Aviation regulator DGCA is conducting engineering audit of government-owned Air India fleet to assess maintenance records of its aircraft...
Aviation regulator DGCA is conducting engineering audit of government-owned Air India fleet to assess maintenance records of its aircraft, following an incident of a tail-pipe fire in one of its plane that took place at Mumbai airport last week.
The audit is being carried out across all its four bases, including Mumbai and Delhi, they said.
“We are conducting engineering audit of Air India across its all four bases, namely Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Hyderabad. We want to check whether the airline’s aircraft maintenance engineers are doing proper checks of the fleet and also ensure that aircraft are not being flown with deferred defects,” sources at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said today.
Besides, the audit, of the entire fleet of 107 planes, also covers availability of spares and other maintenance related issues, they said.
Last year, the aviation regulator had conducted an engineering audit of SpiceJet aircraft.
According to the sources, the tail-pipe of an Airbus A319’s right engine had caught fire on last Tuesday due to excess fuel when the aircraft was on ground. The fire was, however, quickly doused.
This incident came close on the heels of an Air India flight from Varanasi making an emergency landing at Indira Gandhi International Airport here due to a hydraulic failure, which also resulted in minor fire due to the heating of the nose-wheel rim.
“These incidents and some other in the recent past forced the regulator to conduct such an exercise,” the sources said.
Following this incident, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma had refuted allegations that the national carrier was operating “faulty” aircraft, saying the incident was not due to any “safety” issue.
Significantly, one of Air India pilots’ union, Indian Commercial Pilots Association, had in March urged the DGCA to ground its aging classic A320 family aircraft, citing passengers and flight safety issues.