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Some interesting info about APPROACH phase

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This flight was scheduled to boi. There was an FAA inspector on the jump seat conducting an en route check. Boise was conducting visual approachs to runway 28R&left. The descent and approach went fine until I requested the first officer to select managed speed. We both suddenly realized we had forgotten to activate and confirm the approach phase because the commanded speed went to green DOT(210 KTS) and autothrottle to climb thrust. We immediately corrected, I closed the thrust levers (now manual thrust), but now I had a great deal of excess energy to dissipate. I almost went around, but made a couple of s-turns on the final approach with tower's concurrence. I was stabilized by 500 ft AGL and made a smooth landing in the touchdown zone, on speed. I don't believe any violations occurred, but the inspector was not impressed! I have flown this aircraft almost 34 yrs and this is the first time I have been bitten by this mistake. Why we forgot to activate the approach phase I can't explain. I would hate to say we were distraction by being observed, but maybe. I do believe, however, that this design of the software is very poor and I know of many airbus pilots who have experienced this. I doubt I will forget again.

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