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A320 Callouts

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A320 Callouts

Old 13th Sep 2021, 12:43
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A320 Callouts

PRO-NOR-SOP-90 P 1/10
All actions performed on the FCU and MCDU must be checked on the PFD and ND (eg.: “FL 350 blue”, “FL 200 magenta"). Ensure that the correct FCU knob is used, then verify indications on the PFD/ND.

this text from the FCOM is asking us to check and verify the PFD/ND, but not specifically to callout or announce

If it is not specified on the book,
how do we teach newcomers about the correct calls when for instance, the target speed changes as a result from pushing or pulling the speed knob.

We know we don’t want to hear speed managed or speed selected.

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Old 13th Sep 2021, 13:13
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As you say the FCOM/FCTM does not specify a standard callout in reference to checking the PFD/ND for any changes made to the FCU/MCDU. This question was subject to a technical request to Airbus where I work and the answer from Airbus is as follows;

"We do confirm that any action performed on the FCU and MCDU must be checked. A callout is an appropriate way to perform this check.

Any change of modes of the FMA must be announced. Automatic speed target modification is not a change of mode of the FMA. However, such modification can be announced as it would improve the situational awareness"

The way this has been interpreted is "SPEED 160 BLUE" (after selecting speed to 160) or when changing from NAV to HDG "HDG 240 BLUE" etc.

I'm sure there are many different Airline specific methods of tackling this part of the SOP. I have heard of some airlines that have completely dispensed with all flight guidance related callouts. Not sure how that is working out for them.
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Old 13th Sep 2021, 15:18
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Great reply by Qwark. I long thought about this. The book has always said to announce "FMA changes" but heading, speed and even (dare I say it) Altitude is not part of the FMA.

I believe it was FlyNiki that abandoned all FMA calls except ALT* but new altitudes were still called out (as they should). Someone can correct me.
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Old 13th Sep 2021, 16:57
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Originally Posted by Qwark View Post
I have heard of some airlines that have completely dispensed with all flight guidance related callouts. Not sure how that is working out for them.
I work for such a company. The 4 largest airbus operators here (Some ~1200 planes) don't make FMA callouts. I actually much preferred it until recently, when I had a come to Jesus moment, and realised the FMA callouts were probably a good idea. Excluding altitude, I don't know of any airline that calls out other FCU adjustments.
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Old 13th Sep 2021, 17:50
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I used to work for a company that had no checklist and nearly no callouts while the aircraft was in movement. The only FMA callout was a new altitude, apart from that nothing was called out. All in all it was a very pleasant and good way to operate. Later it was changed to the Airbus OEM procedures including full FMA callouts, a set of SOPs used for their lower cost in publishing manuals, not for a better use or safety case.
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Old 27th Sep 2021, 09:30
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As I understand it, if airlines create their own SOPs, they assume responsibility for safe operations under those SOPs, whereas adopting aircraft manufacturer's SOPs hands responsibility back to the manufacturer?
I think this is why many airlines adopted Airbus SOPs, (as well as it being much easier and much less work and less publishing for an airline's flight operations department).
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Old 27th Sep 2021, 17:43
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Around the time when Airbus advised changing the callout for "LAND" from Land - green to a simple Land, as well as adopted Continue instead of Landing at minima, there was a Flight Operator's Conference presentation on the whole topic of reading items and colours (also, A/THR - white was stopped then)

whereas adopting aircraft manufacturer's SOPs hands responsibility back to the manufacturer?
Most certainly not. But the other reasons you mention do apply, I guess.

More importantly, many woke up to realize the original SOP are carefully designed by far knowledgeable folk than their own pilots. Take my word for it if you will, there's still enough to dispute over even when using the original books.
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Old 28th Sep 2021, 07:16
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As a company pilot, no matter how good one is you only have access to AFM, FCOM, FCTM. While that's good enough to understand manufacturer's procedures but not enough to modify them because all the software, hardware , wind tunnel results that developed the design philosophy are not accessible. Besides as a manufacturer Airbus reach to airlines is global. So if someone wants to change something in Korea then that already may have been tried and is a cause of an incident in Argentina. So manufacturer's consent can avoid a repeat. I have stated many times before an example of Jetstar Australia changing the FMA call, during go around to only after gear up. In poor visibility in a go around the Capt inadvertently pushed thrust levers short of TOGA and due to changed procedure waited for gear up to check the FMA. Copilot couldn't call gear up because he kept waiting for +ve climb as aircraft kept descending in approach mode. They reached 30ft before they pulled up. There were two more airlines that had the same incident. In worst case they were 14ft from runway and confused as to why aircraft is not climbing. All changed their procedures back to previous. So innocuous change of FMA call can become a tragedy.

Last edited by vilas; 28th Sep 2021 at 10:37.
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Old 28th Sep 2021, 07:53
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At the opposite corner, G-VIIO @ LAX also underlines that point.

Can't wait for C/A to retire and spill the beans. From the "Flying has taught me about myself that day..." series?

Last edited by FlightDetent; 28th Sep 2021 at 18:44.
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