DGCA Directs IndiGo, GoAir to Fix P&W Engine Issues
Following a directive by the US FAA, the Indian aviation regulator orders changes on 13 engines of IndiGo aircraft and two of GoAir by December this year
New Delhi: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has ordered engine changes on seven Airbus A320neos — six IndiGo and one GoAir aircraft — after a directive by the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) to replace engines by December 2018.
“Some of the engines installed on aircraft operated by Indian operators —13 engines of IndiGo aircraft and two engines of GoAir — are affected. Indian operators have sufficient time to become compliant,” said a senior DGCA official, who did not want to be identified.
The airworthiness directive (AD) from FAA requires replacement of high pressure compressor (HPC) front hub due to corrosion, said the official.
“As per the directive, action has to be taken within 120 days after effective date, or before exceeding 6,180 cycles since new, or within five years since the ship date, as indicated in the AD, whichever occurs first,” the official added.
The directives are for Airbus A320neo planes fitted with Pratt & Whitney engines, operated by IndiGo and GoAir in India.
Indian carriers operate one of the world’s largest fleet of Airbus A320neos fitted with P&W engines with 75 in operations. IndiGo, which started operating a large fle- et of these aircraft in April last year, has faced most problems with the P&W engines so far.
In a statement, P&W said, “The recent airworthiness directives will not cause any operational disrup- tion 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.”
Air India and Vistara also operate Airbus A320neos but with CFM engines and they haven’t faced any issues with their aircraft.
Industry insiders, however, added that these problems do not risk the safety of the aircraft. “The advisories are precautionary in nature and does not, anyway, impact the safety of the aircraft,” said an industry executive.
The other directive by the FAA requires replacement of certain parts on PW 1100 engines from serial number 450 to 614 installed on A320neo aircraft. “Both IndiGo and Go Air are compliant on the same,” said the DGCA official.
Among the regulators across the globe, the DGCA follows the most stringent regulations for the operations of Airbus A320neo aircraft, as India has the largest fleet.
Following frequent failures on A320neos fitted with Pratt & Whitney engines, India’s aviation regulator had imposed frequent checks on these aircraft including inspection of engines after every 1,000 hours, instead of 1,500 hours as sought by P&W, and repe- at inspection every 500 hours.
The stringent directive remains in force. The DGCA directive for the A320neos having PW engines comes a day after the Indian regulator alerted operators of Boeing 737 Max — Jet Airways and SpiceJet — about a potential malfunction, which could lead to “excessive nose-down attitude, significant altitude loss, and possible impact with terrain”. The US FAA and Boeing had issued a bulletin over last two days after analysing the crash of Lion Air’s brand new Boeing 737 Max on October 29 soon after takeoff from Jakarta, killing all the 189 on board.