Updated: Aug 18, 2021
On October 24th, 2020, an American Airlines A320 flight from Syracuse, NY to Charlotte, NC had to return to its departing airport after 45 minutes in flight due to multiple hydraulic failures. Departure occurred as usual, but after reaching 10,000 feet in altitude, the crew requested to return to Syracuse due to the errors.
One of the major hydraulic leaks that caused issues was in the nose wheel steering function. The nose wheel is the primary mechanism for guiding during ground movement and operation. While the crew was still able to land safely, due to this error the aircraft had to be towed from the runway. In addition to the nose wheel, the plane was also checked for more leaks internally.
Airbus Aircrafts have certainly had a rough 2020. There are several reports of planes suffering hydraulics issues this year alone. As recently as October 13th, another Airbus A300 plane being serviced by UPS suffered hydraulic failures. Likewise, on February 12th, 2020, a British Airways Airbus A350 had a rocky landing due to an electronic system failure. This is in addition to 5 other Airbus issues reported in 2020.
While there have been other faults contributing to the Airbus Aircraft failures, hydraulic leaks have been a recurring problem. Given the delays and rocky landings, airlines employing Airbus Aircrafts should consider revolutionizing their leak detection operations with Acoustic Ultrasound Technologies. Current leak detection practices involve using hands to physically feel around operating machinery or failed parts, or spraying down components with soap and water solution to look for bubbles. This is incredibly time consuming, and ultimately not a feasible operation to conduct between flights.
However, using Acoustic Ultrasound for leak detection can cut maintenance time down to less than 5 minutes, and effectively locate leaks even during peak operation or between flights. Ultrasound signals are not hindered by facility operation noise, allowing the operator to utilize the equipment even on a busy runway. Likewise, the applications of an Ultrasonic Leak Detector like CTRL’s UL101 extend far beyond hydraulic leaks. For Commercial Aviation Industries, Ultrasound Technology can be used for monitoring pressurization, finding air conditioning, pitot static, and oxygen leaks, conducting bleed air checks, and many other applications. To see if Ultrasound Leak Detection is right for you, contact one of our Ultrasound Experts today!