Exclusive use of spoilers for roll control on A320 on final approach

Philippe Leybaert
  • Exclusive use of spoilers for roll control on A320 on final approach Philippe Leybaert

    As a private pilot I have zero knowledge about how big jets are being flown so I was a little surprised to see that smaller Airbuses (A32x) only use spoilers for roll control on final approach.

    During the initial phase of the approach ailerons are being used but at a certain point they stay put in the neutral position and roll is controlled by the spoilers.

    When I mentioned this to the pilot when exiting the aircraft he was a little annoyed by the question and he said I must have seen it wrong. I've seen this numerous times since then so I'm pretty sure I wasn't mistaken.

    Is this actually how the spoilers are used on approach, and if so, why?

  • This HD video of an A320 landing in Chicago shows that the ailerons move all the time during the approach, although the excitations are very limited from the moment the final flaps are selected. It seems there is some kind of limiting functions activated.

    Airbus has various versions of the aileron and spoiler control system on the A320 family. It is important to note that all these control surfaces are used together to control roll, yaw and alleviate gust loading on the wing. On the short field kit, the ailerons will move upwards on both sides to assist in steeper descent.

    It is very common to use spoilers for augmented roll control during low speeds, most big jets use it. It is sometimes observed that spoilers deploy partially during takeoff under strong crosswind conditions. Here is an example of a B767 that has spoilers deflected during most of the take-off roll.

Related questions and answers
  • As a private pilot I have zero knowledge about how big jets are being flown so I was a little surprised to see that smaller Airbuses (A32x) only use spoilers for roll control on final approach. During the initial phase of the approach ailerons are being used but at a certain point they stay put in the neutral position and roll is controlled by the spoilers. When I mentioned this to the pilot when exiting the aircraft he was a little annoyed by the question and he said I must have seen it wrong. I've seen this numerous times since then so I'm pretty sure I wasn't mistaken. Is this actually

  • with the runway on final and get a feeling for how the winds were blowing since the ATIS reported them as being variable in direction. That said, what I ended up doing was making a wide base, except... "report a 3 mile base" meant "report a 3 mile final and fly a straight in approach." I'm not sure if he was on the frequency when it happened or if the tower controller called him after the fact...Here's the scenario: I was a student pilot on inbound for landing at my home airport on my final solo cross country flight I needed before doing a checkride. At roughly 8 miles out to the north west

  • , the procedure turn or hold-in-lieu-of-PT is not permitted when the symbol “No PT” is depicted on the initial segment being used, when a RADAR VECTOR to the final approach course is provided, or when... when it is not required by the procedure, but must inform air traffic control and receive clearance to do so. If an instrument plate contains errors, am I still required to comply with them? ...This is a snippet from the KESC RNAV 36 approach. It's a real procedure, I didn't photoshop it except to add highlighting. Let's say I was in the position that the blue aircraft is in (roughly 10

  • Non-precision instrument approaches generally have altitude restrictions which get lower when you get closer to the airport. I always figured these restrictions were AMSL using the current altimeter... actually are (or, as most pilots prefer to think, you're lower than what your altimeter reads) Have a look at this VOR approach into Newark Most altitude restrictions are a minimum level, so you're free to fly higher if it's a particularly cold day. But have a look at LOCKI intersection, the final approach fix. That's at 1500 ft, not at-or-above. At -40, this will put you around 1100 ft above

  • I recently had the opportunity to fly a PAR approach into Büchel Airbase in Germany. It was a ton of fun and I'll definitely try it again when I get the chance. However, as we were getting set up... heading. He didn't complain, but I'm still not sure if that's what he wanted. A bit later I got a similar call (callsign) request QNE However, I was unfamiliar with that Q-code (as a private pilot in Europe you pretty much need to know QNH, QFE, QDM and QTE) and only later found out it means "pressure altitude". Q-codes suck. Anyway I said "Say again" and he came back and asked how many were

  • These days, when reading news about missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200, I keep coming across a scenario where pilot might have deliberately turned off the transponder which is used for the communication of flight with ATC. When there is a possibility that any bad thing can happen when pilot turn off transponder, why would one give the ability of turning off the transponder to a pilot when he/she usually depends on instructions from ATC or flight control. Is there anyway that ATC can turn on transponder back from ground?

  • that this is a circling approach so we will be operating below the MDA visually at some point on final anyway. If not, then it would be nearly impossible to land straight-in while flying most jets, and yet I have never seen anyone do a 360 or a similar maneuver while on final here (and who would want to do that in the valley anyway??). Example 2 - KTEB Clearance: N1234, Cleared for the ILS...If it were a beautiful sunny VFR day and you were cleared for a circling approach, can you begin the circle prior to the final approach fix/circling DH in order to maneuver visually to land? Here

  • This question is about light, tricycle, single engine aircraft. I have made it a habit to raise the flaps right after touchdown (when the nosewheel is on the ground). My instructor used to do... effect, reducing the risk of loss of directional control after landing (less important) it's part of the after landing checklist, so when it's done, it's done However, I was recently checked out... turned off the runway". He couldn't provide a good reason though, so when I told him about the things I listed above he simple mumbled something about keeping my attention on the runway instead

  • I once had a traffic controller give me a hard time about how I requested IFR clearance once in the air. I had previously filed an IFR flight plan, and took off from my untowered home airport. On approach control's frequency, I said: Tampa Approach, Cirrus 123AB, 5 miles southeast of Tampa Exec at 1000 feet, IFR to Ft. Lauderdale Exec The approach controller responded, annoyed, saying something like "Well do you have an IFR flight plan or are you reporting IFR??" I had always used that phraseology because it seems the least wordy way to get the info across, which can be helpful when

  • in the cockpit. Since the cockpit door is locked for security, how can he/she volunteer their services and enter the cockpit to try to help? In these possibly final moments, it's conceivable that someone... each other and the plane continued its fall as a result of its stall. The captain was out of the cockpit at the start of the stall. He returned afterwards (I don't recall exactly when), spent some critical time surveying the control panel, but didn't apprehend the problem in time. I am dejected to imagine that a passenger might've straightaway discerned the discrepancy between their yoke

Data information