New Delhi: Aviation regulator DGCA has started detailed examination of 21 Airbus 320 neo planes of IndiGo and GoAir that are powered by Pratt & Whitney engines, which have been frequently facing technical snags.
Taking serious note of recent incidents where some IndiGo and GoAir flights had to make emergency landings due to problems with aircraft engine, the watchdog has started the examination and is also in discussions with Pratt & Whitney (P&W).
A senior DGCA official today said “boroscopic examination" of the A320 neo aircraft — which are using P&W engines — in the fleet of IndiGo and GoAir has been initiated.
As many as 21 A320 neo planes will be examined and the exercise is expected to be completed in the next two weeks. Only those neo aircraft which have flown at least 1,000 hours are being examined for possible engine issues, he added.
Further, the official said the regulator is in touch with engine maker P&W to address the problems which mainly relate to bearings of the engine.
The examination of the engines is being done using boroscope — an optical device that is used for inspecting parts that are generally inaccessible. Hence, the exercise is called boroscopic examination.
Out of the 21 such planes that are being inspected by the DGCA, 16 are with IndiGo and the rest are with GoAir.
After carrying out preliminary probes into incidents involving P&W engine-powered neo planes, the official said a frequent issue has been with one of the bearings in the engine apart from those related to combustion system. P&W has been apprised of the initial findings and the company has assured that the problems would be resolved in coming months, the official added.
Even though DGCA carries out inspection of planes routinely as part of ensuring overall safety, it is rare for the regulator to order detailed examination of a particular class of aircraft and a specific number engine.
Among various incidents, earlier this month a Bengaluru- bound GoAir flight —carrying around 190 people — had made an emergency landing due to technical issues on 8 February. The carrier was operating a A320 neo aircraft having P&W engine.
A320 neo planes, which are more fuel efficient, are currently being used by three domestic carriers — IndiGo, GoAir and Air India. In the case of the national carrier, the aircraft is powered by CFM engine.