NEW DELHI: Following yet another trouble with Pratt and Whitney (PW) engine, an IndiGo Airbus A320 Neo safely returned to Mumbai on Thursday within an hour of taking off from there for Bengaluru. The Neo (VT-IVU) took off as 6E-236 at 9.38 am. During climb at about 13,000 feet, an older version of PW engine on this plane reportedly experienced heavy vibration and the pilots decided to return to Mumbai.
Twin engine planes can safely land on one engine and this aircraft did so at at 10.35 am.
“Engine number two had high vibrations twice during climb. Once while passing through 4,000 feet the message came momentarily. Then again while 10,000 feet high vibrations for 35 seconds were experienced. Aircraft safely returned to Mumbai and is grounded there for checks,” said an official overseeing the probe of this latest PW trouble.
An IndiGo spokesperson said, “pilot observed a caution message” on the A320 Neo operating Mumbai-Bangalore on Thursday morning. “Standard operating procedures were followed and the aircraft returned to Mumbai as a precaution. The aircraft is currently under inspection at Mumbai,” she added.
Comments from PW are awaited. Earlier this week (December 2) an IndiGo Neo was grounded in Hyderabad after flying there from Chennai for engine replacement following “momentary engine vibration” during flight.
The PW engine that suffered high vibration on 6E-236 on Thursday is learnt to be among the unmodified ones that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) wants to be replaced from all IndiGo Neos by January 31, 2020. Any IndiGo A320-21 Neo with unmodified engine will not be allowed to fly from February 1, 2020. Meeting this requirement means changing over 110 unmodified engines. IndiGo is coordinating with Airbus and PW to meet that deadline.
To avoid grounding of significant number of Neos that still have an unmodified engine after January 31, 2020, the DGCA had recently asked IndiGo to ground a Neo with unmodified engine for engine replacement each time it inducts a Neo with both modified engines. The idea: The plane with both modified engines will operate routes of the grounded Neo and thus, there will be no last-minute flight cancellations.