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A320 Flaps 2 landing




I was recently on a flight in Australia, from Adelaide to Melbourne.  It was a very hot day , and pretty turbulent during descent.  Nothing really rough, just a bit bumpy.  It was a very hot day, around 42 degrees Celsius in Adelaide and Melbourne.  We flew a downwind leg past YMML, then base and final, and the whole time I was watching to see the flaps go down, but they never went past (I assume) flaps 2 setting, possibly even 1+F, but I would assume 2.

Would this be because a higher landing speed was required due to the heat, or is there some other reason a flaps 2 setting would have been used?

I have flown with the same airline, and others and this was the first such landing I have seen.  It is usually a full flaps landing.

Here is a youtube vid I found which pretty much replicates what I saw, from a similar angle, and in what looks like similar weather.




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Here is an answer from a friend who has flown the Airbus A319/A320/A321 for a number of years:


Most likely Flaps 3 Landing. Even with Single Engine it would be Flaps 3 landing. We use Flaps 1 or 2 for takeoff and occasionally Flaps 3 outta DCA. It would be a mistake or a jam if they were to land Flaps 2.


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Im not a real pilot, but I can share my 2 cents about this. 

When landing with very strong headwinds, and high temperatures, your wind correction values to the Vref speed are a lot higher. Hence, you run into the speed limitations of the high flap settings. In a 738-800, normal landing config is Flaps 30/40. However, should you face strong headwinds (i.e. 30ktG45kt), you are at the maximum recommended wind correction of VREF + 20 kts. At this speed, you will be in the red during F30 and F40. So an abnormal F15 might be the case. 


So you were right in your thinking. Now if a RW pilot wants to come here and totally destroy my answer and shed sone light.... please do!


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Thank you both for your answers.  I have since done some more research and it is entirely possible, and probable that I was looking at a Flap 3 setting.  They did not look like they were down and out very far at all, but even testing with the Aerosoft model, the Flap 3 setting does look like a really shallow angle, even though it is supposed to be at 20 degrees, compared to 35 or 40 degrees for full flaps.  Another pointer is that the MCDU in the Aerosoft model only shows 2 options for landing flaps; Conf. 3 or Full.

I am disappointed I decided not to take pics or video on this flight, the first time for ages, as I am just going by memory as to what the flaps looked like, but they definitely were not full flaps, and they just looked like they were at a really shallow angle.




Edited by scotth6
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As answered before, unless there was a flight control problem, it should be landing with 3 or 4.

Airbus is certified for takeoff at configs 1-3 and for landing 3-4. Unless there is a problem.


Food for thought - Is worth to mention that sometimes outlaws are capable of landing at config 0 or 1(True story) just because from a high and fast app, it was not "macho" to do a Go Around....






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