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Orange2fly A320 Alpha floor on approach to Muscat

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Orange2fly A320 Alpha floor on approach to Muscat

Old 22nd Nov 2019, 09:39
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Orange2fly A320 Alpha floor on approach to Muscat

Would be interested to read the report on this one, to see why the captain elected to continue the approach.

Incident: Orange2fly A320 at Muscat on Jan 28th 2019, Alpha Floor on approach at 210 feet AGL

For those who donít speak French, alpha floor is the hard AoA protection.

Last edited by Check Airman; 22nd Nov 2019 at 09:56.
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Old 22nd Nov 2019, 10:26
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And why did he disconnect the A/T in the first place, training?
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Old 22nd Nov 2019, 14:10
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Sounds like the Skipper wanted the FO to do a manual thrust landing (in training?) but forgot to remind the FO that the Athr was off when handing over control. Poor old FO probably put his/her hands on the TL's and did what was normal, ie no movement of the levers til reverse idle! You can see how it could happen, but its poor standards whatever the explanation.
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Old 22nd Nov 2019, 16:33
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Originally Posted by macdo View Post
Sounds like the Skipper wanted the FO to do a manual thrust landing (in training?) but forgot to remind the FO that the Athr was off when handing over control. Poor old FO probably put his/her hands on the TL's and did what was normal, ie no movement of the levers til reverse idle! You can see how it could happen, but its poor standards whatever the explanation.
Interesting theory. More than once, Iíve thought that when flying with the AT on, Iíd be better off with my hand on my lap than on the thrust levers. Thereís really no benefit to having your hand on the levers for most situations.
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Old 22nd Nov 2019, 17:38
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Hands on the thrust levers is pointless on the Airbus. It has a lot more value on the aircraft with moving throttles like the Boeing's. Shades of the Korean 777 crash into SFO - exactly what scan was used that never noticed the N1's were at idle and below expected N1's for the approach? What scan was used looking at the speed trend arrow below VLS, then in the zipper, then just prior to achieving ALPHA FLOOR? Aimpoint, airspeed, power has been FLYING 101 forever. It shouldn't change because of autothrottles but the <sad> reality is it has.
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Old 22nd Nov 2019, 18:59
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Or rushed approach so CM1 takes control with AP/AT off. Back on profile CM1 hands over control to CM2 but they forgot to re-engage AT.

Itís happened before and itíll probably happen again.
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Old 23rd Nov 2019, 09:32
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Approach is flown in a lateral and vertical profile but also at certain speed. It's not enough to only manage the profiles. In Bangalore A320 crash static thrust levers with no tactile feed back approach was flown at Vapp-27 kts. alpha floor at 135ft simultaneous TOGA selected but crashed as engines were spooling up toTOGA thrust. In SFO moving throttles (which were at idle through out) plenty of feed back the approach was flown at Vapp-30kts. aircraft crashed during late goaround attempt. Whether it's A or B you cannot fly an approach without frequent glances at your speed. If it's not what it should be then get it there yourself.
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Old 23rd Nov 2019, 10:07
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Originally Posted by misd-agin View Post
Hands on the thrust levers is pointless on the Airbus. It has a lot more value on the aircraft with moving throttles like the Boeing's.
Disagree. You have your hands on the thrust levers because they are yours and if the A/T isnít behaving, your hands are there ready to fix it. Same reason you have your hand on the side stick.
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Old 23rd Nov 2019, 11:27
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Unfortunately, this is one of those 'environmental capture' dangers that is inherent to the Airbus. You are used to the TL's being just switches to command the Fadecs at certain phases of flight. So, Take off, Cruise and Landing become switch positions, what the engine is actually doing is being handled by the computers. Generally, I was taught to have hands on the TL's up to V1, below 1500' agl and at any time that the autothrust is off. The last one should remind you that the athr is off because it feels 'odd' or non standard to have your hands on them and requesting PM to do Hdg,MCDU and Alt changes for you. I'm aware of a similar occurrence to this one on the 330, where a break down in situational awareness with athr off resulted in a 'scare'.
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Old 23rd Nov 2019, 12:28
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The great mystery........

why would anyone turn the auto thrust off?
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Old 23rd Nov 2019, 12:54
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Originally Posted by 390cruise View Post
The great mystery........

why would anyone turn the auto thrust off?
To execute a manual thrust landing in the appropriate conditions.
Use it or lose it skill, and having a go in the sim every 6 months doesn't cut it.
This incident might, only might, not have happened if the FO had been more familiar with manual thrust flying.
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Old 23rd Nov 2019, 13:21
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Fundamental breakdown in MCC - bad enough that the PF let it happen but the PM not monitoring...
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Old 24th Nov 2019, 08:19
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Originally Posted by 390cruise View Post
The great mystery........

why would anyone turn the auto thrust off?
In my company the policy is: manual flight, manual thrust.
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Old 24th Nov 2019, 09:13
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As it should be. In airlines that mandate SOPs for full time A/T at all times in route flying ( BA for example ,all types except B744)
The crews never fly the aircraft ‘manually, Manual flying defined as manual control of flight path and speed.
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Old 24th Nov 2019, 14:23
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Originally Posted by 390cruise View Post
The great mystery........

why would anyone turn the auto thrust off?
Manual skill retention.
Because no pilot hunts for the right power, more, less, more, less, more, less, more, less, than a/t's do in gusty or thermal conditions.
Does anyone have stable power criteria in their SOP's for Airbus' with the A/T on? The A/T's do power corrections no pilot is allowed to do using manual thrust, like idle at 350', because it's gotten tired of being 8 kts fast. No pilot would make that drastic an adjustment.
s
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Old 24th Nov 2019, 17:57
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Originally Posted by 390cruise View Post
The great mystery........

why would anyone turn the auto thrust off?
On AVHerald some commentators say moving the TL to idle causes the A/T to disengage. Others disagree. Which is it?
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Old 24th Nov 2019, 18:11
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Originally Posted by cwatters View Post
On AVHerald some commentators say moving the TL to idle causes the A/T to disengage. Others disagree. Which is it?
The idlers have it correct.
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Old 24th Nov 2019, 21:53
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Originally Posted by PH-TIM View Post
In my company the policy is: manual flight, manual thrust.
A sensible pro-active company.
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Old 24th Nov 2019, 22:25
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Originally Posted by CDRW View Post
A sensible pro-active company.
Agreed. Would much rather fly for (or on) that airline, than some of the others that treat manual flight as though itís some degraded level of safety.
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Old 24th Nov 2019, 22:32
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Originally Posted by misd-agin View Post
Manual skill retention.
Because no pilot hunts for the right power, more, less, more, less, more, less, more, less, than a/t's do in gusty or thermal conditions.
Does anyone have stable power criteria in their SOP's for Airbus' with the A/T on? The A/T's do power corrections no pilot is allowed to do using manual thrust, like idle at 350', because it's gotten tired of being 8 kts fast. No pilot would make that drastic an adjustment.
s
Somebody at my company raised the question of the AT going to idle below 1000ft. I believe our training departmentís answer was that it was ok. I have my doubts though. In times like those, I curse Airbusí design of the autothrust.
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