British Airways Airbus A320 Pilots' Autothrust Survey 912225

The Airbus A320 has an autothrust system which is unique among transport aircraft in not having feedback movement provided to the pilots' thrust levers. There has been some controversy in the airline world over the operational aspects of this system. As British Airways was one of the earliest operators of the type, a survey was conducted to determine the views of line pilots as to the advantages and disadvantages of the system compared with conventional moving levers. This paper contains the results of that survey. It was concluded that the A320 design provides advantages in respect to engagement and selection of rated power settings, and that movement provides better disengagement and information on system function. BA concludes that from a Flight Operations perspective a future system should consider providing movement between the idle and climb power positions, whilst retaining the A320 thrust setting and engagement “detents” technique.


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