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A Question To Airline Pilots  
User currently offlineArchie From Mexico, joined Aug 2000, 228 posts, RR: 0
Posted (14 years 2 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2029 times:

I have heard people say that they have talked to pilots who fly Airbuses and have heard them complain about the joystick. My question goes to pilots who have flown airbuses.. Is it realy a bad thing or is it the same a conventional yoke?


18 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineIainhol From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (14 years 2 months 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1912 times:

From all the pilots I have meet which have flown both Airbus and Boeing, the like the space that the side stick provides, and they say they get used to it very quickly. Also the F-16 has a side stick!

User currently offlineGate Keeper From Canada, joined Jan 2000, 176 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (14 years 2 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1883 times:

The joystick took me about 5 seconds to get used to. The beauty of this aircraft is if the engine fails at take-off you set the pitch attitude then you can let the stick go(autotrim). Conventional aircraft this is not possible. I have flown both Boeing and Airbus and they both have their own (dis)advantages.


User currently offlineArchie From Mexico, joined Aug 2000, 228 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (14 years 2 months 1 day ago) and read 1841 times:


What airline do you work for if I may ask?
What do you like about each aircraft and what don´t you like of each?
Thanks for your reply,

User currently offlineKohflot From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (14 years 2 months 22 hours ago) and read 1814 times:

I intentionally ask every crew I jumpseat with on the A319/20 how they like the sidestick and all of them have given positive feedback. Since the vast majority of flying these days is done with the autopilot anyway, it does provide a lot more room for the traytable and the folding footrests.

Most crews did have one little bone to pick with the planes.. they really don't like to slow down.

User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6540 posts, RR: 54
Reply 5, posted (14 years 2 months 21 hours ago) and read 1798 times:

A friend of mine used to be a long time 737 driver, but he converted to 320 a couple of years back. He told me that the Joystick/yoke was really one of the minor changes.
I asked him directly why they didn't put skipper's joystick in the right hand too - it is quite a change to shift from right to left hand I assumed. We are both keen model aircraft enthusiasts, and I would certainly crash my models immediately if my radio transmitter constol sticks were exchanged left and right. He said "no problem". He had flown the sim in the left hand seat and hardly discovered any difference. Apart from model airplanes the 320 is a single stick plane. The computer operates the rudder - except for touch down in sidewind - and keeps the ball automatically in the middle. So the 320 is - as he said - as easy to fly as any basic trainer model aircraft. It is only more costly to crash.
It was an advantage, he said, to have that joystick put away always to the far side, so it wasn't in the way. Holding the stick was such a small part of the total workload. Anyway skipper also flies the yoke with his left hand and his right hand on the throttles.
Best regards, Preben Norholm

Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineGate Keeper From Canada, joined Jan 2000, 176 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (14 years 2 months 6 hours ago) and read 1791 times:


I miss the excess power of the Boeing(757) and the hands on flying. The Airbus is a technological marvel and complex machine that I am continually trying to know better. To hand fly the Airbus (other than on approach and departure) loads up the pilot not flying due to the number of Flight Control Unit inputs.

Best regards

User currently offlineArchie From Mexico, joined Aug 2000, 228 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (14 years 2 months ago) and read 1751 times:

Thanks. I want to be a pilot my self one day I am working to save my money for a flight school. One of my goals is to fly both Boeing and Airbus aircraft, That`s why I`m interested in hearing pilot`s opinions on both aircraft.
Personally, which do you prefer, the Boeing or Airbus and Why?
Thanks again,

I would like to hear othe pilot`s opinions too!

User currently offlineSkyhooked From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (14 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 1719 times:

Gate Keeper,Archie,
Like you GK,I have flown airplanes from both builders and then some more.
Generally,people get the knack of the side stick in about 20 seconds flat.The only off-putting feature being a sense of "feeling naked" in front of the instrument panel as there is nothing where you were so used to expect a control column.
The sidestick allows smooth and accurate control of the aircraft in all situations,the main impression is "this is so easy and so safe"
Another plus that has never been talked of in these pages is how lighter the stick is when you want to take over the autopilot.To illustrtate this,let me tell the experience of a colleague of mine :
He was descending on autopilot when passing 10,000 ft the F/o shouted "Glider straight ahead!"
The capt just banged the stick to his right,disconnecting the A/P and banking the 320 to more than 50 degrees in less than a second.They barely missed the glider,just clipping half an inch off its rudder.The glider pilots never saw them and did'nt even know about their rudder until the police came to investigate a near-miss.
When I think of the effort needed to overpower the A/P -or to disconnect it and then bank the airplane-and to achieve the same bank angle,I do not believe any -and I mean ANY- other airplane would have made it so easily.
To comment on GK's last comment,hand flying any modern airplane puts a heavier workload on the other pilot.It is the main drawback of a two-man-crew operation,regardless of the airplane manufacturer.

User currently offlineArchie From Mexico, joined Aug 2000, 228 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (14 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 1697 times:


Thanks for your comments. They are helpfull in understanding the A320`s capacities. I have heard that the 777 is also very easy to disconnect the autopilot, I don´t know which is easier. I have two videos one about the 777 and one about the A330 both from ITVV videos in the U.K.
The video on the 777 shows how easy is to disconnct the A/P, same as the A330 (pressing a button on the control column/sidestick).
Any more comments are welcome,

User currently offlineSkyhooked From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (14 years 1 month 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 1690 times:

Disconnecting the A/P in this case is only half the story because now you need to use the control wheel to bank the aircraft.As is is quite heavy,because of the need to provide a "feel" to the pilot (The faster you go,the heavier the controls should feel),to achieve the roll rate I was referring to in my previous post,IMO,would be quite difficult,needing a very aggressive input on the wheel.Mind you,I did'nt say impossible.

User currently offlineArchie From Mexico, joined Aug 2000, 228 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (14 years 1 month 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 1664 times:

Hello Skyhooked,

Thanks for the info. I want to know if you don´t have the "force" feeling with the sidestick as in the control column. If not wouldn´t there be a danger of "over rolling the aircraft" or something of that sort?


User currently offlineMD80 From Germany, joined Feb 2014, 450 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (14 years 1 month 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 1648 times:

I was watching a show on TV about the 777 and a comparison of its computer and the A320 was made. Apparently the A320's flight guidance computer will not allow a pilot to to "roll" the craft no matter how much input he gives the stick while the 777's computer will make the yoke progressively more difficult to turn the more the plane banks but will not override the pilot and the pilot could roll the craft (God only knows why he'd want to?).

MD-80s/MD-90s, Boeing 717s, and DC-9s
User currently offlineGate Keeper From Canada, joined Jan 2000, 176 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (14 years 1 month 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 1655 times:


The Airbus has a "cocoon" of safety around it that prevents the aircraft from exceeding manufacturers prescribed limits. The scenario you suggest could not happen in the Airbus (in normal law) as the aircraft pitch protections would limit the available bank to 67 degrees which corresponds to the bank angle needed for a level 2.5g turn.

Hope this helps!


User currently offlineSkyhooked From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (14 years 1 month 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 1632 times:


Yes.The roll protection is 67 degrees in the "normal" flight enveloppe.The allowed bank angle goes down to 45° if either the high incidence protection or the high speed protection are activated.
When the roll protection is activated,auto trim becomes inoperative and if the bank angle exceeds 45°,the flight director command bars disappear,knowing that the pilot wants a maneuver outside the normal ops,therefore removing a conflicting info :"Oh,you want some drastic bank angle?Ok!go ahead,I'm out of it,I'll come back when you need me again!,when you return to less than 45°."


As I said in a previous post,this is just not true.Another red herring for aviation illiterates.
Suppose the autopilot is on and you want to take over in an emergency.OK?
-On the 'Bus,you need 3.5 kg on the stick to disconnect the A/P and you could achieve quickly a very high roll rate,around 15°/s up to 67° with no subsequent effort.
-On any other airplane,you have to disconnect the A/P with the yoke button and then muscle the wheel (as you noted,the required force increases with the roll demand ,around 25 kg max ).
To add, imho, some more confusion,on some types a voice will start yelling "Bank angle,bank angle " in your ears.I know that many people like it that way and I certainly do not want to start an argument on this subject.Let's just say I hope my info and Gate Keeper's helped you understand a bit of the 'Bus flight controls.
Regards to all,

User currently offlineArchie From Mexico, joined Aug 2000, 228 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (14 years 1 month 4 weeks ago) and read 1626 times:


Just let me get somethig straight. To disconnect the A/P on the Airbus you only need to move the sidestick? and on other airplane like the 777 you have to diconnect it with the button on the yoke?
Do I have this right?

User currently offlineSkyhooked From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (14 years 1 month 4 weeks ago) and read 1625 times:

Dear Archie
No.On all airplanes,you can disconnect the A/P by:
1-Pressing the A/P disconnect switch o the control column or:
2-Using the eye-brow panel disconnect switches/pallets or :
3-Overpowering the A/P with a sidestick/control column manual input.It's a lot heavier on a non'Bus a/C.

User currently offlineFr8tdog From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 120 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (14 years 1 month 4 weeks ago) and read 1621 times:

I can only give specific info on the SaaB 340, however it will probably pretty close to most transport aircraft.
5 ways to disconnect the autopilot.

1.) Autopilot disconnect (press twice to disconnect and disable warning)

2.) Trim switches.

3.) Manually turn off autopilot

4.) Goaround mode (on the saab,autopilot is not avail for goaround mode, have to reengage after selected)

5.) force the yolk (it disconnects after 50lbs of pressure)

other ways that it will disconnect are:
malfunctions, aileron trim excessive for turn rate, elevator trim excessive. Stall warnings, less than 1.3Vso in turn, FD failure ect.

User currently offlineArchie From Mexico, joined Aug 2000, 228 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (14 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 1618 times:


What´s the eye-brow panel?

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