IndiGo aircraft grounded in Patna takes off after completing repairs

IndiGo aircraft, grounded in Patna since June 30 following an engine failure during take-off, left for New Delhi after repairs on July 8. The faulty engine of the aircraft was replaced after two days of repair work.

india Updated: Jul 10, 2017 08:29 IST
Ruchir Kumar
Ruchir Kumar
Hindustan Times, Patna
IndiGo,Airbus 320,DGCA
The engine of the grounded IndiGo Airbus 320 being replaced at Jay Prakash Narayan International Airport in Patna.(HT photo)

IndiGo Airbus 320 aircraft, which was grounded following an engine failure on June 30, left for New Delhi after repairs on Saturday.

The repair work, initiated on Friday after the airlines ferried a new engine from its base in New Delhi via road, was completed on Saturday.

A turbine blade had cracked, stalling the left engine as the aircraft was on take-off run. With the aircraft having completed one-third distance of the 2072-metre runway, pilots had to apply emergency brakes and called for emergency evacuation. As many as 174 passengers had a lucky escape.

“After replacing the faulty engine, the aircraft left today as a ‘positioned flight’ (without passengers) to Delhi. As part of the inquiry by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the aircraft and the faulty engine will now be checked in Delhi, where the airlines has its main base,” said a DGCA official, requesting anonymity.

IndiGo did not respond to HT’s calls.

The aircraft’s departure came as a relief to air controllers, who had to manage congestion during peak hours. With the aircraft parked on bay number 3, it had reduced the effective number of operational parking bays from five to three for commercial aircraft.

Parking bay 2, being small due to paucity of space, is earmarked for smaller chartered aircraft like Dornier.

“All commercial flights — generally Boeing 737 or Airbus 320 aircraft — were operating from bays 1, 4 and 5 during this period. This occasionally led to congestion. Air traffic controllers had to hold some flights on taxiway, before allowing them to take-off. We still managed the operations well,” airport director Rajender Singh Lahauria told HT.

French aircraft manufacturer Airbus and the DGCA will conduct independent audit into the engine failure of the aircraft.

DGCA director (air safety) Maneesh Kumar could not be reached for comments. His cellphone, listed on the DGCA website, was switched off. He did not respond to HT’s detailed email on July 5, soliciting his comments.

First Published: Jul 08, 2017 11:35 IST