What is SEL on Airbus A320? (Selector)

The Selector, abbreviated as sel, is an essential component of the Airbus A320 aircraft. It plays a crucial role in the operations and control systems of the aircraft, allowing pilots to make various selections and adjustments to ensure safe and efficient flight. The Selector panel is located on the flight deck and consists of several switches and buttons that enable pilots to choose and activate different modes, systems, and functions of the aircraft.

Let’s dive deeper into the functionality and significance of the Selector on the Airbus A320.

The Role of Selector in Flight Control

The Selector on the Airbus A320 is primarily responsible for controlling the flight control surfaces of the aircraft. These surfaces include the ailerons, elevators, and rudder, which are essential for maneuvering and maintaining stability during flight. Through the Selector panel, pilots can make selections to control the deflection and movement of these surfaces, enabling precise control over the aircraft’s attitude, altitude, and direction.

The Selector provides pilots with options to activate different flight control modes, such as Normal Law, Alternate Law, and Direct Law. Normal Law is the default mode of the aircraft, which provides full flight envelope protection and automatic aircraft handling. In this mode, the Selector allows pilots to make coordinated inputs for desired maneuvers.

In contrast, Alternate Law and Direct Law are backup modes that the aircraft enters in case of certain failures or abnormal situations. The Selector enables pilots to switch to these modes and manually control the flight control surfaces using direct mechanical linkage between the control inputs and the control surfaces.

The Selector also incorporates various other functions related to flight control, such as the ability to engage and disengage the autopilot system, adjust control sensitivity, and activate additional control features like yaw damping and flight augmentation.

The Importance of Selector in System Management

Besides flight control, the Selector on the Airbus A320 also plays a vital role in the management and activation of various systems and functions of the aircraft.

One of the essential functions of the Selector is to manage the aircraft’s electrical system. Through the Selector, pilots can control the activation and shutdown of electrical generators, adjust the electrical load distribution, and ensure proper power supply to the aircraft’s systems.

The Selector is also responsible for managing the aircraft’s hydraulic system, which provides power for multiple systems, including the landing gear, flight controls, and brakes. Pilots can use the Selector to select and operate different hydraulic pumps, control the hydraulic pressure, and monitor the system’s performance.

In addition, the Selector allows pilots to engage and control various other systems and functions, such as the oxygen supply system, anti-ice system, and lighting system. By making selections through the Selector, pilots can activate these systems as required, ensuring safe and efficient operations throughout the flight.

The Functionality and User Interface of Selector

The Selector panel on the Airbus A320 features a user-friendly interface that enables pilots to make selections quickly and accurately. The panel consists of several switches, buttons, and rotary knobs, each labeled with clear and intuitive descriptions.

One of the prominent components of the Selector is the Mode Selector Panel (MSP), located in the center of the panel. The MSP allows pilots to select and engage different flight control modes, system modes, and autopilot functions. By rotating the knobs and pressing the buttons, pilots can switch between modes and adjust various parameters associated with each mode.

Additionally, the Selector incorporates backlit indicators and annunciators that provide visual feedback to pilots, indicating the current status and activation of different systems and functions. These indicators help pilots monitor the aircraft’s systems and make informed decisions based on the displayed information.

To enhance situational awareness, the Selector is also equipped with audio alerts and warnings that inform pilots of critical conditions or abnormal situations. These audio alerts prompt pilots to take necessary actions or precautions, ensuring the safe operation of the aircraft.

Overall, the Selector on the Airbus A320 serves as a central control panel, enabling pilots to manage and control various aspects of the aircraft’s flight, systems, and functions. Its intuitive user interface and comprehensive functionalities contribute to smooth and efficient operations during all phases of flight.


The Selector, with its vital role in flight control, system management, and user interface, is an indispensable component of the Airbus A320 aircraft. Pilots rely on the Selector to make critical selections and adjustments, ensuring the safe and efficient operation of the aircraft throughout its journey.

For More: What is PBX on Airbus A320? (Place – Bearing/Place)