5 out of 11 P&W engines removed from IndiGo fleet: DGCA | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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5 out of 11 P&W engines removed from IndiGo fleet: DGCA

Sep 14, 2023 06:53 PM IST

The DGCA has also raised three incidents of engine failure of IndiGo planes with Pratt & Whitney and has sought the engine maker’s urgent intervention.

After two consecutive in-flight shutdowns (IFSD) incidents on August 29, aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said that a total of 11 Pratt & Whitney (PW) engines of the airline’s fleet were impacted, however, they have removed only five operating engines.

 (Representative Photo)
(Representative Photo)

The aviation regulator has also raised three incidents of engine failure of IndiGo planes with Pratt & Whitney and has sought the engine maker’s urgent intervention.

The two in-flight shutdown incidents involving the Madurai-Mumbai and the Kolkata-Bengaluru flights, which were operated with A321 neo planes, took place on August 28, while a third one involving the Amritsar-Delhi flight operated with an A320 neo aircraft, took place on September 3.

In July this year, P&W indicated a recall of 200 engines worldwide due to High-Pressure Turbine (HPT) hub issues after an anomaly was noted in the hub, which could only be detected with an Angular UltraSonic Inspection (AUSI) at the shop level.

In the first phase, the impacted engines were required to be removed before September 15.

“11 engines of the IndiGo fleet were impacted because of this, however, out of these, six were a part of the current PW AOG (aircraft on ground), and only five operating engines were removed before the 15th September,” a DGCA official said on Thursday.

The DGCA said that the P&W on Monday indicated that the second phase recall is being reviewed by them, which will require the removal of up to 600 engines between 2023 and 2026, with most of the removals in Q1 of 2024.

“PW will issue an SB in the next 60 days with the fleet management action plan,” a statement from the DGCA read.

Two incidents involving IndiGo’s A321Neo aircraft with registration VT IUJ and VT IUF operating from Madurai to Mumbai and Kolkata to Bengaluru, respectively, were detected with high vibration and low oil pressure in one engine, followed by an engine stall.

Upon landing of both the flights at Mumbai airport, metallic chips were discovered on the oil chip detector, upon landing.

A similar incident took place on Sunday, September 3 after an IndiGo A320 neo aircraft (VT-IVI) from Amritsar to Delhi was involved in a commanded IFSD, wherein low oil pressure was observed by the crew on engine number -2, forcing the aircraft to land back at Amritsar.

The DGCA said an external oil leak was observed on the affected engine, however, no vibration or oil chip was reported.

Following these incidents, the airline performed the Boroscopic Inspection (BSI) of the engines involved in IFSD.

According to the DGCA, damage to the Stage 1 blades of the HPT was observed on the engines involved in the two incidents that took place on August 29, but no anomaly was observed in the BSI of the affected engine on September 3.

DGCA added that the engines involved in all three incidents had done more than 3,000 hours since the last shop visit.

Concerning the blade damage observed in the aircraft engines that operated on August 29, the DGCA, as a proactive measure, had directed Indigo to identify and conduct BSI of all the engines installed on A321 aircraft.

“Accordingly, three engines were identified and the BSI was carried out, however, no abnormality was observed in any of the engines. As a matter of abundant precaution, Indigo was further directed to undertake BSI on the engines installed on the A321 aircraft, which had done more than 2,500 hours since the last shop visit, accordingly, five engines were identified, and the BSI was done on the identified engines however, no abnormality was observed in any of the engines,” the statement read.

Moreover, the DGCA, on September 1, had taken up the matter with P&W regarding the three incidents and demanded OEM’s urgent intervention of the highest level for suitable mitigation.

“P&W was also advised to identify the probable cause of the HPT blade damage along with the additional inspection(s)/ task(s), recommended by P&W, if any, to detect the deterioration at an early stage to be intimated along with the data of such failures globally and the mitigation measures recommended by P&W to be shared with DGCA,” the regulator stated.

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