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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

DGCA finds minor flaws in aircraft maintenance during spot checks

The DGCA inspections came in the aftermath of the May 1 incident on SpiceJet's Mumbai-Durgapur flight that left several passengers injured as the plane underwent severe turbulence.

Written by Pranav Mukul | New Delhi |
Updated: May 12, 2022 5:50:05 am
At one such night surveillance at Mumbai airport on May 6, several deficiencies were found with aircraft belonging to SpiceJet, IndiGo and Air India, and also the maintenance processes.

Through spot checks and night surveillance of aircraft parked across major airports in the country over the last 10 days, India’s aviation safety regulator DGCA found several deficiencies in how aircraft are maintained, including minor mechanical issues, damaged seats, missing safety markings on seats, defects in aircraft door panels, discrepancies with maintenance records, among others, a senior regulatory official told The Indian Express.

The DGCA inspections came in the aftermath of the May 1 incident on SpiceJet’s Mumbai-Durgapur flight that left several passengers injured as the plane underwent severe turbulence. Following the incident, the regulator ordered inspection of the entire fleet of SpiceJet, while taking off duty the in-charge of the airline’s maintenance control centre. The DGCA also ordered spot checks for other airlines.

“Between May 2 and May 11, DGCA inspectors conducted 213 spot checks and inspected 149 aircraft. Of these, 113 spot checks were for SpiceJet, 25 for IndiGo, 21 for Vistara, 17 each for Go First and Air India, 14 for AirAsia India, three for Alliance Air, two for Star Air and one for Flybig,” the official cited above said.

At one such night surveillance at Mumbai airport on May 6, several deficiencies were found with aircraft belonging to SpiceJet, IndiGo and Air India, and also the maintenance processes. “In one of the Airbus A319 aircraft, the main landing gear tyre-changing work was undergoing, but without the availability of a maintenance engineer. No work order or maintenance data was found with technicians on the job. Also, lighting to carry out the task was not proper,” the official told this newspaper.

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At Hyderabad on May 10, an Airbus A319 plane was found with door panel defects that were reported in March this year but were not addressed, he said. “In another Airbus A320 plane, ‘fasten seat belt while seated’ and ‘life vest under the seat’ decals were found missing in six rows,” the official said.

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In response to a query sent by The Indian Express, a SpiceJet spokesperson said: “The observations were mostly regarding cabin and rectification has been done. All aircraft are operating normally”. An Air India spokesperson replied to an e-mail saying: “We are sending your queries to the departments concerned. We will revert to you with our response, the moment we receive the information from them.” Queries to IndiGo, Go First, AirAsia India and Vistara did not elicit response at the time of publication.

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