IndiGo, GoAir ground 9 A320 neo planes on P&W engine woes

IndiGo and GoAir have grounded nine A320 neo planes due to Pratt & Whitney engine issues, aviation regulator DGCA said today. Taking note of the grounding, Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu has sought a detailed report on the matter from the DGCA.

“At present, there are 60 A320 neos with P&W engines (41 with IndiGo and 19 with GoAir). As on date, 7 with IndiGo and 2 with GoAir are on ground,” the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said in a statement.

These groundings are due to combustor distress found during routine scheduled boroscopic inspection, it added.

It refers to inspection done using a boroscope — an optical device that is used for inspecting parts that are generally inaccessible.

The regulator also said there are no safety concerns as such distress is found during routine scheduled boroscope inspections of these engines.

Prabhu has sought a report on the grounding of the A320 neos from the DGCA.

Security of the passengers is of paramount importance and at no cost the security should be compromised, he said in the statement.

Providing technical details, the ministry said these are all Block B combustors.

“As and when combustor distress is found beyond laid down limits, aircraft is removed from service for engine replacement.

“A320 neos inducted after March 2018 are coming with P&W engines fitted with Block C combustors which has better life. Engines coming from shop are also fitted with Block C combustors,” it noted.

IndiGo and GoAir have been grappling with P&W engine problems persisting for many months.

“The manufacturers have taken measures to address significant problems of engines related to combustion chambers distress and No 3 bearing issues by replacing Block B combustion chambers with Block C and providing dry face bearing seals.

“These measures have significantly reduced the engine problems,” the DGCA said.

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