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Airbus Sidesticks  
User currently offlineTokolosh From Netherlands, joined Sep 2001, 365 posts, RR: 0
Posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 5937 times:

Perhaps there are pilots or others who can explain the Airbus sidestick system. For example, if the captain is right-handed and the f/o is left handed, they are both using their "wrong" hands to control the plane. Or is the whole system so computer controlled that any clumsy movements are compensated for? That's just one thought, there are many more. What about others on this forum?

Greetings



Did the chicken or the egg get laid first?
32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently onlineScorpio From Belgium, joined Oct 2001, 4975 posts, RR: 44
Reply 1, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 5887 times:

This is a non-issue. Even on classic, 'yoke-equipped' jets the captain flies left-handed. Left hand on the yoke, right hand on the throttles. I've never heard a single pilot complain about this.

User currently offlineRick767 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2000, 2662 posts, RR: 51
Reply 2, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 5878 times:

Not an issue as described above, Captain flies left handed with a conventional yoke.

I had a play in the Airbus sim not long ago and was right at home after about 15 minutes manual handling with the sidestick (am used to Boeing yokes!).

Great plane to fly, can't wait form my conversion onto them. The tray table will mean lunch in comfort at last!!!



I used to love the smell of Jet-A in the morning...
User currently offlinePropJock04 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 76 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (10 years 4 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 5578 times:

Someone I know that flies for HP once told me that the only difference between yoke flying and sidestick flying is the wrist action. With the sidestick you are using pretty much only your wrist to make control inputs in contrast to the yoke where it is your entire arm.

In regards to left-handed and right-handed people flying the buses...when you get your private pilot's license you learn to only fly with your left hand on the yoke (right hand near the throttle). A lot of commercial airline pilots were also flight instructors at one time. While being a flight instructor a pilot has to fly with the exact opposite hand...the right with the left on or near the throttle. So, by the time an experienced pilot gets to flying Airbuses they are already prepared for either side of the cockpit. Not to mention they probably already worked themselves up the ranks of a regional already where they were FO and then Capt.

Just my two cents...

Michael


User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 4, posted (10 years 4 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5402 times:

I agree with the above posts. Handedness pretty well goes away by the point in your career when you are flying Airbus aircraft. Probably along with it, any discomfort you ever had about flying from the "wrong" seat. Part of learning to fly is re-wiring the brain so that some very subtle cues tell you big important things.

A bigger difference with the Airbus sidestick is what it does. Hand-flying an ILS (something you really only do in the sim) you will mostly leave the stick centered with your hand loosely around it. If you are getting high on the glideslope you will nudge it forward a moment, then release it or even give it a brief aft-stick. Then sit still and watch it work. Put in a little correction, release the stick and watch it work.

If you try constantly flying the thing down the path you get into a mode the instructors call "stirring the paint" Visualize that motion with your stick-hand. It is pretty descriptive.




Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineGarnetpalmetto From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5327 posts, RR: 53
Reply 5, posted (10 years 4 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 5366 times:

Keep in mind too, that the F-16 used a sidestick before the A-320 sported one and I can't recall incidents of left-handed pilots augering their fighters into the ground.


South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
User currently offlineVikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 9391 posts, RR: 27
Reply 6, posted (10 years 4 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 5340 times:
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Gotta add my two cents...I hold the steering wheel of a car with alternating hands pretty much....left as much as right. Though I'm not a pilot, seems that holding the stick or yolk wouldn't be much different.
~Vik



"Two and a Half Men" was filmed in front of a live ostrich.
User currently offlineXFSUgimpLB41X From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 4181 posts, RR: 37
Reply 7, posted (10 years 4 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 5328 times:

No matter what, in any bird (except a fighter) the FO is gonna fly with his/her right hand on the stick and left hand on the thrust levers...captain will have his left hand on the stick and right hand on the thrust levers. If you can do one, with a little practice you can do the other.


Chicks dig winglets.
User currently offlineRendezvous From New Zealand, joined May 2001, 515 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (10 years 4 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 5246 times:

Well, I'm left handed. I drive the car prodominently with my right hand, and I fly with my left hand (otherwise the instructor gets angry 'cause I take my hand off the throttle!). At first it was a little weird, but you soon get used to it.

User currently offlineLiamksa From Australia, joined Oct 2001, 308 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 5197 times:

I have a question not regarding the laterality issues but about sidestick operation. After the crash of GF-072 (August 23, 2000) it was determined that had the F/O depressed the priority button and initiated a recovery following the first GPWS warning (see below) the aircraft could have recovered with about 400' height loss (~600' AGL).



Questions are re: the priority button...

Is the priority button the red button in the photo below? Or are they the buttons either side of the second photo? (the article specifically states the priority button ON his side stick)

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © AirNikon
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Florian Sindermann


How exactly does it work? If the priority button is pressed are the other pilot's controls useless, severely limited, something else?

Cheers, Rob.


User currently offlineLyzzard From Singapore, joined Nov 2003, 404 posts, RR: 14
Reply 10, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 5184 times:

The Takeover Button is the red one located on each sidestick. The indicator on the glareshield annunciates the side which priority is latched unto. Here is an excerpt from the A340-500 manual on the sidestick priority logic... the language is written with a European flair... can be a bit hard to comprehend.

==============================
SIDESTICKS
Sidesticks, one on each lateral console, are used for manual pitch and roll control.They are springloaded to neutral.When the autopilot is engaged a solenoid operated detent locks both sidesticks in the neutral position. If the pilot applies a force above a given threshold (5daN in pitch, 3.5 daN in roll) the autopilot disengages and the stick becomes unlocked and the deflection is sent as command to the computers. The hand grip includes 2 pushbuttons :

Sidestick priority logic

When only one pilot operates the sidestick his demand is sent to the computers.

When the other pilot operates his sidestick in the same or opposite direction both pilots inputs are algebrically added. The addition is limited to single stick maximum deflection.

A pilot can deactivate the other stick and take full control by pressing and keeping pressed his takeover pushbutton.

For latching the priority condition, it is recommended to press the takeover push button for more than 30 seconds. The takeover pushbutton can then be released without losing priority.

However at any time, a deactivated stick can be reactivated by momentarily pressing either takeover pushbutton.

If both pilots press their takeover pushbuttons, the last pilot to press will get the priority.

Note : If an autopilot is engaged, the first action on a take over pushbutton will disengage it.

In a priority situation (annuciations on the glareshield):

A red light will come on in front of the pilot whose stick is deactivated

A green light will come on in front of the pilot who has taken control, if the other stick is not in the neutral position (to indicate a potential and unwanted control demand).

Note : If, on ground at takeoff thrust application, one stick is deactivated, the takeoff «CONFIG» warning is triggered.



User currently offlineEg777er From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 1834 posts, RR: 14
Reply 11, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 5112 times:

It's quite an interesting feature this:

When the other pilot operates his sidestick in the same or opposite direction both pilots inputs are algebrically added. The addition is limited to single stick maximum deflection.

because it seems that it takes the opportunity to exploit instinctive reactions. So, if both pilots see an obstruction and instictively move their sidesticks to avoid the obstacle, then the computer will assess this as being an emergency manouever and double the rate of movement.

Or have I got this completely wrong!?


User currently offlineAloges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8615 posts, RR: 44
Reply 12, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 5088 times:

Since you've started talking about the buttons on the side sticks, I'd like to ask one rather "newbie" question: What's the "trigger" button for? When I had the chance to enter an A319 cockpit at LHR, the pilots told me I could do everything with the side stick except pulling that trigger-like button. So what's its use?


Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 13, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 5089 times:

The trigger is the press-to-talk switch for the radios. There is another on the audio control panel.


Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineAloges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8615 posts, RR: 44
Reply 14, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 5074 times:

Thanks! Now I know why they didn't want me to pull it!  Laugh out loud By the way, are you really a "slam-clicker"? Considering that you live in a paradise for those, it would seem odd.  Smile


Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineLiamksa From Australia, joined Oct 2001, 308 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (10 years 4 months 5 days ago) and read 5032 times:

So, if both pilots see an obstruction and instictively move their sidesticks to avoid the obstacle, then the computer will assess this as being an emergency manouever and double the rate of movement.

Or have I got this completely wrong!?


Where it says the addition is limited to single stick maximum deflection I interpret as meaning both sticks fully aft is the same as one fully aft (with the other neutral or partially aft - the old addition of ordinates). You'd like to think that with only one PF (as it should be) the maximum performance of the aircraft can still be obtained. Or maybe i've got this completely wrong?  Big grin


User currently offlineLyzzard From Singapore, joined Nov 2003, 404 posts, RR: 14
Reply 16, posted (10 years 4 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 5030 times:

Liamksa and Eg777er:

One of you got it right. Should one pilot deflect his sidestick to command a 10 degree roll to the left, and the other should do the same... the aircraft will roll to 20 degrees. Likewise if the other pilot deflects the stick for a 10 degree roll to the right, the aircaft will remain straight and level. Same thing goes for pitch commands.

It takes a bit of getting used to, especially so since the sticks do not move in unision like conventional yokes do. Of course flight envelope protection is available and features like alpha floor, bank angle protection, and overspeed protection will still kick in if the aircraft feels it is exceeding its programmed limits.


User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 17, posted (10 years 4 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 5018 times:

Airbus first officers take note: Before you cancel out the captain's sidestick input, please check your seniority list. Because the airplane does not care.

Aloges: Not I am not a slam-clicker, though I am seriously considering having "leave me alone" carved on my tombstone. No, I am more of an urban hiker on the layovers.






Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineLyzzard From Singapore, joined Nov 2003, 404 posts, RR: 14
Reply 18, posted (10 years 4 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 5020 times:

Airbus first officers take note: Before you cancel out the captain's sidestick input, please check your seniority list. Because the airplane does not care.

I understand it's not a problem at Singapore Airlines as they are thinking of disabling the priority takeover on the FO's side.  Smile


User currently offlineGE From Singapore, joined Mar 2000, 320 posts, RR: 6
Reply 19, posted (10 years 4 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 4888 times:

Lyzzard:
Why would SQ want to do that? Shouldn't it be best to leave the priority takeover button on the FO's side as well but train them not to use it unnecessarily or override the Captain?
After all we never know when the FO might actually need to use it.

Regards,
Russell


User currently offlineSabenaboy From Belgium, joined Feb 2001, 187 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (10 years 4 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4847 times:

Hi,
Slamclick said in reply 4; "Hand-flying an ILS (something you really only do in the sim) you will mostly leave the stick centered..."

Well slamclick, I don't know what airline you fly for, but in "my" airline, weather and traffic density permitting, we fly most ILS app's manually, A/P, A/T and FD's off in A320. (And yes, we have an excellent safety record  Smile )

GE, I'm pretty sure that Lyzzard was just joking in reply 19.

Regards,
Sabenaboy

Oh, BTW, lateral stick inputs command a certain roll-RATE. So if both pilots slightly move their joystick in the same direction, the resulting rollrate will be the sum of the two inputs. The resulting rollrate, however, will never be bigger then the rollrate for a single joystick full lateral movement.



User currently offlineSlamclick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 21, posted (10 years 3 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 4574 times:

Sabenaboy: Regarding hand-flying an ILS, I was not really stating an absolute rule here, but being a bit facetious. The weather is very mild over most of the routes I fly and an ILS to minimums is a pretty rare event. We have the option, weather permitting of letting the very good autopilot system do it or doing it "Rambo" style. In any event, other than a Cat III we would always take over manually at DH.

In visual conditions, US regs require that if a glideslope, electronic or visual, is available we will use it. Typically we will make a visual approach and landing but we will have briefed the full ILS and have it all set up. The initial approach will usually be on A/P to free us up to watch for traffic et cetera. Upon intercept of the final approach most of us will click the red button twice and hand-fly a visual, keeping the ILS command bars centered.

Twice a year, though, we can be sure of getting to hand-fly a full Cat I ILS to minimums in a maximum crosswind.

BTW the spell checker here made a couple of suggestions. When I typed "glideslope" it thought I might mean "clothesline" and for "crosswind" it offered "crescendo." Oh, I hope not!



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineBuckfifty From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 1316 posts, RR: 20
Reply 22, posted (10 years 3 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 4535 times:

Wow. You only take over at DH? That's cheating.  Big grin

User currently offlineNJT916 From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 47 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (10 years 3 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 4524 times:

I may be new, but these are my 2 cents.

I still fly Cessna's (and I can safely assume most airline pilots did/do at some point in their career) and I am right handed. From a students perspective in a Cessna, I am always sitting in the left seat (Captains seat on an airline), and train using my left hand on the yoke. With my left hand on the yoke, my right hand is used to control all other instruments and controls (i.e.. throttle, flaps, etc..). I find this right hand/left hand configuration to be the norm thus far. I have yet to sit in the right seat, but imagine it will be a challenge.

In other words, I'm training to be Airbus Captains.  Nuts

Happy Holidays,
Nick


User currently offlineA330 From Belgium, joined May 1999, 649 posts, RR: 7
Reply 24, posted (10 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 4524 times:

Slamclick,

Being ex-Sabenien as well, now flying for a major ME carrier, I can attest that at SN, we normally flew manually from the FAP, and weather permitting, no Autothrust nor flight-director.
Manual imputs on the thrust selector are better in gusty conditions, as the automatic system is rather slow to react in my opinion.
At my present airline, manual flying is let say, "more restricted", which is a shame actually.

ps. Stick inputs are translated in the computer and are seen as algebraïc sums. Like Sabenaboy said. It is anyhow not a yoke, nor a joystick but an Attitude/Roll selector.



Shiek!
25 Post contains images Saab2000 : I flew for 2+ years at a mid-sized European airline before being laid off a couple months ago. I am now training in the US with the hope of getting an
26 Slamclick : Saab2000 I'm sure you will get along fine here in the US, and welcome. No, I was really kidding. I have seen many events over the years where the guy
27 Post contains images Saab2000 : Slamclick, Thanks for the answer! At my company I flew what would be called a "regional" aircraft. I hate that term because we were flying to all the
28 Mr.BA : I've spoke to many pilots regarding this issue too and many of them prefer to hand fly the aircraft from time to time without using the autopilot and
29 Tiger119 : To many of you, this is going to be a stupid question and yes, I probably could spend hours on many web sites looking for the answer, but I have alway
30 XFSUgimpLB41X : The A300 and A310 don't have the sidesticks.....
31 Captjetblast : May be this is a stupid question. In yoke equipped planes, for example, if the captain pushes the yoke, the F/O feels his yoke pushed. They work "in p
32 Uta_flyingHIGH : No mechanical link whatsoever between the two sidesticks, if one pilot does something, the other pilot doesn't feel it. Except if it's the Captain sla
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