mb339
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Airbus A320 Autoland

Sat Jun 09, 2001 1:05 am

Can an Airbus A320 land automatically?
If yes, how this system works?
Thanks.
 
bio15
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RE: Airbus A320 Autoland

Sat Jun 09, 2001 11:02 am

Several aircraft can land automatically. Some few are the 757, 767, 777, A330, A340.
They are rated for different categories of autolanding. CATI, CATII and CATIII a, b or c. CATIIIc being a landing with (near) zero visibility. An aircraft performing an autoland is flown by the computer until it reaches the runway.
An autoland can't always be performed. It depends on the equipment the runway has. Not many airports have runways with the necessary equipment for the autoland system on aircraft to perform a CATIII landing.
It's not much, but I hope it helps! maybe someone else can add more information or correct me if I'm mistaken.

-bio
 
JT-8D
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RE: Airbus A320 Autoland

Sun Jun 10, 2001 1:07 pm

Any airport with a working ils can land an autoland airplane. By FAA standards, an autoland airplane must have 2 working autopilots, both engaged for the approach.They also require 2 seperate ils receivers, 2 radio altimeters, and a few more items I wont get into. The 737 has 2 Flight control computers, so it meets this criteria. The MD-80 has 2 digital flight guidance computers, but it doesnt meet the criteria. The FAA says that since only one dfgs can be in control at one time, only one auto pilot can be engaged at a time. In reality, each dfgs has 2 complete sets of hardware and software in each box, therefore, 2 computers are flying at the same time. The faa says that a power failure to the box, would effect both "sets" of hardware, so the criteria is still not met. Legal battles are still going on over this. BTW, dont confuse CAT status with autoland ability. CAT status is a question of visibility, and how much you can trust the intruments, and the components that run them. Autoland is a question of if the plane meets the above criteria. An autoland landing is nothing more than an instrument approach, with the autopilot engaged. There is more to it, but you are just letting the autopilot land the plane. If you want to know more, just ask..JT
 
DC-10Tech
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RE: Airbus A320 Autoland

Fri Jun 15, 2001 7:08 pm

Both replies are mostly correct in theory, but there is more to it. Just because a runway has ILS DOES NOT make it cabable of supporting an autoland/dual land/triple land. In theory, yes you could land there, but it most likely won't be pretty.
There are many stringent guidelines that must be adhered to to make an airport cabable of supporting autoland. placement and types of lighting, quality of the ILS signal, terrain, etc. If the airport isn't rated, you can't perform an autoland there. When I worked at KBFM, we had to do our A300,310, DC-10, & MD-11 autoland test flights at KMOB or Jacksonville, as they were the only airports rated for the landing. On the airbus, a 'dual land' is used. Meaning both autopilots are engaged simultaneously after certain criteria and flight configuration are met. The aircraft flies the localizer and glideslope to the runway while attenuating those signals to prevent erratic correction manuevering. The radio altimeter is referenced for the landing and just prior to touchdown, the nose is flared, then just after touchdown its pushed down. On autobrake equipped planes, the brakes are applied. This is a CatIII landing. Yes, the category does reference visibility, but CatII landings are approach only and incorporate just one autopilot. Usually the autopilot must be disconnected prior to 200ft AGL. (This will vary with operators) Along with autoland certification come very strict guidelines with maintenance. Hydraulic systems, rigging, leaks, avionics systems must be maintained to much higher standards. As a rule, a CATIIIB landing (virtually 0 rvr) requires operative dual vor/ils, autopilot, rad alt, etc. Everything must be working. If you'd like more info, I have numerous manuals from my autoland classes to reference.
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F-WWAI
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RE: Airbus A320 Autoland

Sat Jun 16, 2001 10:59 am

to answer the original question:
yes, the A320 can land automatically (like many others).
The pilot has just to arm the ground spoilers and the autobrake system before the landing, and than to pull the Thrust Levers back to idle, at the latest when the aircraft tells him "retard". he may or may not use thrust reverse power which he commands via the thrust levers.
the rollout is automatic including braking down to 20 kt. If the pilot does not disconnect the autobraking, then the aircraft will go to full stop.

can you do it?
 Smile/happy/getting dizzyFW
 
DC-10Tech
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RE: Airbus A320 Autoland

Sat Jun 16, 2001 1:25 pm

That was another good point I forgot. I'm pretty sure airbus does it too, as on the DC-10, at flare, the autothrottles also retard the throttles...
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sabenapilot
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RE: Airbus A320 Autoland

Sat Jun 16, 2001 2:00 pm

We had this discussion before: (see search engine)
Airbus does not have autothrottles, they have autothrust. This means the throttles do not move when A/T is engaged. So they will not retard automatically at flare.
 
DC-10Tech
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RE: Airbus A320 Autoland

Sat Jun 16, 2001 2:05 pm

Are we talking strictly A320? Because the 300/310 series I've worked on for FedEx do it.
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sabenapilot
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RE: Airbus A320 Autoland

Sat Jun 16, 2001 7:26 pm

yes, sorry DC-10Tech.

I always forget the old Airbusses
(I guess I'm not the only one in Europe...)
I was talking about all the FBW planes: A318/A319/A320/A321 and A330/A340.

 
DC-10Tech
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RE: Airbus A320 Autoland

Sat Jun 16, 2001 10:15 pm

Gotcha, I've got extremely limited time working on the sidesticks...
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JT-8D
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RE: Airbus A320 Autoland

Mon Jun 18, 2001 4:48 am

What does airport lighting have to do with autoland? Lights may be required for a CAT II or higher approach, but autopilots dont see lights..JT
 
DC-10Tech
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RE: Airbus A320 Autoland

Mon Jun 18, 2001 4:51 am

Lighting is a factor. There are certain lighting set ups required for different Categories. Its for the pilots knucklehead
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JT-8D
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RE: Airbus A320 Autoland

Mon Jun 18, 2001 5:14 am

DC-10, you are the knucklehead, maybe you better reread you training manuals Junior. You are confusing cat status with autoland. They are not the same thing. A catIII land 2 landing is 0 visability. The pilots dont need to see the lights. The a/p is not disconnected at any altitude. Flare is controlled automatically, in relation to the radio altitude. Cat status will effect autoland, but not the other way around..JT
 
DC-10Tech
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RE: Airbus A320 Autoland

Wed Jun 20, 2001 9:20 am

Now you're calling me names? Grow up pal. Let me quote you a little from the CATII United AUTOLAND restrictions. I am not confusing autoland with CAT status, they are integral to one another. Autoland was design for low vis landing when the crew cannot see. Hence the Category RESTRICTIONS.

Low weather minimums
CATI, DH at 200ft agl with 2600ft RVR
CATII Restricted, DH 150ft, 1600ft RVR
CATII DH 100ft, 1200ft RVR
***CATIIIA, no DH, 700ft RVR
***CATIIIB, no DH, 150ftRVR

...and I quote "In a CategoryII approach, an autopilot is permitted to bring its airplane down the approach path toward a runway, even though the pilot may not be able to see to land until he is 100 ft above the runway (DECISION HEIGHT) If the pilot can see to land at this point, he may legally do so, if he cannot, he must go around. (autopilot can't land)"

To answer your ignorant post about lighting requirements:
"A Category II approach requires an aircraft with CATII equipment certified by the FAA. A Category II approach can only be made at an airport which is Category II certificated. The localizer and glideslope transmissions must meet stricter standards than those for a Cat I airport and must be monitored with failure indications in the control tower. Two RVR transmissiometers must be operating on the runway, and EXTENSIVE LIGHTING REQUIREMENTS MUST BE MET.

Now, either back up your arrogant comments with facts, or shut your mouth. It is YOU who are confused. You may not perform an autoland without the proper CAT status and visibility requirements. They go hand in hand. Autoland wasn't designed to let the pilots be lazy, it was designed to land them blind, and that is where the CAT status comes into play. If you look in the flight deck of any autoland equipped aircraft, its CAT status must be placarded...I rest my case.

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DC-10Tech
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RE: Airbus A320 Autoland

Wed Jun 20, 2001 9:28 am

Ok, vented a little too much there, but there's the info regardless. How about a truce before I wear my keyboard out...
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JT-8D
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RE: Airbus A320 Autoland

Wed Jun 20, 2001 9:29 am

You are still only adressing cat requirements. Are you saying that a 0 visability autoland doesnt exist? If so, you are more ignorant then I assumed. Ive dealt with this crap for at least 10 years. Cat status affects autoland, but not the other way around. If an auto throttle is inoperative, the plane is not autoland legal, but it maintains its cat status. If an ils receiver is inoperative, the plane is downgraded to not catII, and no autoland either. You better do some reading before you kill someone, Mr Supervisor Sir..JT
 
DC-10Tech
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RE: Airbus A320 Autoland

Wed Jun 20, 2001 9:38 am

Yes, 0 visability is CATIII, we are both saying the same thing yet you're disagreeing with me. You are saying that an autothrottle being out doesn't effect cat status my @ss. If that plane doesn't meet MEL requirements for autoland, the CAT status is downgraded as well, at least that's the way FedEX, UAL, and NWA did it when I worked their autoland systems. On the -10, you need virtually both of everything working to maintain even CATII. Not CATII means just what I said earlier, the aircraft can do the approach, but you have to disconnect well before touchdown. So now I'm going to kill someone??? You never cease to amaze..what's next? You going to call the FAA and tell them I'm an 'knucklehead'?  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
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JT-8D
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RE: Airbus A320 Autoland

Wed Jun 20, 2001 9:53 am

If you downgrade cat status because autothrottles are inop, you are incorrect. I wish you would just look at the mel, instead of fighting a losing battle. Maybe if you had a bit more diversity in your experiance, and worked on something other than dc-10s, you might see that the rules apply to every airplane. I am currently autoland qualified on 737 3,5,7, and 800 series. Also im autoland qualified on 757, and catII qualified on MD-80. My ratings for a few other planes have long since expired due to the fact that we dont get them here anymore. There will be differances in the mel, do to the fact that systems are differant from plane to plane. Fact is, that a 0 vis landing (catIII, land X) is possible without any lights visable. See, I managed to type all that without calling you one rude name. Lets see if you can do the same..JT
 
Duce50Boom
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B**ch Fight Between DC-10Tech And JT-8D

Wed Jun 20, 2001 10:00 am

you guys need to calm the f**k down! it's not like someone's daughter got knocked up by the other's son or anything. i admit it's entertaining to watch, but it's spilling into other topics. why doesn't everyone just take a few swigs off the bottle of JD and chill out? quick question though, JT-8D-- do you work at san antonio intl, or kelly field? and for DC-10Tech, on your website, do you have an ETIC for the kc-10 systems? i was looking at the site and it's got great info but the kc-10's got some very different systems than the dc-10, apart from the obvious fuel systems but also pressurization and communications and all. thanks
mike
 
DC-10Tech
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RE: Airbus A320 Autoland

Wed Jun 20, 2001 10:09 am

Actually Duce, the systems are surprisingly the same. I plan on highlighting the differences in the systems, but it is very time consuming, its always a work in progress. Are there anything in particular you'd like to see highlighted? As for JT, you started this flame war by attacking my posts and calling me names. I'm just trying to share info. As for not having 'diversity', I work the DC-10 by choice. I spent nearly 2 years at MAE working every type of plane they brought in there, but the DC-10 is my forte, I love it, and I chose to sign on with my current employer soley for the fact that they are a DC-10 only company. And you have no idea what I know about other aircraft so don't draw conclusions. I simply choose to focus my energy on one or two airframes. I'd rather know a lot about one aircraft and a little about a whole bunch, but that's just my $.02. You're asking me to refre you your company's MEL (what company is it, by the way?), well if you were more 'diverse' as you put it, you'd be surprised and how different MEL's can be for the same aircraft. There is no end-all answer like you seem to think. Different companies have different requirements, as with autoland..NWA, FE, and UAL all had different requirements that all fit within the scope of the regs. And yes...on the DC-10, one autothrottle inop will downgrade you. Now quit attacking my posts and get back to the point we're all here for, sharing info.
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Duce50Boom
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RE: Airbus A320 Autoland

Wed Jun 20, 2001 10:18 am

i was talking about like how the kc-10 doesn't have a #2 air conditioning pack. and the fuel systems additions like the forward and aft body tanks, a/r pumps, bypass valves and just general info like that. things that are obviously different from the standard dc-10
 
DC-10Tech
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RE: Airbus A320 Autoland

Wed Jun 20, 2001 10:20 am

Yeah, that's good stuff, how do you think I should do it? Just make a page with differences? I really should put something like that up right away because I get a lot of questions like that.
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JT-8D
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RE: Airbus A320 Autoland

Wed Jun 20, 2001 10:21 am

No I believe you started it with your nucklehead remark. Its there for all to see. You want a truce? Then you stop attacking my posts. BTW, most people dont have the luxury of working one type of plane, and memorizing everything about it. This is why most mechanics read the mel frequently, especially the part about what will cause a plane to be downgraded. Two whole years? Wow, Im impressed. Dont look at my companies mel, look at the master mel. You have seen one of those, havnt you? Mr Supervisor, Sir??..Jt
 
Duce50Boom
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RE: Airbus A320 Autoland

Wed Jun 20, 2001 10:23 am

that's what i was thinking, a page that highlights the differences between the 2 planes. and explains how the systems work in relation to the normal systems, ie, how the apu/isol valve works for bleed air (no #2 ac pack). things like that to help explain the 13% systems gap between the 2. the kc-10 has 87 % commanality with the dc-10.
 
DC-10Tech
Posts: 291
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RE: Airbus A320 Autoland

Wed Jun 20, 2001 10:30 am

You sure seem to be hung up about my position. You have a problem with that? I don't memorize the MEL and the master is pretty basic before a company gets its hands on it. Two years is a pretty long time to work 4 or 5 different types of aircraft in heavy check every day at work. You learn things a lot more in depth then you do on the line. As for memorizing everything about one aircraft, its nothing like that. My knowledge of the DC-10 comes from actual experience, and if I don't know something about that aircraft, I don't run to a manual and pretend that I knew it all along. If I really wanted to p!ss you off, I think I would have used a stronger word than knucklehead but apparently it doesn't take much to get you riled up...and by the way...where do you work again?
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DC-10Tech
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RE: Airbus A320 Autoland

Wed Jun 20, 2001 10:31 am

Duce, that's going to be a lot of work! You want to help get a list of differences going?
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Duce50Boom
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RE: Airbus A320 Autoland

Wed Jun 20, 2001 10:36 am

sure, why not. your right though. it's gonna take awhile
 
DC-10Tech
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RE: Airbus A320 Autoland

Wed Jun 20, 2001 10:38 am

Well, I'll type a list and we can share ideas..email me when you get around to putting one together  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
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JT-8D
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RE: Airbus A320 Autoland

Wed Jun 20, 2001 10:41 am

Doesnt take much for you to get pissed either. A 25 yr old supervisor? I bet the guys just love you. Heavy ck is a joke. I spent 6 months in the hanger and almost went nuts from the boredom. In most companies, new hires go to the hanger, where they cant cause any flight delays. I dont know what the hell you are talking about looking in the manual and pretending I knew it all along. Im not sure what you are even talking about. You probably dont either. Where do you work, I would love to come see you some time. Maybe we can have a better conversation face to face?..JT
 
Duce50Boom
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RE: Airbus A320 Autoland

Wed Jun 20, 2001 10:41 am

you got it
 
DC-10Tech
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RE: Airbus A320 Autoland

Wed Jun 20, 2001 10:52 am

If you want to know where I work...its all in my profile, read it again. And yes, I'm 25 and a supervisor, is that against the law? I don't know what you did in Heavy Check, but at MAE we worked our butts off. They've got more work than they can handle and often turn business away. And MAE is a repair station, its all hangar work. Why don't you come up to MSP and we can have that talk. I don't appreciate all the conclusions you draw based on my age/position etc. Come spend a day with me on my airplane and you'll see why I run the MSP maintenance facility. And yes, the guys do love me, I'm the only line supervisor in this company that actually performs maintenance on the aircraft instead of sitting on my butt and giving orders. I'm really actually pretty ticked that you would say something like that. If you made a comment like that to a coworker or a subordinate, you'd be liable for age discrimination. I thought people got wiser with age...
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