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Emanuel Hagen

How to tell which modes you are in

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Captains,

 

we see a large number of you encountering issues because of incorrect use of the automation.

We recommend all of you to take some time and review the golden rules of flying an Airbus.

http://www.smartcockpit.com/docs/Golden_Rules.pdf

 

Particularly rule number 5: Know your guidance at all times!

 

Many of you encounter issues with strange climb or descend behavior. In many of these cases these are because of incorrect modes (or in fact no modes selected at all!). Does your Airbus climb at 8000fpm only to reach stall speed? Why does it do so? Is CLB or OP CLB engaged at all?

We know there are still some issues in the code which can cause such behaviour, this thread is not meant to deny any bugs. In fact those issues are being looked at. This thread is meant as a reminder for you that you are still in command of the aircraft. Lots of the issues we see reported here could have been prevented by correct piloting technique as advised in the manuals though.

Always know your FMA. It is the only way how the aircraft communicates with you. Be able to predict your FMA. What will it show you next?

Does it actually do what you expect it to do?

In many threads we read comments like "but I set my thrust levers to CL" or "my MCP (call it FCU for starters ;)) shows the correct lights". That's fine, but what does the FMA say? If you have your thrust levers in CL, but you over-rotated and are now stuck in TOGA LK mode, then it is foreseeable that you will overspeed when you level off (okay, in real life your engines would melt before reaching cruise level.. but we already took this burden off your shoulders).

 

All of you, next time you encounter an "issue" with the Autopilot not doing what you expect it to do:

Take a look at the FMA and ask yourself: Is it showing the correct modes? Will those modes which are presently indicated get me where I want to get?

If the answer to either of the two question is mmmwah, maybe (in other words: no), then take action. Make the aircraft do what it should do!

(And in the meantime Robert will work hard to make it work the way it should for those 30% of you who actually do everything correctly and stil experience issues)

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I wish someone would put out a "checklist for Boeing dummies" as I surely am one. It would have stuff in it like the before t/o section: Ensure vertical mode selected, left click altitude knob. 

 

My head is swimming trying to figure this Airbus out and reading all the manuals. Having a very difficult time of it. Now I know why when Delta retired the last 747 many of the old guys on her either retired or went to the 777 or 767-400. Nobody wanted the A330 or A350. 

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