Pilots of the Air India A320neo plane from Mumbai to Bengaluru received a warning about high exhaust gas temperatures on one of the engines just minutes after the aircraft’s departure
New Delhi: Just 27 minutes after take off, an Air India A320neo plane headed for Bengaluru returned to the Mumbai airport as one of its engines shut down mid-air due to a technical issue.
According to PTI, Air India spokesperson said the passengers were flown to the destination after a change of aircraft on Thursday, while aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation is conducting an investigation into the incident.
Pilots of the A320neo plane received a warning about high exhaust gas temperatures on one of the engines just minutes after the aircraft’s departure from the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport at 9.43 am. With that engine being shut down, the pilot landed back at the Mumbai airport at 10.10 am, sources said.
“Air India accords top priority to safety and our crew are well adept at handling these situations. Our Engineering and Maintenance teams had immediately started looking into the issue. The scheduled flight had left with passengers to Bengaluru after a change of aircraft,” an Air India spokesperson said.
According to officials, Tata Group-run Air India has 27 Airbus A320neo planes, NDTV reported.
Air India’s A320neo planes are powered by CFM LEAP engines and unlike IndiGo and GoAir’s Pratt and Whitney A320neo engines, these have not reported technical problems in the past, an Air India official said.
According to the official website of Airbus, NEO is “one of many upgrades introduced by Airbus to maintain its A320 product line’s position as the world’s most advanced and fuel-efficient single-aisle aircraft family.” It has availability of two advanced engine choices – Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower PW1100G-JM geared turbofan, and CFM International’s LEAP-1A.
Ever since their induction in 2016, the Pratt and Whitney engines have reportedly faced serious issues leading to several in-flight engine shutdown incidents. Among the major ones are combustion chamber distress, low pressure turbine (LPT) and gear box failures.
According to a report in India Today, a Kolkata-bound flight of IndiGo had to return to Chennai in January 2019, following a mid-air engine failure after it was reported that a “loud bang” was heard followed by smoke and heavy vibrations.
Before that, an IndiGo A320neo flight from Port Blair to Kolkata reportedly suffered mid-air engine failure. The report stated that in March 2018, as many as 11 such planes were grounded by IndiGo and GoAir following incidents of mid-air aircraft engine failure. It added that although it’s not known how many of IndiGo’s A320neo were out of operations due to engine issues, both the aircraft-maker and the engine-maker have been monetarily compensating the two domestic carriers — IndiGo and GoAir — for each grounded plane.
Last year, IndiGo selected CFM International LEAP-1A engines to power its fleet of 310 new Airbus A320neo, A321neo and A321XLR aircraft, ANI reported.
The agreement includes 620 new installed engines and associated spare engines as well as a long-term, multi-year service agreement. In 2019, IndiGo selected LEAP-1A engines and signed a long-term service agreement for engines to power 280 A320neo family aircraft.
CFM International is a 50:50 joint company between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines.
(With inputs from agencies)
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