A320 Tips & Tricks

Original post by @rwflush:

From reading many posts, I thought maybe a place where we can share helpful tips for flying the MSFS A320 might be useful. Full disclosure, I’m not a RL A320 pilot, but I thought I’d share what works for me, and maybe it can help others, or more people can share their knowledge and tips as well. Just focusing on flying for now, not startup or ground services.

Start with the Flight plan – selecting a departure and arrival, checking flight log to make sure I have the cruising altitude I want, assigning SID/STAR and approach (you can change approach in flight, but not destination at the moment)

Set fuel load at weight and balance page, circles on the map can help you set reasonable fuel load

Once in the jet I…
• Make sure flaps are set to the first notch (1+F)
• Add about a degree of nose down trim (seems to work for me)
• CTRL+5 and check flight plan – under F-PLN select your departure airport click departure and select your runway. You’ll have to select a SID to enter the runway. This should populate the PERF page. You can also select a STAR and approach and transitions here. Even if they are there, I just reselect the ones I chose at the flight UI.
• Go to PERF page and click on the V speeds, you should see your departure runway in the top right. This should set up your speed tape for V1 Vr and V2.
• Scroll up in ATC window to see what altitude my initial clearance is and put that in for the altitude for the autopilot
• Turn on FD
• If desired you can set this knob to plan and step through your plan to see it all.
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• Your autobrakes should be set to Max
• Set your lights as required

• For takeoff here’s what I do:
o Set throttles to the FLX MCT detent – it’s not full power, it’s not supposed to be
o After 1500 ft AGL or when you notice the prompt on the PFD set throttles to the CL detent and leave them there until flaring to land
o Here you see the trim setting as well
o

• After you’re climbing away and have your gear up and flaps up (don’t over speed) and set CL detent, autothrottles should target 250 knots until after 10,000’ (where it targets about 285 – override with manual speed if you want faster, I usually set about 310-315 for climb until Mach 0.8)
• For autopilot altitude push the button for managed mode (you’ll see the little circle) and autopilot will climb or descend to that altitude
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• To override managed climb rate, click on the bottom of the V/S knob to the right and roll for climb or descent rate (inop. if you are at or close to your target altitude)
• If HDG shows dashes and a circle, then AP will fly your flight plan (NAV mode or LNAV mode essentially) Click top of button for managed, click bottom and manually set headings
• Same for speed – push to give control to AP, pull to set manual speed
• Click AP1 (or AP 2 doesn’t matter) to turn on autopilot – I fly entire route in AP using managed or manual control for navigation, altitudes, speeds, headings and rate of climb.
• RAD NAV page should show your selected approach and it will auto tune frequencies for you
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• When you’re well set up for an ILS, for example, the APPR button under the VS knob will engage the ILS, (double check your displays for correct frequency, course, and identifier)
• Before landing select autobraking LO or MED depending on how hard you want the plane to brake
• There is no Autoland yet so what I do is disengage the AP and the autothrottles at about 500’ or so and hand fly landing, reverse thrust until 80 knots or so. Tapping the brakes will disengage autobrakes

Other tips:
• If you allow yourself to get too slow, the plane will command maximum thrust and enunciate A.FLOOR. Break the AOA with forward pressure on the yoke and make sure you’re out of the stall and you’ll get regular autothrottle control back – I’d set them back to CL for normal autothrottle behavior
• I pretty much always land with full flaps and good approach speed If you have no idea aim for around 150-155 but it can be less when lightweight. With full flaps and proper speed you’ll be nose down enough to see runway over the glare shield

Hope this is helpful!

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@Pieter1982NL , thank you for bringing this out of the archive and pinning it for all the new members of our community. There was another post similar to this one that was written by a real A320 driver. That one could be helpful to pin also. I just can’t remember who the author was. I may search for it later and combine it with this write up to make a more comprehensive tutorial. I’d set up my camera and mics and create a video tutorial but I’m too lazy for that.

Very well expained tutorial! I do still experience issues upon flaring, the plane rolls and becomes unstable. (No winds) Is it just me?

This is great. Having issues with the Rio Di Janeiro landing challenge. With no thrust this plane glides well :rofl: so good to understand how to get her down.

Thanks for the awesome work! Do you know how to delete a waypoint in the approach using the mcdu? Everytime control I change the filed approach as atc instructs me, my a320 wants to fly back to a previous point before starting the approach, sometimes that point is 300nm backwards! Any help would be appreciated.

Yes, this is also my problem. Any tricks in deleting waypoints in the MCDU ? Also “Direct to” is mostly not correctly working. Any editing in the flighplan is always resulting in an aircraft behavior that is not expected…

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I think that real A320 pilot guy said in one of his tutorial videos that right now editing the waypoints doesn’t work like in real life, among other things in MCDU.

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In F-PLN Press the CLR button and then the button next to the WPT you want deleted. Not too sure it works with STAR WPTs though

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I can delete a waypoint in the fpl, just cannot in the approach. Thanks for the feedback!

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This is great. Very helpful. Thanks for pulling this together.
I assume the A/THR button should be activated prior to takeoff. Would be good to clarify in the steps.
For flight plans I usually select direct for departure and arrival. I’ll try setting the departure as you describe. As you come in on approach and are assigned a runway (or select one through ATC), I assume there’s a way to select an approach through the MCDU and activate it, but haven’t played with it enough yet

A/THR is automaticaly ON as you put the throttle on the CL position

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Click on the 4 Letter Code of the destination airport, there you are. Choose the approach type and Insert TMPY, then you activated the approach.

But you have to know the correct name of the approach, you need charts for that. Some are free in the internet or choose a subscription with navigraph, so you never get lost.

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Pieter that is the solution, but it don t work every time…

Sometimes the Waypoint is deleted. Sometimes a wrong Waypoint is deleted. And sometimes the whole flightplan get lost ! These are my experiences with deleting Waypoints.

Neverless I have to say I use Flightplans generated by Navigraph. Flight Simulator can read those files and I load them into the Simulator with LOAD button in the world map. This works and gives me more resonable Routings. But: It seems you can t edit these flightplans in the sim. Perhaps this problem is only, if you choose flightplans not generated by the sim. If I delete something or choose Direct To always something get wrong, mostly the flightplan disappeared and replaced by another generated route by the sim.

Greetings from Germany to Holland ( NL ? ) :slight_smile:

I ran out of fuel in the A320 at FL390 … found an airport about 40 miles away and made a powerless safe landing (I’m set on real mode ) … not sure that was really possible . the glide ratio was almost as good as some of the glider trainers I’ve taught in (so it seemed)

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Apparantly you can fly into space in this game, so it’s probably not that realistic😄

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My biggest issue is when setting an arrival and star in flight. Usually ATC will give me a runway approach about 60 miles from destination. Once I program the arrival and Star, autopilot will turn me around to the first waypoint in the STAR Which I have already passed. So then I have to manually select HDG and use the DIR command. Does anyone have a better way?

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If you have enter a STAR normally ;
The AP in on
The ILS is ON
When ILS or RNAV indicators are displayed on the PFD, you switch on the APPR button. That’s all.

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sames happens to me, specially with low speeds, do not know why yet.

Hello, the explanation is excellent, I am very new to the Airbus 320, with ILS I try to land and when I touch the runway, the plane accelerates and ends up taking off, help me? I don’t know what I need to deactivate. Thank you

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