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Newbie with take-off problems


Adrian West

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Adrian West

Hi. 

I am a newbie to the A320 and am struggling to get this plane into the air. The last 2 take-offs have not gone well. I am following the basic tutorial that comes with the documentation. Before pushing back I was setting up the FCU. While trying to set the altitude to 5000 ft I accidentally right clicked instead of using my mouse wheel, and this put everything into selected mode. Instead of dashes above the speed knob it now showed 100. I pushed the button to try to re-engage managed mode, but nothing happened. So this is how it remained until I tried to take off. My first question is, how do I reset the managed speed mode? I don't know whether this contributed to my later problems when taking off. The FMA showed V/S in green and NAV in blue - what should I be seeing at this point? 

When I started my take off roll I advance to FLX, but the FMA showed MAN THR, not MAN FLX. I think it showed SRS and RWY, but I didn't notice whether A/THR was shown in column 4. As I accelerated down the runway I had an audible command to retard. I decided to continue with take off as I couldn't see what was wrong. I rotated and lifted the gear, and shortly after engaged AP 1. Very shortly after I started to get master caution and master warning alerts, plus at some point ECAM messages about asymmetrical thrust. When LVR CLB appeared I duly pulled back both thrust levers to CLB, but the LVR CLB would not disappear and continued to flash. I continued trying to adjust the thrust levers - both were definitely in CLB, but LVR CLB would not go away. At some point the AP disconnected automatically. I tried to re-engage the AP 1, but this didn't solve the problem. I still had an ECAM message in amber telling me to move the thrust levers - but no matter what I did with these I couldn't solve the problem. I soon reached the 5000 ft set in the FCU, and the aircraft went into overspeed - more master warnings! The A/THR button was illuminated, and I think the speed field on the FCA was dashed, so presumably managed - but clearly it wasn't managing the speed. I decided to try to climb to FL360 to try to bleed off speed, but while the aircraft started to climb, the speed remained around 320 kts. I decided to abort the flight. 

During my previous flight I had a TO inhibit message appear on the ECAM during my take off roll. I do not remember what the FCA displayed, but it definitely wasn't MAN FLX, SRS, RWY. I had similar master warnings on the take off too, and had to abort. 

I am currently using my old CH hardware - Flightsim Yoke, Pro Pedals and Throttle Quadrant. I have had problems with asymmetrical response from the thrust levers on other aircraft, but I guess I got away with it as these weren't study level aircraft. I thought I had managed to set the detents correctly through the MCDU and with suitable null zones through FSUIPC. I current have it set up as 2 thrust levers in the MCDU options. Is there a way of tying the 2 thrust levers together so that they work symmetrically, but so that I can still use both thrust levers on my quadrant? I'm sure I read this somewhere in the documentation, but cannot find it now. Or should I stick with separate levers, and of so, how do I make them respond symmetrically?

Ultimately I intend to buy the Thrustmaster TCA stick and TQ with add-ons, and that will hopefully alleviate the problem, but with current supply and demand issues it is anybody's guess how long this will take!

I really want to be able to progress with this beautiful aircraft and don't want to become discouraged. I would appreciate any help any of you can give me. Many thanks. 

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Darcy Coutts

I highly recommend the Airline2sim airbus training videos.  They will help you immensely and add to your enjoyment of this wonderful simulatror!

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Ju_li_en Ke_ml_er

If you accidentaly right click the altitude button you can reset  the plane  by   turning off  BOTH flight directors then turning them back on  (FD buttons  on the EFIS). (left click on fd  acts one  one of the FD, right click  acts  on both a tthe same time).

 

When you take off athr blue shoud display on the fma when you engage  flex or toga.

To  help with the throttle snapping  into the gates look a this topic,   and  try  the settings in the first picture

it leaves half the  throttle for manual flying and  then widdens the gates  so theysnap easily from one to the others without requiring  too much precision.

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Markus Burkhard

Adrian,

it really sounds as if your throttle detents are not defined properly. That's why you can't get A/T to work and get constant warnings and CLB detent messages. Although visually it looks just fine as if they are in CLB, lacking any physical feedback in a desktop sim, you can't see tiny displacements at all.

You need to calibrate the throttle detents to your hardware thrust levers. For this, see the Introduction Guide on page 12.

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Adrian West

Thanks for your replies. 

I have experimented today and discovered that my suspicion was correct - the big problem was asymmetric thrust caused by the unequal movement of the 2 throttle levers on my old CH TQ. So I decided to switch the setup to just 1 lever in the MCDU options. When I took off this time I got MAN FLEX, SRS, RWY and the A/THR seemed to engage correctly. Setting climb thrust also worked better. So from that point of view I am now much happier. However I will need to look at the detents again on my next day off as it seems to be very easy to slip in and out of the detents, and it took me a while to set take off thrust and then climb thrust. Once I've got that sorted out I should be fine. Obviously things will be much easier once I can get the Thrustmaster controllers. 

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Adrian West

OK, so I have been working on the detents as per Julien's posting. This works pretty well, and my detent gates are now much larger and much more difficult to accidentally slip out of. However, I am still having a couple of problems:

1. For some reason I cannot get into TOGA. The detent has been set in the MCDU and is large enough, but when I move the thrust levers it never manages to get into TOGA. That isn't too much of a problem at the moment as I'll mainly be doing FLEX take-offs, but I do need to get it sorted out. Reaching TOGA wasn't a problem when I first installed the plane and set it up, so I know that the plane will recognise TOGA on my TQ. I have no idea what has changed to prevent it recognising TOGA now. 

2. As I said before I am now using just 1 thrust lever on my TQ, and I set this up in the MCDU. I have just been doing another test flight using the basic tutorial. During the climb I found that thrust lever 2 in the sim kept on dropping down to forward idle, and I would get a flashing LVR MCT on the FMA. I would have to move the thrust lever on my TQ slightly up or down, thrust lever 2 in the sim would then go back to the same point as lever 1 and CLB would be re-established. A few seconds later it would drop back to forward idle again, and I would have to adjust it again. This was happening over and over. I noticed that the sim is still reacting to any movement of thrust lever 2 on my TQ (which I had set at idle). Surely the sim should only be responding to one thrust lever, if that is how it is set up in the MCDU? I checked FSUIPC thinking I would switch it to just 1 throttle axis, but I have never set up the throttle axis/axes for this aircraft in FSUIPC or P3D either as a single axis or as multiple engines. 

I would appreciate any help and advice you can give to fix these 2 problems. Many thanks. 

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Adrian West

Since I posted last night I decided to calibrate the throttle axis in FSUIPC as a single axis. I now seem to be able to reach TOGA, so that problem seems to be solved. However my second problem is still present. Even though I have calibrated the throttle axis as a single axis, and I have set the thrust lever controls in the MCDU as one lever, the sim still recognises any movement in the physical throttle lever 2 on my TQ. I have controllers disabled in P3D options. Surely this should not be happening? 

I looked into the LVR MCT command I was getting yesterday. I should have been moving my thrust levers to MCT, and I wasn't doing this. Apparently this command is related to single engine operations when there is an engine failure. I have failures turned off. So this seems to be linked to my thrust lever 2 dropping down to forward idle, and the sim thinking there is a problem with engine 2. I need to be able to sort this out. Again I would appreciate your advice. Thanks. 

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Markus Burkhard

Adrian,

sounds as if SOME axis of one of your hardware devices is assigned to throttle 2, and that axis is having some noise and is therefore resetting your ENG 2 thrust lever every time you reset it. 

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Adrian West

Well I finally sorted out these problems. It dawned on me that even though I had calibrated the throttle axis in FSUIPC, I hadn't actually assigned the axis in the first place......duh!! That then sorted out the problem of throttle 2 still moving independently. However on my next attempted take off the problem of asymmetrical thrust was back, and I couldn't get MAN FLEX / SRS / RWY or A/THR. I had a look through my controllers in P3D, and sure enough, Windows had assigned axes to my USB gamepad (which I use only for moving around the cockpit and cabin and for panning). Once I had removed those axis assignments everything seems to work as it should. I am pleased to say that I have finally completed my first flight. :)

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