Saturday, March 04, 2017

Another Pratt engine in A-320 Neo develops snag; IndiGo plane grounded

New Delhi: : In yet another instance of the snag-ridden Pratt & Whitney (PW) engines on Airbus A-320 new engine option (Neo) aircraft developing fault, one of these planes was grounded at Delhi Airport on Friday. The aircraft VT-ITK, belonging to IndiGo, reportedly had "oil debris overlimit" detected on one of its PW engines when it was being prepared for a flight out of Delhi. On examination, it was found that the engine needs to be replaced.
IndiGo did not offer any comment when contacted. This is at least the sixth engine snag this year in the 21 PW-powered Neos that IndiGo (16 Neos) and GoAir (5 Neos) currently have in their fleet. Air India also uses A-320 neo but its aircraft have engines from another manufacturer, CFM.
The latest snag comes just days after the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had ordered examination of PW engines on A-320 Neos that have operated for over 1,000 hours. Repeated engine inspections have also been prescribed after every 500 hours of usage. The DGCA stresses that the problem is only with the PE engine on A-320 Neo and the other A-320s -most commonly used aircraft in India - have no such issues.
The DGCA has now made it mandatory for airlines to ground these planes immediately for repairs after getting the "engine chip oil" warning for the PW engines on the Neos. Earlier, airlines were allowed to fly an aircraft for 10 hours under minimum equipment list (MEL) after getting this warning on the PW engine of a Neo. This meant they could attend to the problem within 10 hours of getting this warning.
04/03/17 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India