Alliance Air Mumbai-Bhuj Flight Takes Off Sans Engine Cover, DGCA Launches Probe

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Alliance Air

On Wednesday, a four-year-old ATR72-600 turboprop aircraft operated by Alliance Air flight took off without engine cover. The Mumbai-Bhuj flight carried 70 passengers, including one aircraft maintenance engineer and four crew members on board, while the incident occurred. India’s aviation regulatory authority Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), has launched an investigation into the incident.

The plane’s engine cowl was discovered on the side of the runway shortly after it took off from Mumbai at 6.30 am and the airport’s air traffic control reported it to the flight. However, the Alliance Air continued on its journey and landed safely in Bhuj.

Around 61 passengers were supposed to take the same flight to Mumbai a few hours later. However, upon learning about the missing cover engine, the airline cancelled the return flights and entered for maintenance work.

According to aviation expert Captain Amit Singh, such incidents are the repercussions of poor maintenance work. “Incidents of cowl separation usually occur post maintenance activity if latches are not secured. The crew is also expected to ensure that the engine cowl is seated before commencing the flight,” he told the news agency ANI.

“The separation of engine cowling may have an aerodynamic effect leading to marginal aircraft performance deterioration. Engine components exposed to airflow may have been impacted. However, the aircraft has landed safely at its destination in the present case,” a DGCA official said.

According to another source, the probe would look into maintenance records and flight circumstances. However, based on the condition of the recovered engine cowl, the source believes that a foreign item impacting the engine was unlikely to cause it to come off.

Alliance Air Initiates an Internal Investigation

Alliance Air acknowledged the ‘unfortunate’ incident. “While we follow laid down policies/procedures as per the regulatory authorities and have strict checks in place — both pre and post-flight operations to ensure complete safety of our passengers and crew, we regret the unfortunate incident. We have taken strict note of the incident and initiated a thorough investigation. The findings of the same shall be shared with the regulatory authorities, and we shall ensure that all required corrective actions are put in place,” the airline said in a statement released.

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Ria is a lead news writer at Aviation Scoop. She writes from dawn to dusk, reads in the evenings, and draws at some ungodly hours. She loathes human interaction and finds solace in the sweet, musky smell of old books, and rain.

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