DGCA to issue new safety protocols for Neo engines
The ministry of civil aviation, after holding a review meeting on safety issues related to the engines, said the DGCA would issue an additional directive relating to safety protocols within a week to the airlines that fly the planes fitted with the Neo.Updated: Jan 10, 2019 07:42 IST
India has recorded 12 instances Pratt & Whitney (P&W) Neo engines, which power Airbus A320 planes, experiencing an “inflight shutdown” since March 2016, the aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said on Wednesday.
The ministry of civil aviation, after holding a review meeting on safety issues related to the engines, said the DGCA would issue an additional directive relating to safety protocols within a week to the airlines that fly the planes fitted with the Neo.
Three instances in less than a month, between December and January, of mid-air engine snags on IndiGo’s Airbus A-320s, which forced the pilots to seek priority landing in less than a month, prompted the ministry to summon the airline and the engine manufacturer. The meeting took place on Tuesday.
“Most of these inflight shutdowns and other related incidents have happened due to failure of “Number 3 Bearing” seal, failure of “Knife Edge Seal”, erosion of combustion chamber material, low pressure turbine rotor blades damage and issues relating to the main gear box. Out of the above causes, corrective action has been taken by P&W and the airlines in respect of all except issues relating to main gear box which is a recent phenomenon.” “It was also noted that FAA and its European counterpart EASA have not declared these engines as unsafe,” the spokesperson added. EASA is an acronym for European Aviation Safety Agency. “It is definitely a serious issue but grounding fleet is not the solution and the aviation regulator needs to look at better ways to deal with the situation,” said Mark D Martin, founder & CEO of Dubai-based Martin Consulting.
IndiGo declined to comment on the matter. A spokesperson for P&W said, “All parties are now aligned on the status of the GTF (Geared Turbofan) program, whose reliability has greatly improved over the last year. The GTF continues to be certified to the highest safety standards.”
First Published: Jan 10, 2019 07:42 IST