Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

IndiGo, GoAir asked to immediately ground 11 'faulty' aircraft

Mid-air engine failure DGCA grounds 11 A320 neo planes with Pratt & Whitney engines Pratt and Whitney issues: DGCA orders grounding of 11 IndiGo, 3 GoAir aircraft
Kenny Thornton | 13 March, 2018, 05:19

The aviation authority made the decision hours after an IndiGo aircraft of the A320 neo family suffered an engine failure mid-air and was forced to make an emergency landing at the Ahmedabad airport.

According to the regulator, P&W in its latest communication has also not given any firm commitment as to when the issue on the engine post serial number 450 would be resolved.

The latest groundings are expected to affect over 70 flights daily between IndiGo and GoAir.

After DGCA's regulations, the IndiGo airlines have ascertained that none of these affected engines shall be operated by IndiGo. The aircraft landed safely on one engine with no injuries. "There is no concrete proposal in place at this stage to address the issue", the DGCA said in a statement.

"Hundreds of passengers were stranded after a number of flights were cancelled by both IndiGo and GoAir in the wake of some aircraft going out of operations due to the DGCA order", a source said. IndiGo had grounded at least seven of the jets by July previous year, awaiting a fix for the engines.

DGCA said it had also asked the airlines not to replace the engines.

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"We are altering flight schedules and communicating the same to those affected by the last minute changes; we are making all possible arrangements to minimize the impact", GoAir said in a statement.

Besides today's incident, there were two - one with GoAir plane after take-off from Leh on February 24 and another was with IndiGo following take-off from Mumbai on March 5. On February 9, he European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), released an airworthiness directive A-320 Neos fitted with PW1100 engines because there had been some instances of aborted flights or situations in which the planes had to go back to the airport because of the disturbances that had been caused because of the faulty engines in them.

The grounded planes, including the one that had a mid-air failure, all have Neo engines.

On 13 February, DGCA had said that it was monitoring engine glitches to ensure that safety is not compromised at any time.

Pratt & Whitney in a statement said corrective action has been approved and "we have already begun to deliver production engines with the upgraded configuration".

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