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A320 CALLOUTS

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A320 CALLOUTS

Old 24th Oct 2018, 14:04
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A320 CALLOUTS

I have doubt on this. If you are open descending to FL 300 from level flight. what will be your Std callouts. ?

< THR IDLE OPN DES ALT (blue) FL 300 or THR IDLE OPN DES ALT FL300 (Blue) >
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Old 24th Oct 2018, 21:08
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Neither. It’s “THRUST IDLE, OPEN DESCENT, 300 BLUE”.
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Old 24th Oct 2018, 22:45
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With us the correct wording is:
"Thrust Idle, Open Descent, Alt blue, Flight Level 300"
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Old 24th Oct 2018, 23:04
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At my airline, it's :
"Thrust Idle, Open Descent, Flight Level 300 Blue"

Last edited by GetTheQRH; 25th Oct 2018 at 14:41.
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Old 25th Oct 2018, 00:48
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We would call and check the selected alt first, then the FMA once the alt knob is pushed/pulled.
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Old 25th Oct 2018, 04:00
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The First One. It’s Alt Blue not FL300 blue . NightStop and GetTheQrh, You can not omit the ALT call out! This is a really important FMA call and I would be surprised if your SOP says otherwise. For example: If you are at FL 200. And you are clear to descend to FL 140 and you accidently use VS+1500’. The ALT blue won’t be displayed! The missing ALT Blue will be a fast trigger that’s something is wrong. By FCOM, any change in the FMA must be called and with his color when applicable (Blue/Magenta). So skipping it would be a violation of Airbus SOP.

Last edited by pineteam; 25th Oct 2018 at 08:02. Reason: Typo
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Old 25th Oct 2018, 09:26
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You say "blue" twice!

Per Airbus one should call out both the color of the armed vertical mode, AND the new altitude target on the PFD. The FMA response by the PM is "checked", and the PM should repeat the set altitude target verbatim. So it should go something like this (remember the altitude is set prior to pulling):

PF (sets altitude): "FL300 blue".
PM: "FL300 blue".
PF (pulls altitude): "Thrust idle, open descent, alt blue".
PM: "Checked."

Alternative would be:
PF (sets and pulls): "Thrust idle, open descent, alt blue, FL300 blue".
PM: "Checked, FL300 blue".
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Old 25th Oct 2018, 10:28
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Thrust idle, open descent, FL300 blue. We don't call ALT BLUE...it's implied by FL300 BLUE.

Same callout at two different Airbus operators I've flown for.
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Old 25th Oct 2018, 10:49
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wow! its like a religion. no colors on Boeings and nothing as hair splitting.
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Old 25th Oct 2018, 11:21
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Originally Posted by akindofmagic View Post
Thrust idle, open descent, FL300 blue. We don't call ALT BLUE...it's implied by FL300 BLUE.

Same callout at two different Airbus operators I've flown for.
It does not if you use Vertical speed mode. You will have your target altitude Eg “ FL200” blue. But if you set the wrong vertical speed like VS + 1000 instead of Vs -1000 in a descent “ALT” Blue will never be displayed and altitude burst will occur and aircraft will keep climbing until the crew take actions. Happened many times. Thus I’m surprised some airlines train the crew not to read back the “ALT” on the FMA. This is definitely not Airbus SOP.

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Old 25th Oct 2018, 11:26
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But if you set the wrong vertical speed like VS + 1000 instead of Vs -1000 in a descent “ALT” Blue will never be displayed and altitude burst will occur and aircraft will keep climbing until the crew take actions. Happened many times.
What, the crew, wanting -1000fpm, set +1000fpm by mistake then just sat there and watched it? Seriously?
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Old 25th Oct 2018, 11:30
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Originally Posted by Capn Bloggs View Post
What, the crew, wanting -1000fpm, set +1000fpm by mistake then just sat there and watched it? Seriously?
Yes it happens. I have seen it before. Flying in China, we use meters and workload is high. It’s standard to get 10 + clearances up to your cruising altitude or from cruising level until you are established on final approach.
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Old 25th Oct 2018, 12:13
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Originally Posted by pineteam View Post
The First One. It’s Alt Blue not FL300 blue . NightStop and GetTheQrh, You can not omit the ALT call out! This is a really important FMA call and I would be surprised if your SOP says otherwise. For example: If you are at FL 200. And you are clear to descend to FL 140 and you accidently use VS+1500’. The ALT blue won’t be displayed! The missing ALT Blue will be a fast trigger that’s something is wrong. By FCOM, any change in the FMA must be called and with his color when applicable (Blue/Magenta). So skipping it would be a violation of Airbus SOP.





The idea is good and honest, although misapplied I am afraid. ALT blue is not called according to Airbus. It is unnecessary workload, reduces time to think and such would be safety detrimental.

The Airbus SOP does not have provisions to trap errors of people setting +1000 and not notice when they actually wanted to descend with -1000. I have flown with metrics only for 10 years and not China, just west half mother Russia. Wonder how much more complicated compared to SVO do DME (some of the traffic speaks in local language there) it really gets. Maybe your metric setting procedures are overly complex to begin with? They do not need to be ... stay safe.

10 clearances is nowhere near too many, but I understand you mean they are only 600 or meters apart and to run the flightdeck drill is like a managing a circus in climb, trying to avoid abrupt ATHR changes and excessive VS rates in packed airspace. VS is the right knob to pull and even that does not bring very nice results, while thickening the soup even more due to extra talking. So many times I thought taking the TLs to 60%N1 (ATHR LIM) would be the most elegant way.









Last edited by FlightDetent; 25th Oct 2018 at 16:14.
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Old 25th Oct 2018, 12:28
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According to our FCOM: PRO-NOR-SOP- Standard Callouts:
The PF should call out any FMA change, unless specified differently. Therefore, the PF Should announce:
- All armed modes with the associated color (e.g blue, magenta): G/S blue , LOC blue
- All active modes without the associated color ( e.g. green, white) : NAV , ALT .
The PM should check and respond, checked to all FMA changes called by the PF.

I’m not a big fan of FMA reading. I’m just following the SOP. But I have to admit, that ALT blue is the one of the FMA change I always monitor carefully as I know if we are climbing or descending and it’s not displayed, something is wrong.

Last edited by pineteam; 25th Oct 2018 at 12:41. Reason: Typo
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Old 25th Oct 2018, 13:25
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@FligthDetent, I am afraid you are completely wrong. It should be called according Airbus SOP, and it's like that for at least last 10 years.
pineteam gave the reference
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Old 25th Oct 2018, 16:11
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Fair enough, no problemo. I did say Airbus as opposed to FCOM SOP on purpose but failed to highlight and explain why, sorry.

Those 10 years ago, when "green" was dropped and "landing" become "continue", it was widely discussed, and my airline then asked for guidance. Later followed by Q&A session during the Airbus Field Visit - OLV I think is what they call it.

The FCOM wording is what it is indeed, and yes: I am saying that it might not be proper. Funny that, on other occasions, I'd fight nails and teeth for every hyphen and semicolon . Prerhaps Vilas could dig up the Flight Operations Conference presentation on the topic.

Maybe we can agree to this?

Some operators would read the ALT(blue) as per the current wording of the FCOM. I could imagine for instance Turkish Airlines after the AMS crash of 6-fold PFD ignorance to be very strict with their protocol (have no idea what THY actually do, just an example why you might seriously want it that way).

Some operators don't, and even claim that once upon a time, someone from Airbus advised it was unnecessary. The logic being
- ALT(blue) is always and only displayed when SEL ALT <> ACT ALT (my simplified version for brevity) details FCOM DSC 22_30-70-10 "B" Vertical Functions - Principles
- If you read the SEL ALT over or below ALT tape (FLxxx blue for instance) reading the ALT(blue) achieves nothing as they are the same thing.
- Extra verbiage is a distraction (albeit very small here, still it is a principal thing to keep things neat)
- to read "ALT (blue)" to these operators would feel similar to saying "Vertical-Slash-Speed +/- nnnn)
- omitting the ALT(blue) does NOT in any way interfere with the basic requirement to announce FMA / PDF changes, You just read the change with the blue altitude / FL on the right side, which is what has actually changed and admittedly, drop the ALT(blue) in the FMA armed-modes line.

I am not calling the first method wrong, and admit the FCOM reads exactly that way. My claim is that bit more insight into the communication loop as well as Airbus own (could be outdated!) advice was in favour of the second approach.

Personal technique shared with peers here while we do not call ALT blue for level changes is that:
- we call ALT CSTR if we get that (it has an additional meaning)
- we call NAV blue as PM if that is the result of his actions when executing DCT-TO with RAD-IN/OUT on PF's request (same loops as flaps actually)
- we call CAT I after AP disconnect on ILS approach
- we do call QNH xxxx when changing altimeters
- we do call MDA / MDH / BARO nnn for the minima line
- we do not call NAV blue as PF when making DCT-TO with RAD-IN/OUT if you are just about to cancel it with HDG pull
- we do not call transient CAT II when disconnecting AP for landing
- we do not call LVR CLB (flashing) at reduction alt unless it is an alerting call by PM to PF who's not there with his senses.

I present the above solely for the reason of getting corrected Yet believe the dividing line is meaningful / not meaningful.

For those thinking that omitting ALT(blue) is wrong: to get me change sides - do you guys (honest Q)
- read CLB - NAV blue during the take-off, or ever at all (I'd say no, for the same reasons as above)?
- when reading the SEL ALT (7000 blue for instance), do you say where it is ("on top" "bottom")?









Last edited by FlightDetent; 25th Oct 2018 at 16:30.
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Old 25th Oct 2018, 16:36
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Originally Posted by airseb View Post
wow! it’s like a religion. no colors on Boeings and nothing as hair splitting.

You might not know this, but on Airbus, there can be magenta coloured altitude messages on the FMA, which are constraints found in the FMGC on the programmed route, and blue (actually cyan) coloured altitudes which you set on the glareshield.

An example of magenta altitude messages would be an intermediate level off on a SID. If there is a constraint of, say, 5000’ and you are cleared to FL80, if you pull the Alt knob, the Airbus will ignore any alt restrictions below FL80 and climb straight up to that level. If you push the altitude knob, it will still climb to FL80 but will obey any constraints below FL80, (and show them in magenta).

Therefore it is important to report the colour as well as the message so you can both confirm what is going on.

Last edited by Uplinker; 25th Oct 2018 at 16:50.
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Old 27th Oct 2018, 12:59
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Big Airways.
PF calls active modes.
PM calls armed modes. If a pilot misses his call then the other states "Your FMA"
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Old 27th Oct 2018, 16:57
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Originally Posted by pineteam View Post


It does not if you use Vertical speed mode. You will have your target altitude Eg FL200 blue. But if you set the wrong vertical speed like VS + 1000 instead of Vs -1000 in a descent ALT Blue will never be displayed and altitude burst will occur and aircraft will keep climbing until the crew take actions. Happened many times. Thus Im surprised some airlines train the crew not to read back the ALT on the FMA. This is definitely not Airbus SOP.

Id feel like the more relevant readout here is the V/S. Read the + or - properly and ALT blue starts to lose its necessity
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Old 27th Oct 2018, 17:40
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Originally Posted by Murtoman View Post
Id feel like the more relevant readout here is the V/S. Read the + or - properly and ALT blue starts to lose its necessity
That’s the issue: Some folks in a rush had used the VS and missread. I had one tired captain who select VS +2000 for a descent and read out loud VS -2000...It’s not that common but it does happen.. Luckily I was awake that day and noticed immediately. The missing ALT blue IMHO is a faster trigger to spot the mistake immediately.
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