A320 Hydraulic System – Part 2

A320 Hydraulic System-AviatorsBuzz
(source : airteamimages.com)

On popular demand, since you all were inquisitive to know more about the A320 hydraulic system, we are going to discuss this system in even more detail.

A320 Hydraulic System-AviatorsBuzz
(Source: easamodul10.blogspot.com)

If you want to review the basics hydraulics first you can go and do so by checking out our Tech Talks section.

Till now, we have discussed the basic working of the hydraulic systems (Blue, Green and Yellow) and all other components which are crucial in making the system work, but ever wondered what will happen if any of these systems fail? Well, keep reading to find out more!

Let’s review the hydraulic system distribution first:

A320 Hydraulic System-AviatorsBuzz
(Source: fcom reference)

The major flight controls like flaps, slats, rudder, stabilizer, elevator and ailerons are distributed evenly under all 3 hydraulic systems to maintain redundancy.

But certain flight controls do not have much redundancy like:

  • Landing gear, nose wheel steering, normal braking, reverser 1 which are powered by Green hydraulic system
  • Reverser 2, alternate braking which are powered by Yellow hydraulic system

So if any one of these hydraulic systems are lost, the above controls would be unserviceable. Single hydraulic failures have very little effect on the handling of the aircraft but do cause a degradation of the landing capability.

A320 Hydraulic System-AviatorsBuzz
(Source: safety airbus magazine)

Possible reasons for the Hydraulic Systems to Fail

  • Hydraulic Reservoir Low Level
  • Hydraulic Reservoir Low Pressure
  • Hydraulic Reservoir Overheat (the system can be revived back)
  • Hydraulic Pump Low Pressure

What happens in case of dual Hydraulic Failures?

A double hydraulic failure is considered to be an emergency situation, with “LAND ASAP” indicated in RED, A MAYDAY should be declared to the ATC. A landing should be done on an immediate basis, considering troubleshooting of the problem should be done prior to the approach.

Following are the consequences of a Dual Hydraulic failure:

  • Loss of Autopilot, auto-thrust is still available
  • Landing gear gravity extension 
  • Brake and steering considerations
  • Sluggish/failure of  flight controls

What is done to troubleshoot this situation?

  • Affected hydraulic system’s pump is switched off
  • In case of Green or Yellow hydraulic system failure, the Power transfer unit is switched off
  • The aircraft should be prepared for the approach well in advance since controls are sluggish
A320 Hydraulic System-AviatorsBuzz
Source: Airbus LMS

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Follow our TechTalks with Ria Maini and Kartik Bhatnagar, both commercial pilots, rated and endorsed on the A320. Although they recently stepped into their aviation career, nothing has stopped them from taking their knowledge to the next level, with successful experience in coaching on the subject of A320’s for aspiring pilots and a memory refresh for the experienced ones. Curiosity, passion for flying and avionics led them to start "A320 Trivia", and their endeavour has been to share their knowledge to benefit all aviation enthusiasts and pilots, and to highlight key dynamics of the versatile aircraft. You are welcome to share your valuable inputs and further enable this page, to be an expert guide/reference, polestar for all to follow. If you are interested in discovering new and mind boggling facts on the aircraft & technical general, catch up on our weekly blog!