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A320 autoland : what’s the significance of ILS course check at 350ft RA?

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A320 autoland : what’s the significance of ILS course check at 350ft RA?

Old 14th Jan 2018, 20:21
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A320 autoland : what’s the significance of ILS course check at 350ft RA?

If you are flying the Airbus then you are more than familiar with the fact that during an autoland approach we are suppose to check for correct ILS selected course at 350ft RA.( just after the LAND mode appears)
What’s the significance of the 350 ft since a check of the ILS course is done during prior checks? Does something happen internally that could alter the ILS course when the LAND mode appears?
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Old 14th Jan 2018, 21:29
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below 700 ft RA data coming from the FMS is frozen. So your check could be done anywhere below 700 ft.
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Old 14th Jan 2018, 21:36
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Oooh many moons ago, 19 years or so.
But I think it has to do with AP decrab.
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Old 14th Jan 2018, 21:49
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Originally Posted by LW20
below 700 ft RA data coming from the FMS is frozen. So your check could be done anywhere below 700 ft.
You have a point there ,but still it doesn’t give a justification of the overall concept of checking the selected ILS course especially at such low point . The course is generally checked as part of the briefing for the approach . Would there be any point subsequently where it could change ? If there was such a case , then assuming the last point were this would happen was at 700ft then all common sense would dictate to do the check right at 700ft RA . At least there you may have some time to revert to CAT 2 ( which is what you are suppose to do if the course selected by the FMGS differs by more than 5 degree from the nominated course)
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Old 15th Jan 2018, 08:02
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The course is generally checked as part of the briefing for the approach . Would there be any point subsequently where it could change ?
I agree. I can't see how the course could possibly be "accidentally changed".

However on a previous aircraft type, the Omni Bearing Selector (OBS or QDM selector) was next to the Heading and Speed selectors and it was very easy to move the wrong one. The last chance we had to correct the error was by 350' else the Auto Land system would miscalculate the amount of Align to apply during the flare.

I think the "350 feet" rule is a hang over from the old days and needs to be updated with the modern equipment in use.

Last edited by Goldenrivett; 15th Jan 2018 at 20:05. Reason: typo
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Old 15th Jan 2018, 11:51
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Message deleted due to wrong information.

Last edited by pineteam; 6th Feb 2018 at 07:19. Reason: wrong info.
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Old 15th Jan 2018, 12:58
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You won't get indication of localiser deviation if the aircraft is following the actual beam, the selected course is irrelevant in this sense.

During Loc Intercept, the ac uses the selected course to discern direction of turn when it detects a localiser. Once pointing in roughly the right direction, 90Hz/150Hz beam differentiation is all the ac needs to track the localiser but when it gets its first 'sniff' of a beam it has no idea what direction to turn in or what course to turn on to.

Why we check it again before autolanding I do not know, but I suspect it's something to do with the transition from wingborne flight to wheelborne rollout.
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Old 15th Jan 2018, 13:24
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YEP

Decrabbing?
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Old 15th Jan 2018, 20:00
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Affirm.

DSC-22-30-80-30-10 Precision Approach Modes:
"ALIGN SUB-MODE
ALIGN is a sub-mode of LAND mode that lines up the aircraft's axis with the ILS course.
It is not displayed to the flight crew."
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Old 15th Jan 2018, 20:23
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So waiting for dementia (A320 was 19 years ago for me)
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Old 15th Jan 2018, 21:16
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Great find Goldenrivett! I'd never seen that before.
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Old 16th Jan 2018, 06:43
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However on a previous aircraft type, the Omni Bearing Selector (OBS or QDM selector) was next to the Heading and Speed selectors and it was very easy to move the wrong one. The last chance we had to correct the error was by 350' else the Auto Land system would miscalculate the amount of Align to apply during the flare.

I think the "350 feet" rule is a hang over from the old days and needs to be updated with the modern equipment in use.
I don’t think Airbus intended to adopt this procedure based on how other aircraft used to be . Prior to the 320 family was the A310 whose MCP (FCU) was again not the same as a typical Boeing (the CRS selector on the 310 was on the pedestal so you couldn’t accidentally change the OBS if you were changing the heading bug) . One thing you will definitely have seen is that Airbus in all likelihood is obsessed with avoiding doing things and naming things the same way Boeing does .
The 350ft check remains a mystery
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Old 16th Jan 2018, 07:48
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(the CRS selector on the 310 was on the pedestal so you couldn’t accidentally change the OBS if you were changing the heading bug)
But you could accidentally change it when attempting to change a radio frequency.
The point I'm trying to make (rather unsuccessfully) is that you can't accidentally change the course in a modern glass cockpit. The 350' rule could be moved to 700' (data lock).
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Old 16th Jan 2018, 08:23
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This is for decrab purposes but I also agree 350 feet seems to be stuck in the past. This should be done at localiser capture or before so you can change it before the FMGC freezes below 700'.
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Old 16th Jan 2018, 09:06
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Originally Posted by Goldenrivett
Affirm.

DSC-22-30-80-30-10 Precision Approach Modes:
"ALIGN SUB-MODE
ALIGN is a sub-mode of LAND mode that lines up the aircraft's axis with the ILS course.
It is not displayed to the flight crew."
But this. ALIGN is part of LAND mode. LAND mode doesn't annunciate till about 400'. I guess we can't really check ALIGN's reference until ALIGN is active. Who knows what it might be doing to that course in the background.

This is really a question for an Airbus FMGC IT programmer, isn't it?
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Old 16th Jan 2018, 09:15
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I guess we can't really check ALIGN's reference until ALIGN is active
But that's why we check the ILS QDM by 350 feet - because the aircraft will ALIGN to that reference on touchdown then track the centreline using the LOC. If the ILS QDM is in error, then you'll land with a crab angle.
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Old 16th Jan 2018, 10:30
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Goldenrivett, I think you and I are saying the same thing. I was answering Applecrumble.
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Old 16th Jan 2018, 12:41
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Goldenrivett

With this we are in total agreement .
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Old 18th Jan 2018, 22:18
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Can someone give me a reference for the requirement to check LOC QDM at 350ft.
My manual is current(5/12/17) and I can not find anything like what is discussed here.
Quote: AT 350 ft RA LAND mode CHECK ENGAGED/ANNOUNCE.
That is all we are required to do.
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Old 19th Jan 2018, 06:27
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There are a few places in the FCOM such as the sources I am pasting below :

PRO-NOR-SOP-19 ( Under AUTOLAND )
“ AT 350 FT RA ILS /GLS /MLS COURSE on PFD........................................CHECK
If the ILS /GLS /MLS course pointer and the runway track differ by more than 5 °, autoland is not authorized.”

PRO-NOR-SRP-01-70 (under APPROACH MODE ACTIVATION (LOC -G/S) )
“ At 350 ft RA: CHECK that “LAND” is displayed on the FMA. CHECK ILS course. If LAND is not displayed or if the ILS course is not correct, do not perform an autoland. The flight crew should perform a go-around, if visual references are not sufficient.”
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