Wednesday, September 04, 2019

India Confident Pratt A320neo Engine Issues Being Addressed

India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is confident that technical issues with Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM geared turbofans are being adequately addressed but will not hesitate to take drastic actions—including grounding aircraft—if the growing number of incidents related to two issues does not subside as fixes are rolled out, the agency said.

A series of issues have plagued the geared turbofan variant—which is an option on the AirbusA320neo family—since it entered service in January 2016. India has been hit particularly hard, in part because of the country’s harsh environmental operating conditions, and because Go Air and IndiGo combined have about 30% of the 862-engine PW1100G-JM in-service fleet.

Problems with combustion-chamber distress as well as failures of knife-edge seals and no. 3 bearings that contributed to significant fleet-wide operational and new-production disruptions have largely been addressed. The current issues involve failures of the accessory—or main—gearbox (MGB) and low-pressure turbine (LPT) stage 3 blades, as well as “engine vibration.”

Figures released by DGCA show that through July 2019 the global fleet experienced 11 MGB failures that led to inflight shutdowns, turn-backs, or rejected takeoffs. Two of these involved Indian carriers. Comparable figures for all of 2018 were seven and two, respectively.

LPT-related issues are also on the rise, DGCA said. Global LPT failures leading to operational disruptions in 2019 totaled 17 through July, including seven involving Indian carriers. Last year’s totals were six and five, respectively.
04/09/19 Sean Broderick/MRO Network
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