Saturday, March 04, 2017

India's DGCA identifies new gearbox issue on PW1100G

India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has identified the first known incident involving the gearbox of the PW1100G geared turbofan engine on the Airbus A320neo.

A “main gearbox failure” caused one of 42 premature engine removals so far of PW1100G-powered A320neos, according to the DGCA. The failure was “detected as a metal chip warning”.

The new issue was revealed in a one-page brief about the PW1100G engine posted on Twitterby Tarun Shukla, an Indian journalist for Mint, the financial newspaper of the Hindustan Times. A DGCA spokesperson provided Shukla with the document, Shukla confirms to FlightGlobal.

The document also describes another 41 premature engine removals caused by two known issues with the PW1100G, including 28 attributed to distress in a carbon-air seal for the No. 3 bearing and 13 caused by degraded combustion chambers.

DGCA released the brief as it continues to investigate the root cause of an in-flight shutdown of a GoAir A320neo with PW1100G engines on 8 February.

The incident prompted the DGCA to order India’s two A320neo operators — GoAir and IndiGo — to conduct borescope inspections on engines with more than 1,000 flight hours, a reduction from the 1,500h interval recommended by P&W. DGCA also orders airlines to immediately ground the A320neo if a metal chip detection warning coincides with a gearbox failure, revoking a 10 flight-hour cushion provided in the A320neo’s approved minimum equipment list.
03/03/17 Stephen Trimble/Fllight Global