DGCA grounds two Go First Airbus A320neo aircraft after engine snag


The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has ordered the grounding of two Go First aircraft that suffered mid-air engine snags on Tuesday.

A Go First aircraft operating a Mumbai-Leh flight was diverted to Delhi due to a fault in the engine interface unit.

In another instance, a Delhi-bound plane was forced to turn back to Srinagar due to snag.

“We are investigating the incidents. Both aircraft will be grounded and will fly only after clearance from the DGCA,” said a senior executive.

The civil aviation regulator is likely to seek details from engine manufacturers about frequent snags and steps taken to rectify them.

The regulator action follows its directive to airlines on Monday to deploy adequate aircraft maintenance engineers (AMEs) at all airports.

Go First planes are powered by Pratt & Whitney (P&W)-geared turbofan engines. The airline has 57 aircraft in its fleet — a majority of which are of the A320neo variant. Around a dozen of its planes are already grounded as it awaits delivery of upgraded version of engines.

has over 280 planes, including 190 A320 and A321neos powered by P&W and CFM engines.

and SpiceJet’s narrow-body fleet of Airbus and Boeing planes are equipped with CFM engines.

Vistara’s Airbus and Boeing 737 planes are largely powered by CFM engines.

In the past few months, there have been several instances of engine snags, leading to commanded shutdowns during flights or turn-backs to departing airports.

Last Friday, an A320 aircraft operating between Delhi and Vadodara was diverted to Jaipur due to engine vibration.

The incidents have prompted to carry out spot checks at various airports. These revealed that the cause of defects was not being properly identified. Insufficient number of engineering personnel certifying planes of various carriers before take-off was another worry. It also found that airlines were giving frequent one-off authorisations to certain junior-ranking engineers, flouting regulations.

Before each departure, an aircraft is checked and certified by an AME. The has now issued guidelines for airlines on the deployment of qualified AME personnel and directed them to comply by July 28.

The spot checks also found that AME teams of airlines are improperly identifying the “cause of a reported defect”, the order noted.

P&W did not issue a statement on Tuesday’s incidents, but sources said it is working with Go First to address the challenges.

Go First too did not issue a statement on Tuesday. “For Go First maintaining the reliability of aircraft and maintaining the safety of our passengers is our top priority. Go First has a fleet of 57 aircraft the average age of which is less than four years and it is probably the youngest fleet in India,” the airline had said in a statement last week.

On July 17, IndiGo’s Sharjah-Hyderabad flight was diverted to as a precautionary measure after pilots observed a defect in one engine.

On the night of July 16, the Calicut-Dubai flight of the Express was diverted to Muscat after a burning smell was observed in the cabin mid-air.

A live bird was found in the cockpit of the Express Bahrain-Kochi flight on July 15.

SpiceJet is under the scanner right now. On July 6, the DGCA issued a show-cause notice to SpiceJet, following at least eight incidents of technical malfunction in its aircraft since June 19.

The DGCA is currently investigating all these incidents.

There have been multiple technical malfunction incidents in planes flown by Indian carriers in the past one month. Over the past three days, Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia has held multiple meetings with airlines and officials from his ministry and DGCA officials to ensure safety oversight.


•Both Go First aircraft reported faults in engine no. 2

•The Mumbai-Leh flight was diverted to Delhi

•The Srinagar-Delhi flight returned to Srinagar after engine fault, mid-air

•Go First planes are powered by Pratt & Whitney-geared turbofan engines

•The airline has 57 aircraft in its fleet — a majority of which are of the A320neo variant

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