Two SpiceJet flights affected as mid-air glitches continue

Updated on Jul 06, 2022 12:44 AM IST

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) stepped in and ordered an investigation into the incident involving the Delhi-Dubai flight that landed in Pakistan.

SpiceJet SG-11 flight from Delhi to Dubai made an emergency landing in Karachi on Tuesday. (ANI)
SpiceJet SG-11 flight from Delhi to Dubai made an emergency landing in Karachi on Tuesday. (ANI)
ByNeha L M Tripathi, New Delhi

A Dubai-bound SpiceJet flight was on Tuesday diverted to Karachi and another aircraft of the budget carrier had to make a priority landing at Mumbai after its windshield cracked mid-air, the latest in a string of problems to hit the airline this summer.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) stepped in and ordered an investigation into the incident involving the Delhi-Dubai flight that landed in Pakistan, where passengers had to wait for over eight hoursbefore a replacement jet arrived. There were 150 passengers on board.

“On July 5, 2022, SpiceJet B737 aircraft operating flight SG-11 (Delhi - Dubai) was diverted to Karachi due to an indicator light malfunctioning. The aircraft landed safely at Karachi and passengers were safely disembarked,” an airline spokesperson said.

Also read: Indicator light malfunction forces SpiceJet flight to land in Karachi

Tuesday’s incidents mean the airline has now had eight air safety incidents since May 1.

“There was no earlier report of any malfunction in the aircraft. Passengers were served refreshments. A replacement aircraft was sent to Karachi to take the passengers to Dubai,” the spokesperson added.

These passengers were taken to the terminal building before they left in the second jet at around 10.10 pm, 13 hours after landing at Karachi.

An official of Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCCA) said the pilot of the SpiceJet flight contacted the control tower while flying over Pakistan airspace, stating the aircraft had developed some technical fault, news agency PTI reported.

After the plane was allowed to land on humanitarian grounds, engineers of the Pakistan International Airlines worked with SpiceJet crew to locate and rectify the technical fault, the PCCA official added.

“Apparently, there was a problem with the aircraft’s light indicator machinery, but it could not be repaired immediately so another aircraft was arranged to take the passengers to Dubai,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

DGCA officials said the aircraft, registered as VT-MXG, was diverted after the pilots observed unusual fuel quantity reduction from its left tank. “We are investigating the matter,” DGCA director general Arun Kumar said.

During post-flight inspection, no visual leak was observed from the left tank, DGCA officials said.

Hours later, a Kandla-Mumbai flight made priority landing in the Maharashtra capital after cracks developed on its windshield mid-air.

“On 5th July, 2022, SpiceJet Q400 aircraft was operating SG 3324 (Kandla - Mumbai). During cruise at FL230, the P2 (second pilot or the first officer) side windshield outer pane cracked. Pressurization was observed to be normal. The aircraft landed safely in Mumbai,” the airline said in a statement.

Over 150 people were on board this flight.

Also read: Aviation regulator begins probe as Delhi-Dubai SpiceJet flight lands in Karachi

The airline had witnessed a similar incident on May 28 after a Mumbai-Gorakhpur flight was forced to return after a crack was observed on the windshield amid fears of loss of cabin pressure.

Experts said the incidents need a deeper look. “If an airline is experiencing a series of incidents, just ordering probes is not going to help. These incidents point out poor aircraft maintenance which should be the regulator’s major concern. The DGCA should act strictly,” aviation safety expert Mohan Ranganathan said.

On Saturday, a Jabalpur-bound Bombardier Q400 Dash 8 aircraft returned to the national capital after smoke was observed in the cabin at around 5,000 feet altitude.

One June 19, Patna-New Delhi Boeing 737 aircraft made an emergency landing after its engine was disabled due to bird hit soon after taking off. The DGCA had ordered an inquiry into the incident.

Also watch: Why Delhi-Dubai SpiceJet flight landed at Karachi Airport? Airline explains

On the same day, a Delhi-Jabalpur flight was forced to return to its base airport after the cabin pressure did not build up with the gain in altitude.

On May 4, Chennai-Durgapur B737 MAX aircraft made an air turn back after one of its engines had to be shut down mid-air due to an oil filter warning.

The DGCA, on June 1, had also issued a show cause notice to the airline in connection with an incident in which a Mumbai-Durgapur flight ran into severe turbulence and left 17 people injured the previous month.

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