Monday, 25 June, 2018

Engine woes: Aviation watchdog grounds 11 Airbus planes of IndiGo, GoAir

India aviation regulator orders grounding of 11 jets fitted with Pratt & Whitney engines India aviation regulator orders grounding of 11 jets fitted with Pratt & Whitney engines
Preston Stone | 13 March, 2018, 11:49

The DGCA also grounded such aircraft of another domestic carrier GoAir.

In less than three weeks, there have been as many incidents of in-flight shut down of A320 neos fitted with one P&W 1100 engine. IndiGo carries about 40 percent of domestic flyers, while GoAir has a market share of around 10 per cent.

In February, the USA aviation regulator said the Pratt & Whitney engines pose a shutdown risk, following similar action by European regulators that month.

Earlier, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on February 9, had issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive which was immediately implemented and three A320neos in IndiGo fleet fitted with both the affected engines having the faulty engines were grounded.

The Airbus A320 Neo plane had 186 passengers on board.

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It is rare for the Indian regulator to ground aircraft and the latest one is at least only the third such instance in decades. "We are working to mitigate the.situation by the end of the second quarter", said a statement from Pratt, a unit of United Technologies Corp.

Against this backdrop, Prabhu said it is DGCA's prerogative and that safety is paramount. Three IndiGo planes were grounded last month.

The snags with the engines have led to repeated grounding of airplanes in India. DGCA figures show that there have been 69 Neo engine failures as of September 15.

Pratt replaced the original seal because it was degrading faster than expected, reducing the planned service interval. The DGCA has also ordered these airlines to not refit these engines which are spare with them in the inventory.

An airline official also explained that the sudden order by DGCA has also changed the schedule of flights and new schedules are now being worked out. Indigo is both the largest current operator of the A320neo and the No. 1 customer.

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