Soon the route end comes into sight on the MAP display. The English Channel crossing lies ahead between SOVAT and SANDY intersections.
At the MCDU derived top of descent I reach up to the FCU and dial in 11,000′ and the aircraft responds by pitching over and reducing thrust to maintain the selected 250 knot airspeed in the descent.
Listening to the London City ATIS I set the landing parameters into the MCDU PERF page: altimeter, temperature, winds and decision height.
The arrival has us coming in from SOVAT and through the transitions to ALKIN from which we will proceed direct to the airport for the approach.
Entering the terminal area I slow further to 200 knots at 4,000′ and am grateful for the help of the autopilot as I set up the approach.
Using the RAD/NAV page on the MCDU I manually enter the ILS frequency, inbound course, and NDB for the ILS/DME/NDB RWY10 at London City.
One of the more unique and difficult approaches in the world, the approach to London City features an interesting NDB tear-drop course reversal to join the localizer and the glide-path is a terrifying 5.5 degrees, nearly double the standard ILS approach angle. This is one approach where aircraft configuration and descent management is the key to success.
Also a consideration is the short runway length: a mere 4,947′. Multiple links in the “chain of events” leading to an accident at London City are always in place, indeed they are permanent fixtures which must be considered carefully.
After crossing the final waypoint on the arrival (ALKIN) I head direct to the LCY NDB to shoot the full approach. I set my speed to 150 knots and have Flaps 2 selected. Crossing the NDB I track outbound on the 308 degree bearing from the NDB waiting for 5 DME to start arcing around to the left to intercept the LOC inbound.
After proceeding outbound for 5 DME I start my turn back around to the left and set up a bit of an intercept to catch the localizer.
Outside of the final approach fix I select gear down, Flaps 4 and prepare to deploy the speedbrakes for the steep descent down the glidepath.