Friday, October 04, 2019

Pratt engine snags: US issues new rules, India says already asked IndiGo, GoAir to comply

New Delhi: The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued new directives for Pratt & Whitney (PW) engines powering the Airbus A320 Neos — a combination used in India by IndiGo and GoAir — following multiple instances of inflight shutdown of this snag-prone engine. The US regulator issued an airworthiness directive (AD) saying the same was “was prompted by multiple reports of in-flight engine shutdowns as the result of high-cycle fatigue causing fracture of certain parts of the main gearbox (MGB) assembly … issuing this AD to prevent failure of the MGB assembly. The unsafe condition, if not addressed, could result in failure of one or more engines, loss of thrust control, and loss of the airplane.”

This AD is applicable to all airlines using A320 Neos globally powered by PW engines of serial numbers mentioned in the AD. Asked if India has also asked IndiGo and GoAir to adopt the same, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) chief Arun Kumar said: “We have been a step ahead. DGCA has already issued direction to both the operators that no engine without modified MGB shall be accepted from September onwards after the shop/MRO visit and currently 49 engines have been received with modified MGB.”
With 430 A320/21 Neos on order, IndiGo is the world’s largest customer for this aircraft. The airline inducted its first PW-powered A320 Neo on March 11, 2016, and at present has almost 100 of these planes. GoAir, which has 144 A320 Neos on order, currently has over 35 PW-powered Neos.

The PW engines for A320 Neos have been snag-ridden from 2016 itself. Possibly for this reason IndiGo recently opted for engines from PW competitor, CFM, for 280 Neos.
04/10/19 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India
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