Monday, December 02, 2019

IndiGo pilots to ascend in way that does not contribute to Airbus engine failure

New Delhi: IndiGo has told its pilots to stop pushing engines on its new Airbus jets to the limit when the planes are climbing, after India’s aviation regulator said the practice may have contributed to turbines failing in the air.
All the budget airline’s A320neo aircraft now use a lower thrust setting following take off, according to a spokesperson from IndiGo, which has suffered 13 engine shutdowns during ascents in 2019. The decision was taken “in order to make every possible effort to minimise exposure of engines,” she wrote in an e-mail, adding that manufacturer Pratt & Whitney stated there was no evidence of a connection between climbing procedure and engine incidents.
Ascending at maximum power can help burn less fuel as it takes less time to reach cruising altitude. IndiGo made the switch only after India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation found in a probe — first reported by Bloomberg on Friday — that full-thrust climbs could wear down the engines and probably contributed to the shutdowns, people familiar with the matter said earlier.
In November, IndiGo instructed pilots of the A320neo-family of jets to use no more than 93% thrust on the Pratt engines until they reach 25,000 feet (7,622m), the people said. They asked not to be identified because the change hadn’t been made public.
The airline spokesperson said the change made “hardly any difference” in day-to-day operations, beyond taking two to three minutes longer for aircraft to reach optimum flight level due to lower thrust settings. “Difference in fuel consumption is marginal,” she said.
02/12/19 Anurag Kotoky/Business Day

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