Indigo Has Had Its 21st P&W Engine Issue in Two Years

Photo by Karam Sodhi | AeroNewsX

IndiGo has been in the news a lot lately, but it has rarely been good. From an IndiGo pilot threatening a 75-year-old woman on the tarmac to having its 21st A320neo engine failure in the past 2 years, IndiGo has dealt with everything.

Flight 6129, operated by an A320neo, which was bound to Jaipur (India) from Pune (India), had to make an emergency landing at Mumbai International Airport.

"An IndiGo flight 6E-6129 (A320neo) operating from Pune to Jaipur was diverted to Mumbai this morning. During the flight, the pilot observed an engine vibration message and followed the laid standard operating procedures," a spokesperson said in the statement.

The aircraft had experienced high vibrations on one of its yet to be modified Pratt & Whitney (PW) engines. The aircraft had 180 people on board, and it was cruising at 36,000 feet when the pilot noticed the vibration in one of its engines. The pilots took a quick decision by idling that engine and declared a full emergency, and they landed the aircraft.

“Inspections on landing in Mumbai revealed the unmodified engine had faced the same issue of its low-pressure turbine’s third stage blades being damaged. This engine was last inspected on December 9 and had been cleared for re-inspection after 500 cycles (flights). But it developed a snag on its 255th cycle (flight) itself. This aircraft is grounded in Mumbai and the engine will need to be replaced”, said a person overseeing the probe into snags on PW engines on the A320neo.

IndiGo was one of the first airlines to introduce Airbus A320neo to its fleet with the P&W engine option when it took first delivery in 2016. However, the airline’s A320neo operations have since been marked by multiple engine failure incidents and plane groundings related to the issue. IndiGo has fully adopted a revised take-off method that doesn’t apply full thrust on the engines, a practice that has been linked to repeated in-flight turbine failures.

This incident was the 21st incident of the P&W engine. The DGCA, which recently stepped up its scrutiny on these engines, has extended the timeline given to IndiGo to replace all of its engines until May 31, 2020. Airbus and P&W have assured that replacement for all the 135 engines will be done by June 2020, but the DGCA has been adamant about its decision and has asked the airline to finish this job by May end. It has also decided that no aircraft with an unmodified engine in the IndiGo fleet will be allowed to fly after this deadline.

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