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Flying The A320 And Loving It  
User currently offlineWing From Turkey, joined Oct 2000, 1557 posts, RR: 24
Posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 9614 times:

To be honest when I was selected to convert to A320 by my company,I tried my best to stay on my previous type,the 737800.I had my personal reasons but also I was loving flying it.I had all these "too much automation,over riding the pilot" type prejeduces they were hurting my pilot ego.

During all the ground school sequence I and my team partner(who was also a B 737 pilot) we kept comparing the two airplanes and the 737 was always the winnner on our discussions.

It wasnt until we started the sim session that I started feeling warm to this aircraft.But as most of you can imagine the simulator is used to learn the non normal situations rather than normal day flying.

Then finally the day came and we started to fly on the line,day in and day out and as I get to learn more and more about the A320 all I can say its a very very good airplane.And I have never felt like I am overridden or never felt like I am not compleately on the controls.

First of everything it flies no different than any other airplane I can say easily that it flies better than everything I have ever flown.Every thing is "designed" in this airplane,its a comfortable enviroment to work in.The cockpit is spacious has a decent space to put our bags and jackets.

I'd like a put a special part for the "fly by wire".Which is one of the biggest step forwards in the aviaiton and the side stick is truly very useful,it leaves space for the tray which is the most loved tool of any First Officer,since I spend a lot of time writing reports and staff before,during and after each flight.

Ofcourse there are disappointing sides,the winner is the FMGS,which is technically very good but is not user friendly. There are grey areas with the ECAM too,but still a good thing to have it.

Overall Airbus made a great airplane and made this almost two decades ago,the airplane was way ahead of its rivals at that time.This is one of the biggest reasons impresses me-a pilot who is a very big fan of Boeing airplanes


Widen your world
38 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineGlidepath73 From Germany, joined Mar 2005, 1020 posts, RR: 46
Reply 1, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 9586 times:

Hi!
Thanks a lot for your post. I'm not a pilot, but I got some friends which are pilots. The most of them fly on the 320 series. All of them love the 320 series to fly it. They say it is a very good, smooth flying a/c.
The behavior is very good, even in more stressing situations like cross wind landings.


Regards,
Patrick



Aviation! That rocks...
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31573 posts, RR: 57
Reply 2, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 9575 times:

Nice post.
I'm faced with a similiar situation,except Im not from Flt ops but rather from Mx.
Out here the Aviation scene in the Domestic sector involves these two types ie B737NGs & A319/20/21s.
I'm too found of the B737s to think a A320 would be better from a Mx point of view.But since I haven't worked on an A320 series,it would be difficult to tell.
From what I've heard is that A320s are easier to troubleshoot but spares are more expensive than the B737s.
Its nice to hear from you on your experiences.
I wish someone from Mx with Experience on both these types would comment on the Mx part.
cheers.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineIFixPlanes From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 239 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 9564 times:

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 2):
From what I've heard is that A320s are easier to troubleshoot

I work on the 737CL+NG, A300/310 and A320Fam.
IMHO the Bobby is the best airplane to work on.
737: If you have a warning light or system does not work there IS a problem.
A320: If you have a warning light or you here the typically "Bing", it can be a real fault or just a computer who hang up. I dislike the A320 because i am a mechanic and no "CB-Puller" or IT-expert.
E.g.:A320 after a night with minus 20°C. If you power up the plane and start the APU for heat up, better ignore all warnings (except fire warning!) for 5 min. Now shut down the APU and all systems until you have a dark cockpit. If you do the power up again (incl. APU) you have a normal working airplane.
The A320Fam might be a good plane to fly, but out of my view, he is only good in cutting trees.
... just my 2 cent

Ingo



never tell an engineer he is wrong ;-)
User currently offlineCURLYHEADBOY From Italy, joined Feb 2005, 940 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 9536 times:

Quoting IFixPlanes (Reply 3):
but out of my view, he is only good in cutting trees

Aw! That was harsh...



If God had wanted men to fly he would have given them more money...
User currently offlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4163 posts, RR: 76
Reply 5, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 9499 times:
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Unfortunately, it took an overconfident idiot to crash the airplane you refer to.

And now, alas, it takes an insensitive imbecile to comment on it in that manner.

How sad !



Contrail designer
User currently offlineAerlingus330 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2004, 834 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 9459 times:

Quoting IFixPlanes (Reply 3):
The A320Fam might be a good plane to fly, but out of my view, he is only good in cutting trees.



Quoting CURLYHEADBOY (Reply 4):
Aw! That was harsh...

Too right it was harsh...
That was a stupid comment.

I play the A320 on Flight Simulator (yes it may be nothing like the real thing) and I find the FMC is very complex. I also play the PMDG 737NG and I find out of the two. The A320 is a far more complex and automated aircraft.

AerLingus330



Aer Lingus Airbus A330-300
User currently offlineIFixPlanes From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 239 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 9436 times:

Quoting Aerlingus330 (Reply 6):
That was a stupid comment.

Hey AerLingus330
Call it stupid is harsh too. irked 
If your profile is correct your age is max 15 years.
I even work on this plane before your birth.
Stop playing and grew up.
Sim is not real!

Ingo



never tell an engineer he is wrong ;-)
User currently offlineCURLYHEADBOY From Italy, joined Feb 2005, 940 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 9401 times:

IFixPlanes,

Don't take it bad, I think nobody wants to question your knowledge, neither I intended to say you are not allowed to express your dislike in working on this particular equipment.
Just remember that people died in the accident you were referring to, so if you want to call an airplane a piece of junk you're welcome, but maybe it would be more appropriate to avoid making irony out of such tragic events.



If God had wanted men to fly he would have given them more money...
User currently offlineAmtrosie From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 274 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 9354 times:

Back to the point: I agree with IFixPlanes as to the technical aspects. I too have worked 737 classics and NG's, and I have a lot of time on the 320 series. The computers are not mx friendly, it was designed for the pilot and to diminish his work load--and it has. What it has not done is do away with the myriad nuisance faults. I have never had to power down an A/C so much JUST TO CLEAR THE !#@#@$@! COMPUTER!!! To work this A/C requires a intimate knowledge of the c/b's and their interaction with the various systems. It has been very frustrating for me try to fix the aircraft, only to power down various systems, or the whole aircraft. Then wait a prescribed amount of time (this varies with different sys.) and then power back up, only to have to repeat the entire scenario.

For those playing video games: to interject a comment based on "make-believe", well thank goodness you are not old enough to drive or vote!!


User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8955 posts, RR: 60
Reply 10, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 9344 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD DATABASE EDITOR

Wing,

Thanks for keeping us abreast of your progress through 320 training. The last time I remember reading a post of yours, you were just starting ground school. It's good to see you've completed your training and are now up in the flight levels. Not many airline pilots take the time to offer this kind of insight to the rest of us. It's greatly appreciated.

On behalf of those of us who have never flown heavy iron (and always wonder about it), thanks for the perspective.


2H4





Intentionally Left Blank
User currently offlineA/c train From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 501 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 9276 times:

Ive worked on 732's, 752', a300's and the 320 family and I believe the 320 makes our jobs easier from a maintenance point of view, daily/weekly/A-chks made easier, less oop inspections but the ease of finding a faulty component through the CFDS on the MCDU makes it quite simple.
I agree that it will take away the ability to troubleshoot from future ages but im quite lucky in the respect that im getting a good range of experience, either way we should all be following the FIM/TSM anyway, right ?
Less buttons too push to make things happen on the 320 family takes away system knowledge aswell I suppose.
I find the 757 the best aircraft too work on, a bit of everything.
regds a/c


User currently offlineBahadir From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 1757 posts, RR: 11
Reply 12, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 9218 times:

Wing,
congrats on the move to A320 family and thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.



Earthbound misfit I
User currently offlineAerlingus330 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2004, 834 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 9208 times:

Quoting IFixPlanes (Reply 7):
Sim is not real!

First, I did not say that it was real. I was just saying to the best of my knowledge that it was more complex. Based on a computer game made by pilots.

Quoting IFixPlanes (Reply 7):
I even work on this plane before your birth.



Quoting IFixPlanes (Reply 7):
Call it stupid is harsh too

I was not questioning how professional and how experienced you where. I have great Respect for aircraft engineers and If one of them should make fun of an aircraft crash, with all that knowledge to use another term to criticize the aircraft then of coarse it is stupid.

AerLingus330



Aer Lingus Airbus A330-300
User currently offlineCactusTECH From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 9195 times:

I Work on the HP A320/319 and i personally really enjoy it. Its a very high tech airplane that has its bugs but with patience and parts its a realiable machine at least for America West. Im also a run/taxi instructor and i spend alot of time in the simulator and i get the chance of flying it and its a great feeling im also a 757 run/taxi intructor and both planes are greast but i prefer the BUS

User currently offlineSWISSER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 9091 times:

Quoting IFixPlanes (Reply 7):
Sim is not real!

try: www.phoenix-simulation.co.uk
click further to the Airbus products and after a few weeks of practicing and learning it try a class F simulator then at an airport...

It is off course not real but after 3 succesfull touch and go's at Funchal in the
"professional" simulator you start wondering...

A32S is a fantastic plane to fly if you know anything about flying itself off course...


User currently offlineWing From Turkey, joined Oct 2000, 1557 posts, RR: 24
Reply 16, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 8912 times:

The first thing my instructor told me the day I started the ground school was that the airbus is a giant computer with wings attached to it.Therefore the same rules apply as your home PC.It doesnt like too much hot,too much wet and too much cold.The biggest magic about the electronics they can be resetted even if they are dead in the air.More than one occasion we saw that a broken system comes alive on the way to the gate,it makes you think what to say to the technic,it was not working 10 mins ago.

I am really surprised to hear that this airplane is not maintenance friendly,after all this is the only airplane I saw gives a "reciept"  Smile after each flight which is a print out of the post flight report.

The interesting thing about the airbus it has too many myths around it.I heard too many things about the airplane,I almost felt like I am upgrading to space shuttle  Smile .I guess Airbus itself loves this kind of reputation too.

There is interesting difference between 737 and the 321 is during flap extention and retraction.A 321 you can feel the flaps more than other,it baloons a little bit but the hanling quality with full flaps of 321 is far more stable than the 737.Especially 737NG becomes a belly dancer with full flaps in windy conditions.

I found the climb performance of 737 way too better than the 321,Most of you criticise the A340 for the poor climb performance but 321 is not a speedy Gonzales either.

Both of them suck with the speed brake operation,therefore its really important to stay ahead of the airplane.

An important feature TRK/FPA on the FCU is very helpfull especially during non precision approaches,you can fly a certain track instead of a heading and constantly correcting for the wind,also you can descent with an angle of degrees instead of FPM.

These are very few of the differnces between the two airplanes comes to my mind at first.I will write more difference as they come to my mind.Regads.WING



Widen your world
User currently offlineMighluss From Spain, joined Oct 2001, 936 posts, RR: 8
Reply 17, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 8831 times:

please, do it! jejeje I'll be reading!

and... enjoy it a lot!!!



Miquel.
User currently offlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4163 posts, RR: 76
Reply 18, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 8663 times:
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Wing,
I too enjoy your posts.Come from a pilot and that, I could appreciate !
On the other hand, I think you still haven't forgotten your previous mount and it shows in the way you -apparently - haven't "warmed " to the FMGS.
It's just a matter of philosophies.And that's the last step into becoming an Airbus driver.Once you accept that basically the reversion laws are " natural and logical " and that you can address the FMGS as "your turn" by pushing something and "Mine!" by pulling a knob,you'll be there.
No,the '21 is no speedy gonzales...Pity you won't see the '18 in your airline...That's one lively playmate !
By the way,if you knew a belly dancer,could you introduce me,as I visit your city quite regularly?

Regards.



Contrail designer
User currently offlineWing From Turkey, joined Oct 2000, 1557 posts, RR: 24
Reply 19, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 8578 times:

Pihero,
I am flattered to hear you enjoyed my post.I also enjoy reading the comments of the fellow pilots too.Also I do appreciate to learn any piece of information about the my new airplane,experience that it counts.

About getting warm to the FMGS,to be honest I have just learned to say its name correctly  Smile .Seriously the hardest part on the Airbus training was to learn saying the same staff I knew, in the Airbus language.I thing its almost like learning a new language since created an acronym for everything on this airplane.

If I Compare 737 FMS to Airbus,I should say the pages are more relevant with its contents.On 737 you find the cruise information under CRZ page,or departure information on DEP/ARRIVAL page.Airbus has a little bit engineer way of thinking on that rather than pilot way of thinking I guess.Still I have to say its really "blow your mind"type machine once you adjust it well.I still need some time to get used to it,since I have less than 50 hrs on the type yet,as I get the chance on long routes I like digging deeper to it.

I found the FCU logic better than compared to 737 MCP.You can directly intervane to flight plan on the 321,however on older 737s you have to enter the flt plan lateral and vertical or speed modifications only by FMC,on some newer ones we had an ALT INT and SPD INT buttons to change the FMC calculated speed and alt changes without touching FMC.On the airbus the FCU is better designed to intervane these modifications without spending much time heads down.And push the buttons "you do it" and pull the buttons "I'll do it" mentality is really a good and useful way to remembering it.

By talking about heads down I have to say on the airbus I found I spend less time swinging my head around the cockpit since all the information I need at a certain time comes infront of my eyes,rather than I have to look up on the overhead panel to check it on 737.As I said this is trully a "designed" airplane.

About the ECAM,although its fantastic to have it onboard,especially if you are an ex 737 pilot who had to memorise pages of emg memory items on the previous type.But still there are disappointing grey areas on the ECAM logic.Or may be I had too many dreams on my mind when I came to this airplane.But still couldn't understand why it doesnt state some very small details and you have to go back to the paper CL after compleating the ECAM actions.And you find out one single line of action(in some checklists) is only found on the paper CL,which makes one think "50 million Euros to this airplane and it has missing lines on the ECAM CL's" Maybe Pihero can enlighten me about the logic behind this.(You see Pihero there is no free information on aviaiton world,you teach me something about the 320 and I 'll teach you how to find the best belly dancers in Ýstanbul  Smile seriously if you drop me an e-mail I can give some advices about spending your layover in the most enjoyable way in Ýstanbul)

Its great to hear that enthusiast love my posts,keep wanting and I'll write as much as I know and learn.Best Regards.WING



Widen your world
User currently offlineGlom From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 2809 posts, RR: 10
Reply 20, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 8562 times:

Amazing that I just found this thread, because I was just about to ask a similar question about the Airbus systems.

There's been lots of bashing about the Airbuses because they are allegedly "pilot hating" and designed for "the incompetence of the pilot". It's good to hear from an Airbus pilot that the pilot is still in command of his own aircraft and that he's still a part of the flight.


User currently offlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4163 posts, RR: 76
Reply 21, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 8505 times:
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Wing,

Actually, I was thinking of you to-day as I was on a 321 line check ride and was being quizzed on the FMGS.
As I said earlier, it is good to understand first the design philosophy of your systems before rushing into trying to understand them off cold -especially if you come from another engineering outlook-.
Contrarily to an awful lot of prejudiced voices,the FMGS just acts, albeit rather stubbornly - exactly as you, intelligent airman would.
To illustrate this point,let me talk about thrust and pitch integration :
1/- You as a pilot.
1-A/ If you wish to fly a constant path (i.e. level, on a glide, constant v/s or FPA...),you control your speed by adjusting your thrust, Right ?
1-B/ If you wish to hold a given speed (or Mach) with your pitch, (i.e. after T/O,G/A,constant speed climb or descent), you would set a determined thrust amount :TOGA,climb thrust or max cont on one engine, idle... Still there ?

2/-AP/FD and A/THR in control.
2-A/ If the auto pilot controls a vertical constant path--->A/THR is in SPEED (MACH) mode
2-B/ If the auto pilot requires a constant speed --->A/THR is in one THR mode.and it's easy to determine one as they are announced as THR + something on your flight mode annunciator :THR CLB,THR IDLE THR DES or THR MCT.

That should help simplify all these awful acronyms you're being bombarded with.

Now about the ECAM C/Ls
It was a bold step towards a paperless flight deck.Those engineers on the ground forgot that each improvement on the software would bring some compatibility glitches, and some abnormalities , often because they involve piloting advice, are difficult to include in the electronic c/l.
The loss of all generators is of course on the non ECAM list of items as it involves the loss of the lower screen and with it,you lose your notes!
But the philosophy still stands : an ECAM c/l eliminates the use of the paper c/l, provided you've made sure the advisory is not in itself an anomaly!!! and guess what ? where do you find that info ? But of course in the QRH list of ECAM Anomalies !
Wing, I welcome you to the brotherhood of the head-scratching-fault-finding 'Bus drivers.!
Joking aside,in our QRH these anomalies,there are only SIX of them.They used to be a lot more long time ago.
Hope I amused you,

And yes, I'll take you up on that belly dancer.
Regards.



Contrail designer
User currently offlineScarebus03 From Ireland, joined Apr 2005, 303 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 8471 times:
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Hi all,

After years of skepticism like " i'm not going if it aint boeing" and Airbus "die by wire" I now adore the A320 family. From an engineers point of view in my opinion the A320 series is the best airliner ever built. It is structurally and systems wise superior to all its rivals. My only problem from a maintenance point of view is the choice of engine as the IAE V2500 is quiet difficult to work on in comparison to the CFM56. Recently I saw F-GFKA, one of the first Air France A320-100's and it is in excellent condition with 58000 hours plus, 60000 hours is the life limit. But I am open to correction on that. Now look at the structure of a 1988 737-400 with the same hours and and tell me the difference.

In bad taste ifixplanes but at least we don't forget..........................

muchos saludos



No faults found......................
User currently offlineMirrodie From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 7438 posts, RR: 62
Reply 23, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 8447 times:
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WING, thanks for your post.

It's very cool to hear what the adaptation was like. I have often wondered what it might be like to go through such a change. Thanks for sharing.


Now that you have experienced both types, do you still have a preference for what you'd love to fly?

best regards,
mirrodie



Forum moderator 2001-2010; He's a pedantic, pontificating, pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless st
User currently offline320tech From Turks and Caicos Islands, joined May 2004, 491 posts, RR: 5
Reply 24, posted (8 years 11 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 8437 times:

I am really surprised to hear that this airplane is not maintenance friendly

It's nothing of the kind. The A320 is an excellent airplane to work on, not perfect by any means, but a lot closer than a B737. No flight control cable rigging, the ECAM is great, no hunting for dials, and so what if you have to reset a computer once in a while? I've seen a few occasions where we had to "reboot" by entirely removing a/c power, then starting up again. But most of the time if you pull the C/B's for the appropriate computer and reset, it solves the problem.

Just from an ergonomics point of view, the A320 is higher than a 737, so much less crawling around on your knees (eg, air cond, lots of engine stuff). Because the airplane has more volume, there's more room for the components. Ever looked in the wheel well of a 737? Compare it to an A320.

To work this A/C requires a intimate knowledge of the c/b's and their interaction with the various systems. It has been very frustrating for me try to fix the aircraft, only to power down various systems, or the whole aircraft. Then wait a prescribed amount of time (this varies with different sys.) and then power back up, only to have to repeat the entire scenario.

Ambrosie, were you line maintenance? It's hard to appreciate the aircraft if you don't have the chance to be familiar with it. I've been working on just the A320 for five years. I find the CFDS is a breeze to use, AIDS much less so, but very helpful. It took a while to learn how everything works, to be sure.



The primary function of the design engineer is to make things difficult for the manufacturer and impossible for the AME.
25 Amtrosie : 320tech, Yes, I was line maintenance for several years. I was "bouncing" back and forth between Boeings and Airbus, with MD's thrown in to really scra
26 Post contains images Wing : Now that you have experienced both types, do you still have a preference for what you'd love to fly? Miroddie; Although I dont consider myself "experi
27 Post contains images Mandala499 : Wing, More than one occasion we saw that a broken system comes alive on the way to the gate,it makes you think what to say to the technic,it was not w
28 Drinkstrolley : Grew or grow? Bet Aerlingus330's spelling is better than yours........
29 Post contains images HAWK21M : Happens with me a lot. The Pilot arrives with a snag mainly an Instrument flag displayed,By the time I get to the Cockpit,The Flag is gone. The Pilot
30 Pihero : Mandala, You are probably right on your "equivalent "A/B modes. But they are just that :equivalent.Not the same. That's the reason a pilot who gets tr
31 Post contains images Wing : What's your poison ?O'juice or beer ? Pihero, I like them both but if you ask me one should always try fresh fish with the famous Turkish drink "Raký
32 B744F : "As a pilot, I resent the fact that a ground engineer on tech watch duty knows more about my aircraft systems anomalies than I do" You can resent what
33 320tech : "As a pilot, I resent the fact that a ground engineer on tech watch duty knows more about my aircraft systems anomalies than I do" I trust that he's b
34 Mandala499 : Equivalent... It may be the same, but not always the same... Agree... And yes, when moving to a type of different manufacturer... throw out the old bo
35 Pihero : 320tech ,Mandala, Can't agree more with you both. Safety is improved when flight and ground personnels trust and respect each other and do not try and
36 Adamhaw : wing. i have never been in the cockpit of an airbus but a friend of mine said when he first started training that the autopilot settings had to be imp
37 Pihero : Adamhaw, don't really see what your friend meant, but it's quite simple actually : If you select a lower altitude than the one your flight is at, you
38 WindowSeat : WOW! Great thread! For someone who has a PPL and can only dream to drive these buses one day, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading these posts, especiall
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