As Airbus’s A320neo aircraft continue to fly with Pratt & Whitney’s PW1100g-JM engines, some of which have witnessed performance issues resulting in grounding of as many as 11 planes in India, an airliner operated by GoAir on August 30 from Kochi to Mumbai had to make an emergency landing at Goa due to a “technical snag”.
“On August 30, GoAir flight G8345 (Kochi-Mumbai) was diverted to Goa due to technical snag. All passengers (166) deplaned safely and were subsequently flown to Mumbai early morning on August 31 by an alternate GoAir aircraft,” an airline spokesperson said. Passengers on board the said flight were reported to have heard “strange” sounds from the engines at the time of take-off, which continued during the flight en route Mumbai. Eventually, the pilots announced the diversion to Goa.
The A320neo aircraft that was being operated on flight number G8345 on August 30, with registration VT-WGB, continued normal operations from Friday. In March, GoAir had asked its pilots to restrict flying above 30,000 feet to reduce strain on the engines. Pratt & Whitney’s new PW1100g-JM engines have witnessed issues around premature degradation of a carbon seal and combustion chamber. In February this year, one of GoAir’s A320neo engines caught fire shortly after taking off from Delhi airport. While the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) suspended the licence of an aircraft maintenance engineer at GoAir for alleged lapses, the airline denied any negligence and said it had followed procedures after a warning, as prescribed by the manufacturer.
An e-mail query sent to DGCA asking if it has received a report about the latest GoAir incident did not elicit any response. Earlier this month, DGCA expressed its concern with grounding of aircraft due to engine issues and had asked Pratt & Whitney to prioritise Indian carriers for sending new engines. Apart from GoAir, India’s largest airline IndiGo has also been plagued with issues arising from the engines, and the airline has grounded up to nine aircraft on certain days affecting its flight operations. IndiGo, too, had issued the altitude restriction advisory to its pilots in March.
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