The automation started in the very early days of the aviation as is going on still.The 707s youve mentioned had the autopilots,and they had the flight engineers to make the calculations instead of FMS like we have today.The main idea on the other hand has never changed,the airline pilot was an orchestr chief then and still is now,and will be in the future.Only the stick in his hand that controls the players is getting better but still does the same job.

If you want to keep your skills sharp we always fly some manual stick,throttle flying same as we flew the C172 years ago.We practice every sort of emergencies(including single and dual engine failures,hydraulic failures,total electric failures etc.)You can not occupy the seat if you can not demonstrate the skills in the check flights.

As a result any pilot(young or veteran) on newer or older airplanes flies with the same mentality of the flying,still with the basic T instrumention,and power pitch rules are still the same.I hope that makes sense.Best wishes.WING



Widen your world
User currently offlineMilan320 From Canada, joined Jan 2005, 871 posts, RR: 11
Reply 19, posted (9 years 9 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 6010 times:

Wing, great posts. Welcome to my RR list.

Cheers!
/Milan320



I accept bribes ... :-)
User currently offlineIFIXCF6 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 108 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (9 years 9 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 5949 times:

Wing,

Post 15:

Quote:
You have to be ahead of everything to make precise and timely decisions(which is the number 1 job of the pilot,flying the controls comes later)As an example you wake up to a sunny day in Antalya,you come to the dispatch office see that its raining with very low visibility in London.Can you land there,what if you divert,how much fuel extra you need?What will you do the pax?take them to a hotel or drive then with a bus?Who will arrenge the bus?Will this effect the publicity of the airline?Do you have an handling agent on the alternate airport?who will bring the stairs?How much will this diversion cost to the company?

caused concern to me.

Post 18 alleviated my worries.

In one of our aircraft is the placard: "IN AN EMERGENCY...FLY THE AIRPLANE"

As a mechanic, I thought it was clarifying: don't be destracted by unnecessary thoughts.

Mike


User currently offlineMandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6965 posts, RR: 76
Reply 21, posted (9 years 9 months 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 5909 times:

In an emergency, fly the airplane... once you have control of the plane, diagnose, solve.

If solved, then think where to go.
If not solved, think where you can go before U can't go anywhere...

 Smile

Sorry, just throwing a pun here  Smile

Mandala499



When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
User currently offlineWing From Turkey, joined Oct 2000, 1575 posts, RR: 24
Reply 22, posted (9 years 8 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 5791 times:

IFIXCF6;

There is nothing to worry about what I said,I was speaking about a decision made at the dispatch office,not in an emergency situation.

As a mechanic, I thought it was clarifying: don't be destracted by unnecessary thoughts

What you called unnecassary thoughts are the everyday work of an airline pilot,making decisions at the dispatch office,while accepting the airplane from technic,during cruise,in an emergency and it goes until you leave the airplane.



Widen your world
User currently offlineJonty From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2004, 226 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (9 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 5677 times:

sorry to drag this out even more, but if one day a pilot decided he wanted to fly higher thatn 100 feet in his A320 would it be frowned upon if he didn't engage the autopilot and flew for a bit by himself?

User currently offlineWing From Turkey, joined Oct 2000, 1575 posts, RR: 24
Reply 24, posted (9 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 5650 times:

but if one day a pilot decided he wanted to fly higher thatn 100 feet in his A320 would it be frowned upon if he didn't engage the autopilot and flew for a bit by himself?

No you can hand fly the airplane as much as you want,my company "encourages" to handfly until 10000 feet on departures and from 1000' to landing.But anytime you want more go ahead,do it.(you should consider the workload it creates to the PNF though,he does the PNF duties,talk to ATC and the things you can not do while you are hand flying),so in very busy environments its better to use the AP and reduce the workload in the cockpit.



Widen your world
25 XXXX10 : Does all of the above mean the Bus (or any other a/c) cannot be dispatched if the Autothrottle is not working?
26 Starlionblue : I don't know, but I would imagine you can't dispatch a 737NG without the A/T working wither. Just a guess.
27 Wing : You can dispatch the airplane with AT inop also you can dispatch the airplane with the A/P inop but certain conditions may apply depending on the comp
28 Ba299 : On the 777 we fly every approach with A/P off and A/T on. The A/P normally are disconnected when we are established on the ILS.
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