The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will revise the timeline given to IndiGo and GoAir to replace the Pratt & Whitney (P&W) engines of their A320 Neo aircraft, which have operated for more than 2,900 hours. Earlier, the deadlines given to complete replacements of at least one engine were November 13, 2019, for GoAir, and November 19, 2019, for IndiGo. DGCA will decide the new timeline by Friday. According to DGCA, the airlines have complied with the directive, and hence, the timeline will be revised for more replacements. GoAir has replaced engines on eight aircraft, among its 13 identified aircraft. IndiGo reportedly modified 45% of its A320 Neo engines. DGCA will check the safety issues of the changed engines of GoAir.
Issues are exclusive to A320/321 Neo aircraft powered by P&W engines
The directive asking airlines to change P&W engines came last month. DGCA has asked carriers to ensure that all A320 Neo aircraft have both power plants modified with new third-stage low-pressure turbines. Failing to comply with the directive would result in planes being grounded. The directive came after airlines reported several instances of flight failures. In one instance, an IndiGo aircraft reportedly stalled with a loud banging noise and heavy vibration.
No approvals will be made in future without modified engines
DGCA contacted the officials of Pratt & Whitney requesting them to cooperate with the airlines for quick engine changes. Several troubles were reported with P&W engines including combustion chamber distress, turbine failures, gearbox failures, etc. DGCA said that it would continue to monitor the engine performances of all airlines with A320 Neo aircraft.
The DGCA has also mandated that all A320/321neo aircraft inducted after August 2019 must be installed with a modified main gearbox (MGB) and new modified third stage LPT blades. There is also a restriction on acceptance of lease engines without changed LPT and MGB.