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IndiGo plane suffers mid-air engine failure, government to review incident

An IndiGo Airbus A320neo plane suffered a mid-air engine failure with a "loud bang" on Thursday and the civil aviation ministry has taken serious note of the incident, sources said.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
Mumbai Published on: January 05, 2019 18:46 IST
Representative Image
Image Source : PTI

Representative Image

The Civil Aviation Ministry is going to investigate into the incident involving an IndiGo Airbus A320neo plane mid-air engine failure with a "loud bang" on Thursday.

The latest incident involving another Pratt & Whitney engine happened when the aircraft was flying to Kolkata from Chennai on January 3. 

The plane returned mid-way to Chennai and has been grounded there since then due to damaged engine blades, they said.

While sources said the engine of the aircraft stalled mid-air with a "loud bang", an IndiGo spokesperson said in a statement that its crew took note of a "technical caution" and decided to return the flight to Chennai.

"Ministry has taken serious note (of the incident) and we will review it on Tuesday," Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey said in response to a PTI query.

He was asked whether the ministry will direct the aircraft maker Airbus and US-based engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney to stop deliveries unless all issues are fixed.

"One of the P&W engines of IndiGo neo aircraft operating on Chennai-Kolkata route on January 3 stalled mid-air followed by a loud bang and sparks from it and smoke, leading to heavy vibration," a source said.

The incident forced the A320neo aircraft to return to Chennai under emergency conditions, he added. 

The number of people on board the flight could not be ascertained.

"This was for the first time that that an A320neo faced multiple problems -- smoke, heavy vibration, loud bang and engine stalled -- in one single flight," the source added.

IndiGo, which is facing such issues in the A320neo planes powered by P&W engines since their induction in the fleet in 2016 and has received compensation from both Airbus and the engine maker for each grounding, said the aircraft returned to Chennai due to "technical caution" noted by the crew.

"An IndiGo flight 6E 923 (Neo) operating Chennai-Kolkata route on January 3 returned to Chennai after take-off due to a technical caution noted by the crew. 

"The crew followed the normal operating procedures and asked for a priority landing. There was no engine shutdown and no emergency landing was declared as per the report," IndiGo said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the government's apex aircraft investigation body AAIB has rushed a team to Chennai to assess the incident and take a call on the probe.

"As per settled practice, we have sent a team. We are awaiting details," a senior official of the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) told PTI.

The official, however, said it was not yet decided whether AAIB will probe the incident or the aviation regulator DGCA. 

(With PTI Inputs)

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