Re: A ride on an A320

From: (Gary Bisaga)
Organization: The Mitre Corporation, McLean Virginia
Date:         17 Jun 93 13:02:13 PDT
References:   1
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About the non-moving throttles on the A320; I asked one A320
captain about them (I am now getting two A320 rides about
every 3 weeks so if you all want any questions asked lemme
know) and whether they were a problem.  He said not at all.
You just leave the thing in the flight normal detent during
A/T use; when it comes time to deactivate the A/T (done by
the red button on the side, which is NOT a G/A switch; for
this just shove the throttles forward while in landing config
and the plane takes over from there), you look at the ECAM
display, which has both the current throttle info and
projected throttle info that *would be in effect* if the
throttle was set the way the throttle handles are.  This is
a small circle that moves around the outside of the display
(the cirle they call a doughnut).  So, if you want to disengage
the A/T, you move the lever so that the doughnut lines up with
what the A/T is having the throttles really do, then disengage.
He said in use it was no problem at all.

The G/A mode engage method reminds me of a joke told by a 767
pilot friend of mine.  The end of the old joke about the three
things heard most often in the cockpit is amended as follows
for FMS equipped planes:
1) "What'd the controller say?"
2) "Was that [radio call] for us?"
3) "Where's this thing taking us?"

I also asked most of the pilots what they thought of the A320.
I heard no real negative comments, with "Love it," "Best plane
I've ever flown" being typical responses.