Sitting at Door L1 on the A320 on landing I occasionally hear what I think is "Retard, retard" coming from the flight deck just before touching down. It is an automated voice and it doesn't happen every time.
For all you A320 drivers out there is this what I am hearing and what exactly does it mean?
The landing technique for the A320 is at the 30' call out your bring the thrust levers back to idle and commence the flare. If the airbus detects that you still have power set at 20' radio altitude the call out 'retard, retard' happens and repeats until the thrust levers are placed to idle. So it will only happen some of the time when you are a bit slow in closing the levers.
Neither of those two accidents were as a result of the thrust levers not being "fully closed".
In the China Airlines case, the skipper cancelled reverse thrust at 100 knots, in spite of having touched down long and fast. It was also later disclosed that as a deadheading crew member he had made the comment that "Going around must have been very shameful" for the captain of the flight on which he was paxing.
In the other instance you cite, it was then QF policy to use "minimum" reverse thrust.
When you think about it, this natty little design feature could be quite useful…
On the other hand it might be giving "advice" that is 180 degrees different to that which the crew is actually reviewing - ie. going around! It might be more suited to aircraft that are being used for first solo!
IG....if you hear 'RETARD" 4X...then you are a reatard!!!! me,oh no Ive never heard that It should also be mentioned that Vref/Vapp on the A320 is based on Ref+5kts+1/3 of the head wind component.The 319 is does not use the headwind component(groundspeed mini is the other factor)Because the speeds vary,and as other posts have mentioned,the retard call on the A319 comes a little earlier,in that if the thrust is not reduced at the appropiate time,the A/C goes into a 'high"idle,hence you a carrying to much thrust.It is my experience that the 319,s have a hard time holding Vref/Vapp,they always seem to carry 3-5 kts over Vref,and the only way to get right on the #s is to disconnect the autothrust ,and do it the "old way". More the 2 retards,and ya get sent to the spanking machine,and its your shout for sure......puha
What input does the autothrottle have in this scenario, or what input can it have?
I thought in the Boeings they 'retard' themselves if the A/T is in APP mode??
Yes, the autothrottle is conencted to the radar altimeter, and will retard to idle in the last 30' or so.
(Can't remember the actual height at which this starts to happen, but you end up with idle as the plane touches the ground.)
The A/T only retards the thrust when doing a autoland.
If you're manually flying the A/T is in SPEED mode as it would be with the AP in, but as you flare the A/T will add thrust to maintain speed, that's why the retard feature is there.
With non moving thrust levers in a high workload you may be a bit slow retarding the thrust, also in turbulent conditions you may actually be happy to accept the increasing thrust during the flare to help arrest the descent, you will get the "retard retard" even though you actually want more thrust.
I always used manual thrust as I liked being in the loop.
The true answer is because, - Boeing engineers designed it as a tongue in cheek shot at pilots by having Boeings display RETARD on the AFDS as the thrust levers move towards idle (737), Whereas the Airbus designers never got the joke, and included the aural version as if it has some airsafety significance.