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zuckie13
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A320 Use of Reduced Landing Flaps?

Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:27 pm

In some discussions about an AirAsia India pilot that is "whistle-blowing", he apparently talks about having a target of 98% of landings using Flaps 3 (and apparently being punished financially for not meeting it). Is this out of family with what you would expect for typical A320 operation?

I'm not very familiar with A320 ops. I know 737's will land with Flaps 30 probably more often than Flaps 40, but I'm curious how that compares to the norms for and A320.

Obviously what you use on a particular flight is/should be driven by performance. If you are not hitting safety margins and can save the fuel by using less flaps, then it's fine, but I just want to understand what your "average" airline sees in real-life.
 
jjairbus
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Re: A320 Use of Reduced Landing Flaps?

Tue Jun 16, 2020 7:50 pm

At my company we use full flaps unless there's a specific reason for a flaps 3 approach (e.g. suspected windshear or go around performance). Also if you want to practice it's allowed but the recommended procedure is to use full flaps. Especially in the winter time we also fly a lot to destinations with short and slippery runways so many times there's also proper reason to use full flaps.

Personally I prefer full flaps. Of course it's partly because I've used to it. When using full flaps the attitude of the plane is 2-2,5 degrees nose up on final approach and with flaps three it's 4-5 degrees. It seems a small difference but you surely notice it when flying and the view is different during approach. Also have to remember tail strike avoidance. While not an issue in the A319 the margin decreases in A321 with longer fuselage.
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zeke
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Re: A320 Use of Reduced Landing Flaps?

Wed Jun 17, 2020 12:33 am

zuckie13 wrote:
Is this out of family with what you would expect for typical A320 operation?


It varies airline to airline. They would mainly be operating to long non contaminated runways. The company can specify what they want from their crews, Flap 3 and Flap FULL are both normal landing flap configurations.

zuckie13 wrote:
Obviously what you use on a particular flight is/should be driven by performance. If you are not hitting safety margins and can save the fuel by using less flaps, then it's fine, but I just want to understand what your "average" airline sees in real-life.


I would suggest most airlines land with flap full most of the time. Reduced flap on the A320 saves about 7 kg per approach, over an average fleet it would be around 300 tonnes per year. With low fuel prices that’s only a saving of around US$50,000. That savings is not seen significant enough by many airlines as it only takes a few go around or a single runway excursion to negate all the savings.
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Alias1024
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Re: A320 Use of Reduced Landing Flaps?

Wed Jun 17, 2020 5:18 pm

One other point to mention is that the cost savings of landing at flaps 3 can be negated by heavier brake usage. So if the choice is between flaps 3/autobrakes medium or flaps full/autobrakes low, my company prefers the flaps full approach.

Generally I’ll use flaps 3 if I have a long runway and anticipate needing minimal braking and reverse thrust to make my preferred exit. A common place I use flaps 3 is landing on the 28s at SFO. In the afternoon it is typical to have 20 knots of headwind as the ocean breeze comes through the gap in the hills. Then ATC wants you to expedite through the intersections of 1R and 1L. In that scenario I’ll use flaps 3, autobrakes low. At touchdown I deploy idle reverse and once the ground spoilers have deployed I disengage the autobrakes and let the plane coast through 1R/L before braking as necessary to exit the runway.
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Max Q
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Re: A320 Use of Reduced Landing Flaps?

Thu Jun 18, 2020 3:09 am

Used F25 instead of 30 all the time on the 752, less power, noise and made for a more stable flight path in gusty winds
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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