Post Patch - How do you land the A320neo?

My manual landings are bouncy. I think it has to do with the timing and wrong pressure on the stick and perhaps not using the stick properly ( not enough pressure, holding too long, etc).

First I read somewhere that when doing the Autoland with the AP/FD on, the plane will align, flare and retard (if A/THR ON) the bus automatically. I noticed my autoland landings work well without me needing to flare, although I retard the throttle when its called out. I read somewhere though that the throttle will be automatically at IDLE anyway ( even though the physical throttle is a the CLB detent), and because it is in IDLE, the speedbrakes will automatically engage, reducing bounce possibility. If you don’t retard however, IRL, you can’t engage the reverse thrusters I think. In the game, reverse thrust is a different keybind so it might work without retard.

There is this information as well. “Pitch alternate law degrades to pitch direct law when the landing gear is extended to provide feel for flare and landing, since there is no flare mode when pitch normal law is lost.” So I think this means that the pilot has full manual control (no computer modulation) of the control surfaces using the stick.

Some sources also say to retard the plane as you flare. In this case, the plane will follow normal aerodynamic forces and will naturally pitch down because of thrust reduction. I think in this case, you need to initiate the flare before retard and may have to exert more aft pressure (non monotonic pressure) to counter the pitch down when the throttle is pulled to idle.

Then there is the Normal law Flare Mode in manual landing. “Transition to flare mode occurs at 50’ RA during landing. System memorizes pitch attitude at 50’ and begins to progressively reduce pitch, forcing pilot to flare the aircraft.”

It’s all a bit confusing.

Does autoland really perform an automatic flare?
Which type of flare mode occurs in manual landing?
What law is in effect when and when does the transition happen?
What is the proper sequence of pilot action that need to happen ?
How much pressure on the stick to flare and do I hold or release and when do I release?
Is the aft pressure on the stick monotonic?
Do you need FD to be active in manual landing? What other settings need to be active?
Does engaging the FD and LS mode have any effect? I thought they just modified the PFD to show some flying guidance (FD) and display the localizer/glideslope indicators.
What should be displayed on the PFD and when?
Do the speedbrakes engage automatically when the landing gear touches down? I wonder if the bounce is related to poor deceleration on touch down.
Will a delay in activating reverse thrusters cause the bounce?

So approaching with an airspeed of 145 knots and vertical speed of around -700 fpm to perform manual landing with autothrust on and autopilot off, and full flaps and speedbrakes at full upward position (I think that is armed), what is the proper sequence to land? If performed correctly, what vertical speed should be shown as an effect of the flare?



Excellent questions and I am hopeful that we will see some detailed answers as I was also wondering about this too.

First of all, there are two questions here: 1) how does the real A320 behave, and 2) how does the A320 in MSFS behave, because those are not the same thing. I’m not sure how well the FBW is implemented in MSFS, because all I can compare it to are the FF A320 and Toliss A319 in XPlane; I strongly suspect the MSFS implementation is not very accurate though.

Unless your plane is broken in some way, then you will be in Normal Law, so you can ignore all the stuff about degrading to Direct Law, which only applies if you were in Alternate Law (basically a back-up mode in case certain things break) in the first place.
It is my understanding (but again, I’m not an A320 pilot) that indeed in Flare Mode (which the plane automatically enters if you get close to the ground on approach) it will gently pitch the nose down, so you as a pilot can more accurately control the flare with back-pressure on the stick.

To answer some of your other questions:

Spoilers will only deploy automatically if they are armed: the lever should be fully forward and then pulled up. You should also see GND SPOILER ARMED on the ECAM. Not sure if the default A320 does this, I’m pretty sure the mod does.
If you are bouncing then you are touching down too hard, and possibly with too much airspeed as well. Reverse thrust is not there to prevent bouncing.
AFAIK recommended procedure is to switch off the FD when you are flying manually, as you shouldn’t just be blindly following that guidance.

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I have done about five landings in this aircraft and have found it best to disconnect the autopilot at minimums followed by auto throttle, flaring at the right time and pulling back throttle at retard, make sure spoilers are armed as this does work, just pull the lever up a tad so that the grey space is showing, be careful not to apply spoilers unless required to slow down. I don’t think the different Flight law modes are fully simulated as yet if at all. Once down engage reversers by pressing and holding F2 to slow down to breaking speed, The auto breaks will only do this if you are still in auto throttle. Then F1 for idle thrust. Backspace on numeric keypad toggles Spoilers shut or open. Fly to the ground try not to stall land it, (have tried this) you will come down with a thud. Also watch your thrust settings as you disengage auto throttle. I have tried letting the autopilot do it and it does work make sure both frequencies are set to the correct frequencies for ILS. Copenhagen is the best.

I thought Autothrottle gets disengaged when you pull the throttle all the way back on retard callout. If this is true, then pull the throttle all the way back after touch down, not before? Otherwise, speed brakes don’t engage?

Another source:
"Ground spoilers automatically extend when armed:

  • both thrust levers at forward idle and both MLG touch down (Flight /
    Ground transition),"

This seems to indicate, retard before touch down. A lot of things happen quickly and so maybe i am just not noticing that ATHR is still active after touchdown despite retard prior to touch down.

What airspeed do you recommend. I am coming from an ILS setup. Let the computer stabilize the flight for approach and then switch to manual by turning AP off. I just didn’t want to bother with the pre landing steps cause I was concerned about the actual touch down and having to make multiple attempts. It seems to always set me up for a speed of 145 knotts and that is displayed on the PERF page of the MCDU APPR page. Lower speeds could put you into activation of A Floor protection.

  1. That’s because pitch response/authority suddenly changes below 50ft on the MSFS A320.
    This luckily doesn’t happen in the real A320.

  2. Thrust will only decrease to idle during an autoland in the real A320.
    AFAIK the MSFS doesn’t do that.
    The speedbrakes will not extend if the thrust levers are not at idle.

  3. Forget this part. That applies only in the failure case.

  4. You reduce the thrust levers to idle (retard) on all aircraft during or prior to the flare since you want to reduce your speed as fast as possible.

  5. Correct, but completely unnecessary information. IRL we learned to forget about the flare mode. Simply land the A320 like every other aircraft. Thinking about the flare mode only distracts from flying.

  6. Yes

  7. There’s only one flare mode. The one you have described.

  8. You are flying in normal law and the flare mode kicks in at 50ft, but again, that’s useless information.

  9. Flare and thrust reduction to idle depend a lot on the actual speed, rate of descend etc. Usually you start the flare a bit before thrust reduction, but there are different ways to land the A320.
    Some pilots start the flare at 30ft, some at 10ft.
    Training is the key, but again, with the change in pitch response it presently doesn’t make much sense.

  10. No. None

  11. No

  12. Depends if you do an autoland or manual landing, FD on or off.

  13. Only if the have been armed (MSFS A320 only). Just pull the lever up (not aft) so that the white collar is visible.

  14. No


Haven’t managed to get this working. My GND Spoilers are always armed but never deploy on touchdown even with REV THR

Î thought that too until someone told me that they also automatically retract (unlike the X-Plane 737’s) once you’ve slowed down. If you have a free hand to hit End directly after touchdown, you’ll see them deployed. (I do, at least, but with the current state of the game, I’m not promising anything. :wink: )

It seems the better way would be to retard (thrust reduction) before 50 feet and then flare. The plane follows aerodynamics and pitches down and then hopefully you just need to exert a monotonic aft pressure. Basically there is only one change that you need to react to. Plus you have more time to make changes to your vertical speed and approach speed .

I am assuming that the active pitch down effect ( as opposed to the aerodynamic pitch down) is a function available in autothrottle mode only.

If you flare and then retard, the change in pitch response will necessitate a change in stick aft pressure after 50 feet and then again after retard to compensate. If you only do the flare after 50 feet, then you still have a pitch down effect after retard to complicate things.

I’m just doing a few test approaches and report back ASAP.

Pitch down due to aerodynamic forces doesn’t happen in normal law. That basically the reason why there’s the flare law.

Initial testing shows that the FMC calculated 145kts for 134000lbs seems to be correct.

The pitch attitude with 145kts is +2° pitch which matches nicely with RW values.

Thrust reduction at 50ft seems to be a bit too early and might lead to an increased sink rate and a bounce.

When you are talking about thrust reduction, you are talking about retard right ( when I pull the throttle all the way back) ? In autothrottle mode, there is really no thrust control by the pilot except to turn it off by pulling all the way back the throttle slider.

If the thrust levers pulled back turns off the autothrottle, then I think some manual thrust control is available but moving the thrust levers manually will increase or decrease airspeed before it affects vertical speed. But that is an added complication again.

So I am assuming also that the Normal and Flare Law are only active with autothrottle on. With AP off, and autothrottle off, is the plane no longer fly by wire and therefore must follow aeorodynamic forces and the pilot has full control of flight surfaces with a direct relationship with the stick?


Just did 3 approaches and noticed another bug. If I disengage the AP the FMA incorrectly changes from (green) GS to (green) CLB and armed (blue) GS.
You have to push APP again and re-capture the glideslope.

Suggest to rapidly move the throttle to idle between 40-50ft.

Unfortunately the very noticeable pitch down will start approximately at the same time.
It’s almost unnoticeable IRL and feels much more natural.

As soon as you start reducing the thrust try to increase the approach attitude by ~1°.
This requires considerable aft stick input due to the too strong nose down moment.

If the autobrakes have been set to low, and the spoilers have been armed, the A320 will touchdown without bouncing and nicely decelerate.

edit: Important general note for approaches in faster and heavier aircraft like the A320.

Below ~200ft DON’T chase the glideslope or PAPI.

The rate of descend should be ~700ft/min.

If you have ~+2° pitch, ~700ft/min ROD, don’t change the pitch attitude below ~200ft.

Simply keep it and concentrate on the flare. 1-2deg increase in pitch attitude at ~30ft in the MSFS A320.

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This is a good one to raise. I totally missed this as will a lot of people.

So retard before flare with a strong aft pressure?

So I shouldn’t set the approach using the ILS. I was doing this as a shortcut cause I only was interested in the touchdown part. I disengage the AP after ILS sets up the approach. Then I try to land manually. I think the pitch attitude is autotrimmed up to 50 feet . This means also don’t touch the stick until flare?

Not sure if I understand you. Retard refers to the throttle, not the side/joystick.

How strong the aft pressure should be depends e.g. on the joystick setup.

Just enough pressure so that the nose comes up 1-2deg.

Due to the strong nose down moment it’s impossible (at least for me) to increase the pitch attitude slow and smooth as IRL.

In the MSFS A320 I really have to work to achieve an approximate 1deg pitch increase while fighting the pitch down moment.

I strongly suggest you use the ILS. It provides perfect lateral and vertical guidance.
Just make sure that the FMA always indicates GS and LOC in green.

Another bug is that if you turn the FD off, the FMA modes remain on, which doesn’t make any sense.

I mean pull the throttle slider back all the way (turning off the autothrottle), then follow later with pulling the stick aft to flare.

I like the ILS too but I want to see if I could do the same thing manually. The CLB mode bug with an ILS setup for manual landing means it would not be possible to setup manual landing this way as a shortcut.

So the steps so far if I understand correctly.

Manual Landing:

  1. Hold the proper VS and airspeed until the 50 feet mark. ( Should be auto trimmed and in normal law with ATHR enabled and there should be no stick input necessary).
  2. Retard by pulling the throttle slider all the way back (ATHR disables) after 50 feet and immediately pull on the stick. (Does ATHR off put me in direct law?)
  3. Maintain stick aft pressure to hold a 1-2 degree pitch up by about 30 feet. The pressure is held all the way to touch down.
  4. Release stick to neutral and engage reverse thrusters. Speed brake will automatically deploy.

You said the pitch attitude with 145kts is +2° pitch which matches nicely with RW values. So I basically just need to hold the pitch.

A. correct

B. Don’t understand. When flying the ILS without AP, you are flying manually.

  1. You can (and should) engage the thrust reversers (thrusters are usually rocket engines on space ships), but they have nothing to do with the spoiler extension (on the MSFS A320).
    The spoilers extend if the thrust levers are at idle and they have been armed.

As a shortcut to setting up approach airspeed and VS, I load an ILS flight plan. I let the AP setup the approach airspeed and VS. Then I turn the AP off and try to land the plane myself. I wanted to learn what the proper sequence of pilot action is necessary to duplicate the AP action when it performs an Autoland.

My system takes a long time to load.

Sounds great :slight_smile:

Especially due to the restricted visuals of a desktop sim I encourage you to have the ILS tuned and the LD button pushed.

Following the FD bars on the ILS is good initial training.

The next step would be to fly the ILS approach with the FD turned off, that’s a ‘raw data’ approach.
Requires constant scanning of speed, v/s and heading.
Not easy, but satisfying if it works out nicely.