The Boeing 787 Dreamliner continues to give Air India (AI) sleepless nights.
An AI Dreamliner, flying from Melbourne to Delhi, had to make an emergency landing in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday after a software malfunction in the cockpit. There were 215 passengers on board the AI 301 flight.
AI officials denied reports that computers in the plane cockpit had blanked out and the aircraft landed without any navigation aid. AI officials said that this was the first time a software snag in the cockpit of an AI Dreamliner had been reported. Dreamliner engineers were being flown in from Hong Kong, the airline said.
Air India's Dreamliner aircraft have been facing a series of problems since they were grounded for almost four months from January last year. The aircraft has suffered more than 140 technical problems since September last year when it was inducted into AI’s fleet.
Meanwhile, after US aviation regulator downgraded India's aviation safety ranking, its Singaporean counterpart CAAS has announced heightened inspection of Indian aircraft operating there. The European Union's Air Safety Committee is also likely to discuss the issue of downgrade at a meeting next month, a PTI report said.
In a statement, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said, "Following the FAA's recent decision to downgrade India to Category II under its IASA programme, CAAS has stepped up ramp inspections on the aircraft of Indian carriers operating in Singapore. However, CAAS has not imposed any restrictions on these Indian carriers."
The decision to heighten inspection of all Indian airlines' aircraft landing in or taking off from Singapore could cause delays and affect the flight schedules. The Singaporean regulator warned that "any major findings of deficiency found in the ramp inspections have to be addressed by the carrier for it to continue operations in Singapore" but added that "the frequency of ramp inspections is dependent on CAAS' assessment of the carrier."
Series of glitches
Oct 12: Panel on a Boeing 787’s fuselage flew off when the aircraft was flying from Delhi to Bangalore
Nov 3: The cockpit windshield cracked as the plane landed in Melbourne
Nov 5: Emergency landing at the IGI airport after warning lights in the cockpit indicated problem with the braking system