Topic Author
Posts: 78
Joined: Sat Jun 26, 1999 2:26 am

Hydraulic systems failure

Wed Jan 06, 1999 4:06 am

An airbus 320 had lost 2 of his 3 hydraulic systems and made an emergency landing at Brest (France) the last week. So does anyone know how an hydraulic system failure can appear in an airliner ?
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: Hydraulic systems failure

Wed Jan 06, 1999 4:51 am

Generaly there is a pressure guage on each system. If it reads zero then you have a problem. On the A-320 I belive this warning is placed on the center ECAM display when the pressure in the system drops below a point.

The only time I have seen an aircraft divert due to hydralic problems was Alaska N743AS?? It took off from DUT for ANC and blew a hose when the landing was raising. The nosewheel was able to get up and locked but the mainwheels fell back down when the system ran out of fluid. The diverted to CDB since they didn't have enough fuel to make ANC due to the extra drag from the mainwheels. Gear came down thanks to gravity. Just another day I guess.
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Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2003 10:00 am

RE: Hydraulic systems failure

Wed Jan 06, 1999 7:53 am

I imagine that if any of the hydraulics systems is about to fail, it would be shown on the EICAS (Engine Indicating and Crew Alerting System) eventhough it is not related to the engines, there are displays on the EFIS that show if all the systems of the aircraft are working properly. In such case, the crew has to take action and declare an emergency to the nearest suitable airport. In the event of a complete pressure loss in the hydraulics system, I think what the crew still can do is get the landing gear out manually and try to control the aircraft by dealing with the power of each engine.
Remember in 1989, the crash of United 232 in Sioux City Iowa? It was a DC-10 that lost its n°2 engine which made the hydraulic line fail. The crew did all the best they could to land the DC-10 with a hydraulic failure, flying the aircraft was almost impossible so I beleive they(the pilots) dealt with the power of each of the remaining two engines to steer the aircraft. Upon landing, the back section of the passenger cabin went on fire. Out of nearly 300 passengers and crew, about 180 survived.
Ben Soriano

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Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 8:02 am

RE: L-188

Wed Jan 06, 1999 10:30 am

Your post was interesting, as I just flew on Alaska's N743AS last week from FAI to ANC. I didn't realize it had been through all that. But a couple of years ago I was on N740AS when it developed a hydraulic leak during a stop at Deadhorse on a flight from Barrow to Fairbanks. The fluid was coming out around the left engine. They brought out a huge barrel of something resembling kitty litter to soak it up, and then they cancelled the rest of the flight. Luckily, a MarkAir flight came in which was able to take us all to Fairbanks.

Bob Bradley
Richmond, VA
Fly Eastern's Golden Falcon DC-7B
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: L-188

Wed Jan 06, 1999 11:30 am

I think the Alaska flight would probably have been safer.

Yes that fifty gallon barrel was kitty litter. They just mark up the price and claim it is for oil spills. I have had to lay a lot of that stuff down.

I have a lot of stories about things that I know have been done to planes up there. I remember one time I drove from the bagwell at the international termial over to the domestic terminal and there parked at B-4 was a 737-400 with a beltloader driven about six feet up into the rear belly. The front tires of that thing where a foot off the ground! Seems that a new guy was pulling the loader up to the belly and was raising the belt, got impaitent and decide to speed up the pump by standing on the brakes and reving the moter. He didn't put it out of gear and very quickly the airline discovered that hydralics for the belt and the brakes where on the same system. They quickly modified the beltloaders. The sad part was that plane was two weeks old and had to have some major maint because the loader cracked two ribs in the plane!!

I can't remember if it was 740 or 741 that had the bold sticking 3/4 of an inch out of the side of the plane right below the forward door. That is a good story too. Maybe later though.

We tend to work our planes hard up there.

RE: Hydraulic systems failure

Wed Jan 06, 1999 8:14 pm

You got it AA727.
They used their heads and their experience with their aircraft to use differential thrust to change heading and trim controls to control pitch. Believe it or not, alot of pilots practice this in the sim but it is not a standard or recommended procedure. That was some crew. Not just because they were a UAL crew but because they used their heads.
Ive seen so many pilots start to dig through the checklists, the manual, you name it only to come up dry and realize only too late that they wasted valuable time. Time is the enemy in any emergency. The clock is working against you. Sometimes, all those years of experience come in mighty handy.

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