As per a latest report from PTI, on Thursday, an IndiGo flight suffered mid-air engine failure with a “loud bang”. The flight which suffered the engine failure while in operation was an Airbus A320Neo aircraft from IndiGo’s fleet. Following this incident, the civil aviation ministry has taken a serious note of the matter and investigations are already on. Going by the words of the sources, the engine failure has been in one of the other Pratt and Whitney engines in IndiGo’s fleet of A320Neo aircrafts. This flight had taken off from Chennai and was going to Kolkata when it faced the engine failure along with a loud bang. After the crew noticed this, the flight had to be flown back to Chennai where it remains grounded due to damaged engine blades.
AAIB Takes Notice of Incident
The sources said that the engine of the aircraft stalled mid-air along with vibrations, smoke and a “loud bang”, while IndiGo spokesperson said informing about this issue, that its crew took note of a “technical caution” after which the flight returned back to Chennai. Civil Aviation Secretary, RN Choubey also commented on the incident in response to a query, "Ministry has taken serious note (of the incident) and we will review it on Tuesday.” The source also added that this engine failure caused the aircraft to return to Chennai under emergency circumstances, and also the number of people on onboard could not be ascertained.
IndiGo in its statement said, “The crew followed the normal operating procedures and asked for a priority landing. There was no engine shutdown and no emergency landing was declared as per the report.” Following the incident, the apex aviation body of government AAIB has sent its team to Chennai for investigation and to take a call on the probe, " An official of the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB)said, "As per settled practice, we have sent a team. We are awaiting details.”
P&W Engines in Crosshair
It is worth noting that IndiGo has been forced to ground more of its flights due to Pratt and Whitney engine issues which it inducted into its fleet back in 2016. Also, the aviation authority, AAIB is already probing into the smoking incident on another IndiGo Jaipur-Kolkata flight which happened on December 10. It is worth noting that, out of the carriers who deploy Airbus A320 aircrafts, GoAir and IndiGo use P&W engines, whereas, Air India and Vistara deploy CFM engines. IndiGo is not the only carrier which has been facing issues with these engines, GoAir has reported similar incidents.
Airbus has declined to comment on the situation but has assured that it is working closely with the engine maker to “minimise disruption”. However, despite a lot of reported incidents of grounding, P&W hasn’t been able to come up with a sustainable solution to the problem.