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So you are a future A318/A319 pilot? Some thoughts you should be aware of during your Type Rating


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  • Deputy Sheriffs

As we are nearing release I would like to loose some words in regards to the A318/A319 and some thoughts I've heared from quite a lot of simmers actually.

First of all let me say this:
I'm talking about a general feeling among people here and do not say it is applicable to all of you. However I would like all of you to try to project my words on you and think if some of my points may be true for you too. Just because one of them fits you that of course mustn't mean all others do too.

The reason I'm writing this is that we made quite some changes in the A319 that you may not think are correct or how they should be.

You can be assured though, they are all coordinated with our real world pilots and they all agreed that that's how the real aircraft is.

Now, we all know this situation: You get a nice new aircraft and immediatly you want to fly it. You buy the aircraft, download it, install it and then you fire up the sim. You jump in the aircraft, some of you may even take the time to plan a flight, and there you go. You will natually use some sort of generallised procedure. Most will even try to fly the Airbus like the 737 you are used to fly,

Now that is of course all ok and we apprechiate you are experimenting with the Aircraft and try to learn how to basically operate it to get in the air as soon as possible.

Before you take the new airplane out of your hangar and into the skies I would like you to review some of the tinier details too though.

Ask yourself for example what you will do if you get ATC vectors to the final approach instead of flying the nice 80NM long transition you have entered. Let me tell you, we spend quite some time on this and now you are able properly to deleate the additional waypoints. There basically are two procedure pilots use for this: Either enter a RADIAL IN Direct (hey, how do I do this?) or deleate the transition and make the FAF the FROM waypoint in the flightplan (what was this again? ;)).

Knowing such procedures will make your life seriously easier once your getting airbourne. And if it happens you do not know a certain procedure simply remain calm and do what any real world pilot will tell you to do: Revert to a selected mode instead of trying to fly everything managed.

The letter if particulary true if you experience "problems" with the automation of the aircraft such as wrongly drawn routes, etc. Yes, those do happen rather often in the real Airbus and yes, we do include such problems in our Bus because they actually are part of the everydaylife of an Airbuspilot.

So what do you do if you experience such a problem? It's quite simple actually: Pull the Heading knob to get into HDG or TRK mode instead of flying managed and waiting for the problem to correct itself since it will in 99% of all cases not do that.

Apparently we get the proof people don't do this day by day. We then tell them that's how the real aircraft is, but often we get the answer "but addon X or Y doesn't do it, so it's not realistic".

I find it amusing to see so many people here showing they got some knowledge of these fine aircraft and wanting to flaunt it. But often it is misguided and incomplete.

Very well said. Apparently there are many many people who don't know the complete story (which is perfectly fine and normal for something you don't do as fulltime job!) and then blame others if it's not exactly like they think it should be.

What's even more important in flight simulation is that people think if one aircraft does this or that then all aircraft do it.

We are still getting the question why all displays remain dark after someone turned the battery on several times a day, even though we think it is well documented in the manuals. However people only see a batteryswitch there and then turn it on and think the aircraft is completly powered up. Needless to say that that's not the case with the real aircraft.

Of course we can't blame you guys for this, that's out of question, it even is what makes our hobby so interesting! But that's what makes the difference between a simmer and a real life pilot.

Simmers typically have a wide knowledge of a broad range of simplified aircraft systems, combined with some pieces of information that goes very much in depth. One example for this is the difference between C* and C*U law. PMDG had some discussions about it in thier forums and most of us reading this right now will also remember these discussions. Ok, so you now got a great knowledge about the C*U law in the Boeing 777. Make sure not to confuse it with the C* law in the Airbus which is quite differnet. Only because the term "Fly-By-Wire" is used by simmers for the controls of both aircraft that doesn't mean they behave the same. In fact Fly By Wire only means that the flight controls are not mecanically linked to the stick/yoke anymore. God, my PA28 got Fly By Wire (Yes, we indeed got an electric trim operated by a yoke switch as you're used to see it in the big ones) :D

Therefore, what simmers usually expect is a "generalised" simulation of aircrafts looking different, but behaving the same. An example for this is the wind sound for example. What would you say if I tell you the wind and avionics cooling is so loud in an A319 cockpit, that you can hardly hear the engines at all? The first time I've been in an Airbuscockpit during the takeoff (that was before we got the new soundpack from GURU by the way) I expected to hear the engines so loud on takeoff that when we really took of I didn't notice them at all because their noise wasn't much louder than the noiselevel during taxi.

If we simulated it like this in our Airbus addon we'd get a massive shitstorm due to customers thinking we'd totally screwed the sounds up, just as we had so many people complanation about a lack of takeoffthrust because of the low thrustlevels in an Airbus. Well, yes, a 737 got much more power during takeoff that's true, but it also got much higher thrust levels. I'm sure already that after the release we will get complaints about the EPR indication being to low during taxi and expecially during takeoff.

Now what makes the real life pilot is that he only knows one aircraft, but that one he knows in great detail! I'm surprised every time if I ask one of our pilots something and the answer he gives me is just as detailed as the FCOM is!

The biggest difference that is always noticable when talking with a real life pilot is how open they are to differences from other aircraft. If I tell a livetime Airbuspilot that a 737 accelerates so much faster than an Airbus he will not tell me that can't be true... (...because the Aircraft he knows does not accelerate that fast).

The more complex addons get the more such questions will of course arise, but the more demanding such questions can also get. And the more demanding they gey, the more often they are disappointed if we tell them that is how the real aircraft is.

One such example is a guy who E-Mailed us that the loudspeakersound when powering the aircraft up would be missing.

We told him there is no such sound in an Airbus and he told me "well, but the PMDG777 has it". I asked him why that means that an A320 has them too, but the only answer I got was that we are idiots not knowing what we do.

I could tell many more of these stories..

Ok, back to the point now.

So why did I tell you all this?

Basically what I wanted to tell you is: Don't be upset if the Airbus doesn't react the way you expect it to react or if something isn't like you expect it to be.

First of all check the manual if you can find anything about it. I can tell you, 90% of the questions can be answered by the manual.

If a question is not answered by the manual check our forum. 90% of the remaining questions after checking the manual can be answered by using the searchfunction in our forum.

Has your question been answered already? No? Really? Ask it! Regardless how stuid you think your question is - better you ask it now than you end up in a situation where you'd need the answer immediatly, but don't have it. Most of us do not have thousands of hours in the real Airbus, no one of us can know it all. We do however have the resources to figure it out. Be it either by the expertise of other users, by one of our great real world pilots or by our staff members.

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