Calling A319/320/321 pilots

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
The problem with a pilot trying to “Build the airplane“ is that most of your manuals are heavily simplified “logic” flowcharts of how a system (sort of) works and it’s especially bad on the Airbus products. A lot of things are bussed together so when you lose something like the LGICU, the books talk about reverting to the other LGICU but in all honesty, you’ve lost FAR MORE capabilities than you think you have and STFU and pull out the book.

”Oh, that’s just a...”

”STFU, run the ECAM, pull out the QRH”
 

///AMG

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the responses (and PM). Not getting typed, just taking my ATP practical in the 320 sim, so no real “company guidance” so to speak of. I’m used to verbatim imm action procedures, but the confusing part I guess is stuff like “EGPWS” or “TCAS” warnings, stall recovery, stall warning at lift off.....none of those say anything about memory or immediate action, and they (mostly) are all long and rambling with like 2 actual actions. TCAS written procedure, for instance, is 2 things that don’t actually involve reacting to the RA or avoiding a midair. To get to that, you would have to memorize about 3 paragraphs of stuff. Our longest boldface is like 7 steps, with a small bit of wording between a couple steps, and it takes 10-15 seconds to recite. Concur that this is not the biggest of my concerns, but thinking back to flight school, not knowing boldface was pretty much an auto fail.....don’t want to show up under prepared in that department I guess
 

Cherokee_Cruiser

Well-Known Member
What’s your TCAS?

AP off, FDs off, avoid red and go into green, notify ATC.

When AP off, get both FDs off, because all sorts of fun stuff can happen in a fixed thrust setting if you turn off only 1 FD and the other FD is still on.
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
That’s it. But we’re getting the update soon where you’ll stay on autopilot and watch it comply with the RA itself.
 

Cherokee_Cruiser

Well-Known Member
Yeah some of our planes have the TCAS armed in blue and the plane could maneuver but to keep a uniform policy, all TCAS avoidance must be handflown. Just like the soft go around feature of the A321neo. Since only these types have it, and not the 319/320, we can’t utilize that feature. One uniform policy for all 3 fleets.
 

jynxyjoe

The Kickin' Chicken!
Thanks for the responses (and PM). Not getting typed, just taking my ATP practical in the 320 sim, so no real “company guidance” so to speak of. I’m used to verbatim imm action procedures, but the confusing part I guess is stuff like “EGPWS” or “TCAS” warnings, stall recovery, stall warning at lift off.....none of those say anything about memory or immediate action, and they (mostly) are all long and rambling with like 2 actual actions. TCAS written procedure, for instance, is 2 things that don’t actually involve reacting to the RA or avoiding a midair. To get to that, you would have to memorize about 3 paragraphs of stuff. Our longest boldface is like 7 steps, with a small bit of wording between a couple steps, and it takes 10-15 seconds to recite. Concur that this is not the biggest of my concerns, but thinking back to flight school, not knowing boldface was pretty much an auto fail.....don’t want to show up under prepared in that department I guess
Do what you gotta to be comfortable. Airlines are just different than military training. I've watched two groups of classmates struggle with the differences and I've learned I'm not good at translating.

When you get to talking ground ramp and iceman I found a good way to explain it with pictures. No kidding.
 

///AMG

Well-Known Member
What’s your TCAS?

AP off, FDs off, avoid red and go into green, notify ATC.

When AP off, get both FDs off, because all sorts of fun stuff can happen in a fixed thrust setting if you turn off only 1 FD and the other FD is still on.
Cool, yeah that is the same. If that is how you would say it in a check, that's good enough for me. AP-OFF, FD's-OFF is easy, its the other 5 paragraphs of very verbose discussion of what to do next that would be a challenge to memorize verbatim, though easy to summarize in order in my own words. In short, all I'm trying to figure out is what portion of those QRH pages I would need to say verbatim, and what portions (if any) I could just talk through if queried about memory items. BRAKE FAILURE and UNRELIABLE SPEED/ALTITUDE INDICATIONS are straightforward, the rest not as much, at least to my simple brain. I don't think I am communicating my question very clearly.......clearly :)

Thanks guys!
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
Our 321 fleet has it. Kind of creepy to watch it do its thing... but way less work and room for error than having guys hand fly an escape maneuver.
It has been loaded into the sim I had for CQ, pretty trippy.

I wish more airplanes had that. The worst RA I had was when some yokel admitted that he didn’t follow the guidance because he “had us on the ’feeesh findah’” and kept climbing. He saw the wrong airplane.
 

///AMG

Well-Known Member
Thanks again for the help guys. Eventually I got my brain wrapped around the problem, as well as the flow concept, which was sort of new to me, though something I did without realizing it I suppose. Just a little different in a single pilot fighter aircraft, where there aren't a whole lot of switches to throw or checklists to run.
 

ppragman

FLIPY FLAPS!
The problem with a pilot trying to “Build the airplane“ is that most of your manuals are heavily simplified “logic” flowcharts of how a system (sort of) works and it’s especially bad on the Airbus products. A lot of things are bussed together so when you lose something like the LGICU, the books talk about reverting to the other LGICU but in all honesty, you’ve lost FAR MORE capabilities than you think you have and STFU and pull out the book.

”Oh, that’s just a...”

”STFU, run the ECAM, pull out the QRH”
This philosophy is wildly dependent on the aircraft type.

No you don't need to be able to build it, however I think a lot of people use "I'm not an engineer" as an excuse to not know much of anything about the airplane.
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
This philosophy is wildly dependent on the aircraft type.

No you don't need to be able to build it, however I think a lot of people use "I'm not an engineer" as an excuse to not know much of anything about the airplane.
Naturally.

On the 330, two LGICUs one does one thing, the other is a backup, each gear cycle the primary and the secondary “flip flop”, blah blah blah.

But in all actuality, either ‘computer‘ may be nothing more than a subroutine on another computer with related and unrelated functions, so when the ‘comptuer’ goes out, depending on which one, there are other cascading errors and operational challenges with lower bunk rest facilities, cargo heating functions, hydraulic system restrictions and the list goes on for a bit. I keep bringing this up because this is what happened during IOE and I see newbies trying to use system knowledge to out-think the ECAM procedures and QRH all the damned time potentially making a bad situation worse.

For a pilot to have to understand all of this is doofus. Especially when you run the ECAM to stabilize the situation, then look at the QRH to see what other systems are effected. “Ah ah ah! From memory, what specifically does LGICU2 affect?” Is Riddle-esque.

This is one of f the lessons I end up having to teach a lot about the Airbus because we’ll be sittinng there, before start, with a status message like “Air Bleed”. The newbie presumption is that “Well, it’ll clear up after engine start” or “Mah, it’s probably something minor” and it ends. The Air Bleed status message is either a minor nuisance or you’re going to be sitting at the gate for two hours until a bunch of tests are run.

There are to many combinations and permutations of system issues that arise that the old adage of “count to ten, slew a piece of paper of the printer, write down the ECAM message” because chance are, the message cleared itself (done! don’t even wonder why it happened) or if it’s still there, follow prescribed procedure and read all the considerations. But when a person with self-ascribed “high systems knowledge” starts going off script, they’ll sometimes find themselves in a variant where none of that applies and then he’s compounded a minor annoyance into “why the deuce are we in alternate law?” with catlike swiftness.
 

ppragman

FLIPY FLAPS!
Naturally.

On the 330, two LGICUs one does one thing, the other is a backup, each gear cycle the primary and the secondary “flip flop”, blah blah blah.

But in all actuality, either ‘computer‘ may be nothing more than a subroutine on another computer with related and unrelated functions, so when the ‘comptuer’ goes out, depending on which one, there are other cascading errors and operational challenges with lower bunk rest facilities, cargo heating functions, hydraulic system restrictions and the list goes on for a bit. I keep bringing this up because this is what happened during IOE and I see newbies trying to use system knowledge to out-think the ECAM procedures and QRH all the damned time potentially making a bad situation worse.

For a pilot to have to understand all of this is doofus. Especially when you run the ECAM to stabilize the situation, then look at the QRH to see what other systems are effected. “Ah ah ah! From memory, what specifically does LGICU2 affect?” Is Riddle-esque.

This is one of f the lessons I end up having to teach a lot about the Airbus because we’ll be sittinng there, before start, with a status message like “Air Bleed”. The newbie presumption is that “Well, it’ll clear up after engine start” or “Mah, it’s probably something minor” and it ends. The Air Bleed status message is either a minor nuisance or you’re going to be sitting at the gate for two hours until a bunch of tests are run.

There are to many combinations and permutations of system issues that arise that the old adage of “count to ten, slew a piece of paper of the printer, write down the ECAM message” because chance are, the message cleared itself (done! don’t even wonder why it happened) or if it’s still there, follow prescribed procedure and read all the considerations. But when a person with self-ascribed “high systems knowledge” starts going off script, they’ll sometimes find themselves in a variant where none of that applies and then he’s compounded a minor annoyance into “why the deuce are we in alternate law?” with catlike swiftness.
I mean don't go off script...that's bad juju, but how many guys do you know that use the complexity as a crutch? Almost every guy who says, "I don't need to know how to build it!" is being hyperbolic about how much he actually should know and has no desire to learn anything beyond the bare minimum to keep his job.

No, you don't need to know the voltage drop across some software controlled tie, and no you don't need to know the pressure inside the hydraulic system. But you should know how those systems work well enough to be able to figure out what the real problem is.

This stuff isn't that hard, you just have to crack the books and study and read. When I taught ground school I'd run into guys who'd flown an airplane for a decade and couldn't tell you about some failure modes. There'd be guys who'd flown the airplane for 5 years who'd get bent out of shape about having to recite the memory items because it's, "not what I'd really do."

Typically, "I don't need to know that" has been the refrain of those who don't know a bunch of stuff that they actually should know, even if they aren't required to know it to keep their jobs.

We strap ourselves and our passengers into these machines then scream around the country at a substantial fraction of the speed of sound, why wouldn't you want to try to learn everything you could about the airplane you operate?
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
Oh, I agree with knowing, if you really can. A 727 you had to be (and could be) a systems expert because the engineer was the automation and the systems were built for human intervention. Turn off a hydraulic pump, there was a cause and effect. Fluid temperature went down, you lose ”X PSI, it affects certain systems that use that hydraulic system and you know what options you have if you need more pressure to actuate something. A 727 is basically a 727.

I think the challenge on the bus is that we have some of the earliest 320’s, some fairly middle-aged 319’s and factory fresh 321s so most of the 319’s are consistent, there are probably two or three soft variants on the 320s and even the 321 fleet, even with the newness of the fleet, are slightly divided into Hamburg-built and Bama-built system variances. What may apply on an low ship number 320 probably doesn’t apply on a middle-aged 319 and may have entirely different circumstances on a 321.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it would be great for a fully omniscient approach to knowing an airplane, but the math when you start blending ages, fleet types and variances coupled with bussed subroutines and computers means that the probability of having all the permutations in your head, as they French say, “C’est impossibUHHHHH” :)
 

Autothrust Blue

"Blakeley's face was grave."
This is one of f the lessons I end up having to teach a lot about the Airbus because we’ll be sittinng there, before start, with a status message like “Air Bleed”. The newbie presumption is that “Well, it’ll clear up after engine start” or “Mah, it’s probably something minor” and it ends. The Air Bleed status message is either a minor nuisance or you’re going to be sitting at the gate for two hours until a bunch of tests are run.
If the airplane is talking to you, it’s because it needs your (or MX’s) attention, I’ve found.

Novel concept.
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
I do find it interesting that MX knows about a system issues well in advance of an ECAM message. Big brother is always watching.
 

Cherokee_Cruiser

Well-Known Member
Ok you fellow Airbus pilots. Got a new one for you. I never had this in almost 8 yrs on the plane. I’ll wait for ya’lls take on it before what I did.

Taxiing out of SEA, after pushback, single engine start and taxi. You’re just taxiing on the ramp and lead FA calls you and says she and First Class passengers can hear a beeping noise. You tell her to triangulate it and continue taxi. You pullover on a taxiway after telling ground you’re gonna be looking at a potential maintenance issue. FA calls back and says it’s coming from the floor area, near seats 1DF (aircraft right).

Someone in first class even times it. On for about 50 seconds, off for about 80 seconds. Rinse, repeat. Steady sound of beep, beep, beep, beep

You can’t hear it in flight deck. There’s a company DH CA onboard who you tell the FA to come up and hear the noise, and talk to this CA on the interphone. He also doesn’t know what it is.


Of course no ECAM or any lights or any status message.

WWYD?
 
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