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Delhi-Ranchi IndiGo flight returns midway over engine glitch

A Ranchi-bound IndiGo flight on Sunday had an Air Turn Back (ATB) and returned to Delhi following an engine snag

india Updated: Jun 03, 2018 23:21 IST
Anvit Srivastava
Anvit Srivastava
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Delhi-Ranchi Indigo flight,IndiGo,Technincal snag
An IndiGo Airlines Airbus A320 aircraft takes off in Colomiers near Toulouse, France.(REUTERS File Photo)

A Delhi-Ranchi IndiGo flight with 190 people on board suffered a mid-air engine snag on Sunday and returned to the national capital, signalling the return of problems with Pratt and Whitney (P&W) engines that power the airline’s Airbus A320 Neo (new engine option) jets.

The flight, 6E-509, had to turn around mid-air on Sunday afternoon after the pilots detected a snag in one of the engines and conveyed the news to the Delhi ATC, said an airport official on the condition of anonymity.

Data from flight tracking website flightradar24 showed the aircraft taking a u-turn above Aligarh in UP before beginning its descent back in Delhi. The plane was carrying 183 people and seven crew members. Most modern passengers jets have two engines and can operate with one functional engine.

“The aircraft, VT-ITE Neo, had an air turn back to Delhi. The crew carried out an engine inflight shut down following the standard industry procedure. The aircraft landed back safely at Delhi with 183 passengers and 7 crew on board,” the airline said.

“The matter is under investigation and has been reported to the regulator, an IndiGo spokesperson said.

This was the second such engine snag in an Indigo A320 Neo jet in three days. On June 1, an Indigo A320 Neo aircraft from Kolkata to Port Blair aborted take-off due to a technical glitch in one of its engines.

“We are monitoring the incident closely and trying to assess if there is any pattern. Depending on the outcome of the initial investigation, we may contact the manufacturer and begin investigation,” a senior DGCA official said on the condition of anonymity.An email sent to P&W on Sunday remained unanswered till the time of going to press.

IndiGo has 45 such A320 Neo jets which are powered by engines made by American manufacturer Pratt and Whitney (P &W). Between February and March, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) banned 14 A320 Neo aircraft from flying because of problems with their engines.

Engines of this make beyond serial number 450 feature a seal that causes excess vibrations and leads to technical snags. Eleven of these 14 jets belonged to IndiGo and three to Go Air. The DGCA had grounded the planes after three incidents of mid-air engine problems in less than a month.

In April, both IndiGo and Go Air said that all 14 grounded jets were back in operation. On April 5, minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha told Parliament that 11 of the 14 grounded aircraft had started flying after “changing the engines”. P&W president Robert F Leduc had said in March that the grounded aircraft would be back in operation by April-end.

IndiGo is both the largest current operator of the A320 Neo and the top customer in the country. Air India and Vistara also fly the A320 Neo, but those are powered by CFM engines, made by a joint venture between General Electric Co. and France’s Safran Aircraft Engines SAS. Following the grounding of the aircraft, while IndiGo had cancelled a total of 776 flights between March 13 and April 2, GoAir did not operate 336 flights during the period.

First Published: Jun 03, 2018 19:41 IST