Hello All! , i cast my mind back to 5th may 2004 when i flew from BHX to DUB on a MyTravel Airbus A320 flight No. VZ7043. When during our decent into dublin the aircraft began making a loud noise, much like the extra wind noise of having the gear in the down position. Soon after this started, a flight attendant came over the intercom and a told us that the noise was due to the use of reverse thrust to help slow the aircraft during descent and that it was a normal procedure for this type of aircraft. after ten minutes or so the noise stopped and everything was normal from then on in followed by a reasonably smooth landing.
when i heard what they said about using the reversers i instantly smelled bull ... but was i right to be sceptical?
No it is bull! A320 thrust reversers cannot be used in flight. The noise was almost certainly the speedbrakes. Perhaps the hostie had come from Britannia where they make a PA explaining what the reverser noise will be before landing so the shell suits don't panic.
I heard that a C-17 can engage reverse thrust on two engines when doing a tactical descent. Dont know if thats bull or not though. Think back a few years ago when Lauda Air crashed in Asia when the one thrust reverser on a B767 opened at crusing level.
I seem to remember from my Software Engineering course that both main wheels had to be on the ground before the system would allow thrust reversers to be engaged...although I think this may have changed slightly after an A320 incident...although off the top of my head I can't remember how it has changed or what the incident was!
3. The aircraft automatics comprises, for basic landing configuration if the aircraft (i.e. with flaps extended to FULL position), the programme which subjects actuation of all braking devices to some specific conditions. Ground spoilers, when selected, will extend provided that either shock absorbers are compressed at both main landing gears (the minimum load to compress one shock absorber being 6300 kgs), or wheel speed are above 72 kts at both main landing gears. Engine reversers, when selected, will deploy provided that shock absorbers are compressed at both main landing gears. Such a logics result in the lack of possibility of immediate actuation of two mentioned above aircraft's braking devices without meeting the conditions described.
4 In emergency, the crew is unable to override the lock-out and to operate ground spoilers and engine thrust reversers.
As a Flight Crew Training Instructor on the Airbus, and the B777, I can assure you that it is NOT possible to deploy the thrust reversers whilst these types of aircraft are in flight.
There are numerous strain gauges, squat switches, proximity switches and microswitches mounted on the gear legs and oleos, the signals from which are normally sent to a ground/air sensing computer. Once the gear legs are compressed upon landing, the interlocks unlatch, and the reverse thrust buckets or translating sleeves are allowed to activate.
I can assure you ,that also on the 737 you won't be able to deploy reversers inflight,only below 10' with thrust at idle. I don't know why this is possible,because Boeing says is forbidden to do it. Brgs Alex