Thursday, January 16, 2020

21 snags in two years: Another IndiGo Neo faces Pratt engine issue, diverts safely to Mumbai

New Delhi: High vibrations on yet another unmodified Pratt & Whitney (PW) engine forced an IndiGo Airbus A320 Neo flying from Pune to Jaipur to divert safely to Mumbai on Thursday morning. The Neo (VT-ITW) operating as 6E-6129 experienced high vibrations while passing through flight level 30,600 feet, say sources -- making it the 21st Pratt engine snag on IndiGo Neos in last about 2 years.

Pilots brought this engine to idle and made a safe emergency landing at the nearest airport, that happened to be Mumbai, as twin-engine planes can land safely on one engine.

“Inspections on landing in Mumbai revealed the unmodified engine had faced the same issue of its low pressure turbine’s third stage blades being damaged. This engine was last inspected on December 9 and had been cleared for re-inspection after 500 cycles (flights). But it developed a snag on its 255th cycle (flight) itself. This aircraft is grounded in Mumbai and the engine will need t be replaced,” said a person overseeing the probe into snags on PW engines for the A320/321 Neos.

An IndiGo spokesperson said 6E-6129 operating from Pune to Jaipur was diverted to Mumbai Thursday morning. "During the flight, the pilot observed an engine vibration message and followed the laid standard operating procedures. The flight landed at Mumbai. The aircraft is currently under inspection at Mumbai. All passengers were accommodated on another aircraft which further operated to Jaipur," the spokesperson said.

Comments from PW have been sought and are awaited.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s (DGCA) decision to allow Airbus A320/321 Neos with IndiGo and GoAir to operate only if they have at least one modified — and hopefully less snag-prone PW engine — has saved the day on multiple occasions as there have been numerous instances on the unmodified Pratt engine going bust and then the Neos landing safely on the one modified engine.
16/01/20 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India
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