Yellow Box Archive
(AERODATA 2.0.6) (FD Pro X 4.4.1) (Comply365 6.1.0) (IOS 15.1) (Intel Hub 21.09.0) (JEMS 3.0.12) (WSI 2021.1) (JETCRW 2.1.0) (HOTs 2.3.1) (Skypath 3.3.2) Garmin GLO, Bad Elf 2200/2300
The BlueBrief home page has a yellow box containing topics that I feel we all can use a reminder about on occasion.
The following is an archive of those past topics.
Remember, your FOM / FCOM always has priority.
Trivia Question - Oct 2021
Below your side stick there is a little cover.
What is the purpose for this cover and when would it be removed ?
Answer to Question:
Tech Ops can remove that little port cover to insert the SideStick Lockout Pin so flight control hydraulics can be applied and protect against movement of the elevator, ailerons and spoilers when Rudder Play checks are being done, as well as other flight control adjustments. I hope you found this little bit of trivia interesting.
Alternate Brake System Check
A320 Captains, remember for Pre-703 aircraft an Alternate Braking System check is required during your cockpit setup.
The accumulator must be able to provide 2000-2700 psi with full pedal deflection.
Please refer to FCOM I > Normal Procedures > Cockpit Preparation for more information.
"Managed Climbs & Descents"
As more and more "Climb Via", and "Descend Via" procedures are published, it's important to constantly consider and evaluate what vertical mode you are currently in. These terms refer to the the A32x series, but the basic idea applies to any fleet type.
It's usually best to let Managed Descent or Climb be the default mode, and choose another mode if needed.
Whenever you are on a course or direct to a fix, try to get back to managed as soon as possible.
Train your hand to PUSH MANAGED ALT when it becomes available.
After a runway heading departure, in HDG Mode, push Managed CLB as soon as you are cleared direct to a fix or have intercepted a course.
If you depart in NAV, your initial climb will be managed. If given a heading for traffic or weather, it will revert to Op CLB, as you know.
As soon as you get a direct or course has been intercepted, PUSH to get back to managed climb.
This is critical for SIDS such as in LAS that have intermediate level offs, and then continue up to the TOP ALTITUDE after crossing a fix.
By doing this all the time, you will train yourself to always think more about the vertical requirements.
This technique may save you from a violation or traffic separation on that dark stormy night, during high cockpit task loading.
A couple of reminders about sending your AeroData Take Off Conditions.
** Send it early, to catch any errors quickly.
Resend later to update fuel quant if needed.
** Verbalize the data you have entered with the other pilot prior to sending.
CPDLC LOGIN Reminder
Typical Notification problems and quick fixes.
Allow ADIRS to Complete Alignment,
and try again.
Several possible causes for this, but typically it's due to an incorrect tail # after a tail swap. Call dispatch, and ask them to refile with the correct tail number if they confirm that was the issue.
"A320/321 Trapped Fuel"
Recently a crew was issued a Center Fuel Tank MEL with 300 lbs of trapped fuel.
Remember trapped fuel must be accounted for in the AeroData - W&B, but is not usable in flight.
The trapped fuel amount and location must be transmitted to AeroData while sending the TAKEOFF CONDITIONS.
This total will be shown on your dispatch release as BALLAST FUEL.
The TRAPPED FUEL MEL page is located at:
AOC > PERF/W&B > MEL
A320/A321/NEO Oil Quantity (Min Required for Dispatch)
With our added A320 Series of aircraft, the minimum oil quantity for dispatch has changed a bit.
Remember if you have at least 17 Qts, you have all the A320/A321/NEO types covered.
If less than 17 Qts is indicated during your cockpit prep, please refer your your specific aircraft limitations.
For the A321 NEO, select the Engine Page, and pressing the FADAC Push Buttons momentarily to on to view quantity.
Also remember that this only refers to oil level during cockpit prep.
After engine start, quantity level throughout the flight will greatly vary.
Remember our "80 Knots, Power Set" call is primarily an early airspeed check.
The Pilot Monitoring is simply saying, "I see 80 knots, and by the way, your power is set as well"
The Pilot Flying replies with "Checked", if they see 80 knots, also. It is important to really look at the airspeed when you say "Checked".
There is no requirement for the PF to take their eyes off the centerline, and look at the thrust setting. The PM just did that for you.
"1000 Stable, On Tower"
Remember this call is based on Baro Altitude at 1000' above TDZE. On many coastal airports this is at 1020' Baro.
Please do not use 1000' Radar Altitude, or just repeating the Auto Callout.
AERODATA & Below the Line
Remember, as soon as your doors are closed, and exits armed, you can go "Below the Line" on the before start checklist, then turn on the Beacon. There is no requirement to wait for the
OK TO PUSH for this. When you do get the OK TO PUSH, call for pushback, and let the FO enter and confirm the the T/O data during the pushback. The Capt can follow along and verify the data as well.
As soon as it is all entered and verified, it's time to start Eng #1.
Avoid the temptation to always complete Aerodata Takeoff Data entries at the gate, unless it arrives early.
Please Don't delay the PUSH for the DATA Entry.
As aircraft are parked, even short term, battery voltage can trickle down. During the POWERUP CHECKLIST, if the aircraft has not been electrically supplied for 6 hours or more, you may find the battery voltage less than 25.5 Volts. In this case, you should apply external power for 20 minutes, with the battery push buttons in the AUTO position.
A helpful reminder, like setting the CHRONO, may help guide you toward rechecking the battery voltage later in your setup. The battery voltage check is completed with the batteries in the off position so the voltage can be checked without a charge or a load.
ATC Transponder 1 / 2
The new SOP is to select the transponder associated with the autopilot in use for that flight. So simply, #1 for the Capt leg, and #2 for the FO leg. This will align our SOP with Airbus for RVSM and to prepare for ETOPS.
RNP VIA Fixes
Remember that when selecting an RNP approach, you must select the approach and the appropriate via fix from the database, if applicable. Manually loading a portion of the procedure may result in an incorrect flight path (e.g. improper flying of an RF leg).
As our schedule is slow right now, keep in mind your level of proficiency can suffer slightly as well. That is normal, and expected. This is the reason we have flows, checklists and SOPs. Remember to take things slow, and double check whatever you do. Give your logbook and MELs a second look to be sure everything is correct.
New O2 Mask Rule !!
The long awaited O2 mask rule that was initially targeted for October 2019 is now in affect.
On the Airbus fleet, there is one item to be careful about due to the long length of the O2 mask door.
Be sure all suitcases, lunch coolers, bags of water, jumpseater baggage, etc is clear of the full length of the door.
Even if a suitcase has fallen over and trapped the rear corner of the door, it can be very difficult to open.
It's not SOP, but you might consider double checking the door during lav breaks to be sure it is not bocked.
Remember you may only have a few seconds to access the O2 mask
Recently there has been a little confusion on whether an offset is required on oceanic routes in Non RADAR. The SOP states 0,1, or 2? SLOP is required. The 0 (Zero) option is only for temporary needs to avoid wake turbulence, weather, etc. You should reinsert the SLOP in your routing as soon as possible.
If you have an MEL on your dispatched aircraft, be sure if it is a Dispatch Concur item it is added to, or removed from your release as needed.
Also, be sure you fully understand the MEL and how it will affect your flight.
Some MELs appear simple until you read it, and find there is more to it than you expected.
For Example: An A321 a Center Tank Transfer Valve can only be MEL'd closed if fuel in present in the tank. Double check that it is closed. If the valve failed open, you can get into a severe out of balance condition as well as a fuel over flow situation very quickly.
Jepp FDPro Fleet Enroute Data Setting
Have you seen the selector tool in your Jepp App settings for A320, A321, and ERJ-190 ?
Have you ever wondered what that really does ?
One of the main advantages for us is that we can once again see that we are within 1 hour from an "Adequate" airport. Remember the IRAT Tool?
This distance varies with aircraft type.
A320 - 420nm
A321 - 404nm
E190 - 375nm
By default, the dep and dest airports will have 1 hour circles, but you can add additional circles by adding the ETP airports in the alternate box just below the normal routing.
*** A reminder from Oceanic ATC ***
When going into oceanic airspace, after ATC advises:
"RADAR Service is Terminated, contact ARINC on Freq ____"
It is important to make contact on the new freq ASAP. Please do not wait until getting to the first reporting point to call unless you are within a few minutes of crossing. In that case it is OK to wait and complete the full position report then. Keep in mind during the time you delay the call, ATC has no clear method to contact you.
Aft Avionics Rack Test
First we turn off the system and test the circuitry, as we have been doing in the past.
1-2 (Beep, Beep)
Wait 10 seconds
Then we turn it back on, press test, the system shuts down, press cutout.
1-2 (Beep, Beep,) 3
1 ... Wait 10 seconds .... 1
So to review ...
The order of button pushing is 1,2 (10 Sec)
1 (10 Sec)1
WSI Satellite Map Settings for WATRS/Non-RADAR Airspace
In the summer months it can be a challenge to avoid adverse weather while overwater in areas where ground based weather radar is not available.
Here is a tip that can help a little.
In WSI under Map setttings or layers, RADAR & SATELLITE if you will select Color Enhanced IR (Global), that will display areas more clearly that you should avoid in Blue, Green, Yellow & Red. Very much like RADAR.
You may want to take a screen shot of the area before leaving FlyFi coverage.
An extra tip, if you want even more info...
Look at the color key to see the vertical estimated temperatures. You can then compare that with your flight log in that area to see a rough idea if you will top the weather.
A320 IR ON BAT Light
So, you are cruising along in flight, and out of the corner of your eye, you see the IR "ON BAT" light come on. Due to your keen system knowledge and also by your ability to read the wording on the light, you know at least one IR is being powered by the Bat. The question of the week is, how can you tell which one it is? 1,2, or 3? This assumes you have no other indications of a failure.
Answer: After 5 minutes, the IR that was battery powered will shut off to lessen battery drain, unless it was being used by the Captain. In normal conditions, IR 2 or 3 will shut off. If the Capt is using IR 3, then it will remain on, even after 5 minutes.
For extra Credit: Why does a loud horn come on when an IR is on BAT?
Answer: The horn comes on because not only is the IR "ON BAT", but it also has lost power to the cooling fan. The horn is a reminder to shut off the IR until normal power is regained.
Remember in non-radar areas such as the WATRS airspace, we are required to report any fix that defines our route. We tend to rely on solid and open triangles, as well as ball notes too much, while forgetting the basic rules. Those items apply primarily when you are cleared on an airway.
If your clearance is direct to a fix in non-radar, then that point is compulsory, regardless of the color of the triangle or what the ball note says. When determining your reporting points, it is critical to look at your clearance and filed routing, not just the course line in the Jepp Map.
SFO FMS Bridge Visual 28R
As a reminder, the KSFO FMS Bridge Visual approach is now coded as RNV28R-V .
V for Visual. It is no longer listed as GPS-28R
AREQ Helpful Hint
When sending an AREQ FLTSUM request via email, remember you can request multiple flight numbers at once.
Just separate the flight numbers with commas, with no spaces.
MyID Travel Link
The link below is a good URL to myIDTravel that will auto populate JetBlue as the airline if your browser will not memorize it. I suggest saving this link to your cell phone and iPad. Thanks to Capt. Keith McClanahan, Jumpseat Committee Chairman, for providing this helpful information.
Conditions of Issue - Remember when cutting your new Medical Certificate, to include the "Conditions of Issue" section.
Attention A320/321 First Officers
Remember during your after landing flow, the TURB switch on the new RADAR Panel should not be turned off. Only turn off the top 3 selectors.
Entering Fit For Duty PIN
Just a reminder to Captains, when you send your ACARS FFD form, you are also signing the dispatch release.
The Captain affirms the following with an ACARS electronic signature:
-- The flight can be conducted safely.
-- Meets pilot route qualifications of
14 CFR Part 121.697(a)(4)
-- The aircraft is in airworthy condition.
-- Fitness for duty as per 14 CFR 117.5(d)
Calculating Holdover Time with Light Freezing Rain can be confusing.
To determine Holdover time, you must know the precip Condition & Intensity.
Well, "Light Freezing Rain" sounds like it covers both, right? Not Exactly.
This is actually a CONDITION that our Ops Specs allow us to depart with, but will lead you to a Holdover Range.
With Light Freezing Rain, you determine the intensity, based on the environment.
If there is no wind and you will not be taxiing behind an A380 during a 7PM international push, and you didn't notice much ice on the aircraft when you arrived at the airport, you might go with a longer Holdover Time on the higher end of the range.
On the other hand, if you see 2 A380s de-icing before you, or it's windy, or there was quite a bit of accumulation on the aircraft, you might consider a shorter Holdover time.
Bottom line, just because the ATIS is reporting, LIGHT FREEZING RAIN, do not always use the longer Holdover Time, since you read the term "Light" in the weather report.
WATRS No Fly Zones
Recently with adverse weather right in the middle of our busy WATRS airspace and limited coverage from SJU Center, ATC has attempted to assign airways that tracked thru our TALSU No Fly Zone. Anytime you are assigned an airway higher than L459, pay extra attention to the track.
A quick check is to search for TALSU, using the search tool in JeppFD Pro, and do not fly east of that intersection.
“Why don’t we do the Accumulator Brake Check during the Captain cockpit setup on aircraft 703 and up?”
During a recent A320 Recurrent Line Check, the crew asked me this question, and I thought it might be a good topic to cover here on BlueBrief.
Prior to aircraft 703, braking was controlled by a series of mechanical shuttle valves and electrical controlled valves. The valves would move as needed, but some were unmonitored. If a valve was in the wrong position, you may or may not get an ECAM message depending on the failure. This is the reason we do the Accumulator brake check during setup, as well as the “Brake Check”, just before taxi. You may not have any other indication that there has been a failure.
Beginning with tail 703, there were several changes to the brake system. The primary addition was the single ABCU or Alternate Braking Control Unit. This computer monitors all normal and alternate brake components. If a failure is sensed, an ECAM message will be generated. For this reason, the Accumulator Brake check during the setup is not required.
For standardization, we still are required to do the “Brake Check …. Pressure Zero” test just before taxi to confirm brake transfer from Yellow to Green pressure on all 320/321 aircraft.
Method 1 vs Method 2
When you see Method 2 listed in the upper right corner of your dispatch release, do you really understand what that means? Click here for a Brief Explanation You can also refer to the FOM for more details.
Alternate Fuel MCDU Entries in A320
Remember during your DIAFRIPS setup, the new SOP is to enter the ALT FUEL shown on the release, if the FMS calculated burn shown on the INIT B page is less.
ie; if the calculated Alternate fuel burn is indicated at 1.7, but the release shows 2.3, you should enter 2.3. The R1A software now allows this. Notice it is now in Blue rather than green, so you can edit the field.
Northeast Weather on HF
Remember if you have departed the Caribbean, and you are out of ACARS coverage, you can get a current weather report for many of the NE airports on HF Freq 6604. Remember to report back on the Freq, and get another SELCAL Check.
I was asked the other day, as I passed thru ALBA's Grocery Store, what the "Q" in QNH stands for.
The "Q" goes back to the Morse Code days in the 1930s.
Q Codes were a type of shorthand.
The Morse Code operator would request the
local airport Sea Level pressure, by just sending QNH.
The reply would be "JFK QNH 2992", or whatever it was.
There are 100s of Morse Q Codes.
QNH, QNE & QFE were all pressure requests.
The Q isn't really that important, but
understanding Transition Level and Transition Altitude
Transition Altitudes -- Climbing (A Points up)
Transition LeVel -- Descending (V Points Down)
So here is a question to ponder:
At MBPV, the Transition Altitude is 6000'.
If you are cleared to climb to 6000', when level at 6000',
should you be at 29.92
or at QNH (Sea Level Pressure)???
In the US and Canada the Transition Altitude
is fixed at 18,000'.
This is known as the
Standard Pressure Region which operates
on a slightly different set of rules.
A bit of trivia --- On the JFK CAMRN arrival,
whether you cross HOGGS at FL180 or FL190
is based on the altimeter setting at ACY, not JFK.
New A320/321 RADAR Panel Reminder
Please remember on your after landing flow to turn off the RADAR in the proper manner.
The different look of the panel makes it easy to omit during your after landing flow.
Climb & Descend VIA
Climb & Descend "VIA" procedures are in
use now more than ever.
It is critical on the A320 that you be in the
habit of using MANAGED Climb or Descents
If you are given a heading, then cleared
to a FIX, return to managed profile after
going direct or intercepting a course.
If you are on a Descend VIA arrival, the given
a heading for separation, the A320 will revert to
a V/S descent. When cleared back on course,
return to Managed ASAP.
Also remember to readback the clearance as:
"Descending Via the xxxx Arrival"
"Climing Via the xxxx Departure"
Why do I do that? What does it do?
Activating the Approach Phase
Why do we do it?
On the A320, knowing your Phase of Flight is very important.
There are 8 phases: Preflight –---- This is when you do your DIAFRIPS
Takeoff ------ Take off Thrust Set to Acceleration Alt
Climb ------ Acceleration Alt to Cruise Alt (CLB)
Cruise ------ At Cruise Alt to Starting the (DES) within 200 nm.
Descent ------ Staring DES within 200 NM to APP Phase.
Approach –---- Crossing a Magenta Pseudo WP (D) or Manually Activating.
Go Around –-- Thrust Levers moved to TOGA.
Done ---- 30 Seconds after the last engine shutdown.
Each phase triggers certain things to happen, and more important it arms the NEXT phase in some cases. A good example of this is that if you never get to your Cruise Altitude that is displayed on the PROG Page, you cannot naturally move to the DESCENT Phase, nor will you see a “Top of Descent” indication. We move thru most of the phases automatically with little effort on our part.
The Approach Phase is a little different. The FMS creates a Pseudo Waypoint that it uses to enter the Approach Phase. If you cross it below 7200’ AGL in managed lateral control, you will switch to the Approach Phase. ( Pseudo Waypoints might be a good topic for another day.) In a perfect world, if you are doing a complete managed approach that might work. If you are getting vectors, you may not pass that point until very late in the Approach. To solve that problem and allow you to use managed speed if you wish, the FMS has a tool to manually “Activate the APPROACH PHASE”. That’s really all there is to say about that.
What does it do?
The Approach Phase drives the managed speed down toward Vapp according to your flap setting, allows predictions to be displayed, displays the vertical deviation scale during a Precision Like Approach, and arms the Go-Around course. You can see this on your ND. The missed approach course will display in blue (Armed).
The real test to see if you understand this is if you can look at your PFD/ND and know what phase you are in, and what is happening.
Entering A320 T/O Shift Data
Well, we enter the T/O Shift per SOP, as indicated by the OPS output or soon to be Aerodata output.
The FMS position updates at takeoff when we set TOGA or FLEX if a FLEX temp has been inserted.
In our aircraft, it first looks for a valid GPS Position. If it sees one, the FMS uses that for the update. If no valid GPS position is available, it will use the departure runway threshold position, adjusted further down the runway according to the T/O SHIFT you entered, as in an intersection departure.
So as you can see, most of the time the T/O SHIFT that you entered, does nothing.
You can now just change it via your iPad with the PASSWORD RESET
link provided using any internet connection. Then, change it on your other mobile devices.
You might consider doing this on your own timeline, maybe the first of every other month.
Comply365, will then prompt you for your user name and PW during the next time you use it online.
It is important to understand, that your iPad does not have a password., only a screen unlock PASSCODE. The installed Apps each have their own Password requirements.
Your email App will require the Password to be changed as well.
SETTINGS > MAIL > EXCHANGE > ACCOUNT
Displaying your CrewTrac Schedule on an iPad
Some of our pilots are still questioning how they can view their current or changed pairing data on thier iPad to be sure they are getting the legal rest or not exceeding duty or flt time limitations.
To view your current schedule in CrewTrac on your iPad
you will need to use a different selection under OPTIONS
than you did on the laptop.
Under OPTIONS, select SCHEDULE DETAIL to see a quick view of your current schedule.
If you need more information including HOTEL and Limo data, make note of the pairing number and pairing date.
GO back to OPTIONS and select PAIRING PRINT.
Enter the full Pairing number and date (MM/DD/YY)
Then take a screen shot of your schedule by pressing the HOME and PWR button together. Scroll down a little if needed and take another screen shot. You can do this on many Smart Phones as well.
Your iPad should be able to provide all the needed data, but at times you will have to use other options.
RNAV Visual Apps
Disclaimer: The FCOM, FOM and ABG always has priority over BlueBrief
Remember when doing RNAV / FMS Coded visual approaches you need to answer a few questions before you start.
Is my type aircraft approved for this visual?
Do I have the correct Approach Chart out?
How is the App coded in the box?
What are the minimums?
What is the missed approach altitude?
When cleared, how do I arm it?
When do I disconnect the AP?
Answers will come from a variety of sources.
The ABG is a good place to start, but you will have to dig
a little deeper to resolve the other questions. The A320 also has a very nice guide in the QRH page A25.
Example ... LGA RNAV Visual 31
The A320 is Approved for the LGA RNAV Visual 31 ..... The E190 is if both pilots have completed training.
Be sure you have the proper chart. (RNAV Visual RWY 31, 19-0-2)
Coded as GPS 31 (Leave in PACHU)
The A320 QRH page A25 gives good guidance on minimums and the missed approach altitude.
Minimums are 500' above TDZE. (900' - A321) The chart indicated TDZE is '22, so the minimum is 522' or 922'.
No published MAP is listed, so the Missed Alt is 1500' AFE rounded up. (1600', Set at Final APP)
On initial contact with LGA Approach, request the RNAV Visual 31. You will eventually be cleared to 3000', direct PACHU, "Cleared RNAV Visual 31"
Proceede direct PACHU, and press APP to arm it.
Speed and Config over DIALS is critical.
Crossing DIALS at 180K and FLAPS 2 works good
Then Gear Down at DIALS, Push Speed
Flaps 3, Flaps Full, etc.
Remember the (500' A320), (900' A321) autopilot limitation.
Manually disconnect the Autopilot no less than TDZE + 500' / 900'.
This will occur as you are turning final.
"AP, FD OFF, Bird On"
If you wait until it automatically disconnects you will be at 400' / 800' AFE, with a resulting red ECAM message.
If set up and briefed properly, this is a fun approach to do.
Remember all your normal calls, and don't forget to ACTIVATE THE APPROACH PHASE as usual.
If Offered a CDR ... (Coded Departure Route)
1. Locate CDR on Release.
2. Can you Depart with the Min T/O Fuel?
3. Load the CDR Routing, then Ok to depart.
4. Above 10,000, notify dispatch of the new CDR Routing.
There is no requirement to contact dispatch prior to departure.
Keep in mind MOT times listed, do not consider CDRs.
Accepting a CDR before you are airborne may create a duty time issue if you are close to the limit.
If you do many Island / Int'l trips, and haven't already done so, you may want to consider applying for Global Entry. The cost is $100 for 5 years
Click link below to apply:
SFO FMS Bridge Visual
Review the SFO ABG for the proper setup and procedure.
Mins .......... A320 = 513' A321 = 913'
Be aware of the ABG note to ARM the Approach and set 1500' in the FCU when cleared.
In Addition to this:
Use Managed Descent to get down to at least 2000', on whatever arrival you are on, at which point the Approach will capture just prior to SAMUL.
Much like an RNAV App, that is the minimum altitude you need to get to, before the Approach will capture.
Using only the APP Mode, will not capture the vertical path prior to SAMUL.
By the Numbers: (A320)
Cleared for the APP - Push APP - Set 1500'
Look for APP NAV in FMA
Top of descent - Press ALT to manage descent
Look for DES in FMA
Speed Brake may be needed
Expect a short level off at 2000'
Watch for FINAL APP in FMA
Set 3000' Missed App Altitude
Approach Captures, Descent Continues, etc.
(Coded as RNV28R-V)
Remember, under normal conditions, with the autopilot on, the Pilot Flying (PF) enters the new assigned altitude, points to the PFD display and calls.
After that, the Pilot Monitoring (PM) points and confirms.
This should be a true challenge and response, with a slight delay between the PF and PM calls. The PM should avoid the temptation to just repeat what the PF said, but rather reply with what they believe the new altitude should be.
The easy way to remember this is: whoever is responsible for guidance panel entries, sets it in, calls and points, then the other pilot responds.
Also, remember the "16,000 for 17,000" call and "10,000" call is made by the Pilot Flying. The mode of the autopilot is not a factor in these two calls. It is always the Pilot Flying in normal conditions.
The "10,000" call does not require a PM response.
The altitude awareness SOP can be found in chapter 3.4 in both E190 and A320 FCOMS.