IndiGo, GoAir told to sort out P&W engine issues
DGCA advisory comes after US FAA issues order to replace certain P&W engine parts
Mumbai: The country’s aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), has asked no-frills carriers IndiGo and GoAir to sort out engine snags that affect as many as 15 Pratt & Whitney (P&W) powered Airbus A320 Neo aircraft, following a directive by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a senior DGCA official said on Friday.
The FAA had issued the directive on replacement of high pressure compressor (HPC) on 7 November, he said. In another directive issued on 7 November, the FAA said it requires replacement of certain parts on P&W 1100 engines from Sl. No. 450 to 614 installed on A320Neo aircraft, the DGCA official said. “This is to address failure of knife edge seal issue. Both Indigo and Go Air are compliant on same,” the official said.
The directives from FAA and DGCA are not expected to cause any major operational disruption for the airlines as parts are expected to be replaced during regular maintenance.
Both carriers have been struggling with P&W engine issues during the year, which have led to the grounding of some of their A320 Neo aircraft.
“The airworthiness directive or AD (from FAA) requires replacement of high pressure compressor (HPC) front hub due to corrosion. As per the AD, action has to be taken within 120 days after effective date (12 December 2018) or before exceeding 6,180 cycles since new or within five years since the ship date as indicated by the AD, whichever occurs first,” said the official who did not want to be named.
As many as 13 IndiGo aircraft and two GoAir aircraft are expected to be affected by the FAA directive, the official said.
The airlines will need to carry out the replacements by April 2019, he said.
Each Airbus A320 Neo aircraft is fitted with two engines.
“DGCA has declared the ADs mandatory and directed the Indian operators to comply within the period as indicated in the ADs,” the official said.
The P&W (India) spokesperson said that the recent airworthiness directives will not cause any operational disruption for the operators. The engine parts will be replaced during planned future shop visit and is, therefore, predictable for operators.
“Pratt & Whitney is complying with the directives and working closely with our customers to ensure the process is completed within the required timeline,” the spokesperson said.
A GoAir spokesperson failed to respond after promising to check and revert. The IndiGo spokesperson was also not available for comment despite Mint reaching out by messages and email.
A person close to the development said that airlines such as IndiGo and GoAir will not have to carry out entire engine replacements to address the HPC issue.
“This AD was prompted by corrosion found on the HPC front hub. This AD requires replacing the HPC front hub with a part eligible for installation,” the person said.
“This (directive) does not cause any operational disruption for the operators and the parts can be replaced during planned shop visit,” the person said.
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