Hyderabad: In what can lead to a severe disruption of flight operations and a threat to the life of air passengers, six cases of an air turn back were reported in a short period — i.e. October to November ( until 15th). An air turn back is when the crew decides to return to the airport of departure for reasons known to them.
Notably, all six flights that witnessed inflight shut down were operating on unmodified Pratt and Whitney (P&W) engines. Out of the six, the last incident of an air turn back happened in Hyderabad. On November 2, a GoAir flight (A320) from Patna to Hyderabad operating on an unmodified P&W engine, encountered a technical snag. Investigations found that during the climb, the second engine’s high vibration caution came on. However, within a short time, the craft went off. All engine parameters of both engines were found normal. An in-flight shut down was carried out, and the plane landed at Patna airport.
According to Civil Aviation officials, all six cases of an air turn back were reported by Indian scheduled airlines with P&W 1100 G engines on Airbus A320 Neo aircraft. There was no consequential damage to the plane, and no injuries to any person on board were reported for the six cases.
As a result, the civil aviation ministry has asked airlines to replace all unmodified engines. Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of Civil Aviation, said, “In light of the inflight shutdown incidents, the directorate has asked airlines to replace all unmodified engines with modified engines by January 31, 2020. In the interest of safety, airlines flying A320 fitted with Pratt & Whitney engines have been asked to operate only those that have at least one modified engine.”
Details of incidents of air turn back during October and November
1. 24-09-2019: Kolkata-Chennai Indigo flight encountered high vibration from engine 2 during the trip. The aircraft was forced to turn back at Kolkata.
2. 25-10-2019: Mumbai-Coimbatore Indigo. The engine 2 of the craft stalled while climbing and followed by high vibration. The engine had to be shut down, and inflight shut down was ordered.
3. 26-10-2019: Delhi Go Indigo flight’s engine 2 stalled followed vibrations. An air turn back was ordered
4. 28 -10-2019: Ahmedabad-Varanasi Indigo flight’s problem occurred with engine 2.
5. 30-10-2019: Kolkata-Pune Indigo Flight had to turn back to the departure airport, as a loud bang emanated out of engine 1, followed by vibrations.
6. 02-11-19: Patna- Hyderabad Go Air flight encountered a technical snag during the climb, and it had to land at Patna.