GoAir A320neo engine shutdown in Feb 2017: Faulty assembly, misinterpretation of norms, says DGCA report

By: | Published: October 18, 2018 10:19 AM

In the past one year, there have been several performance glitches in P&W engines-powered A320 neo aircraft, causing operational issues to its operators in India — IndiGo and GoAir.

Pratt & Whitney, after the February incident, also revised its procedures of engine assembly and issued instructions on engine inspection to airlines.

GoAir aircraft in-flight shut down in February last year was due to incorrect installation of an engine part during maintenance and “misinterpretation” of minimum equipment list (MEL) hours by GoAir, and there was no fire on the aircraft, according to a probe report. MEL hours is the period during which an engine is allowed to operate after a certain red-flag is raised with the equipment.

The incident occurred in Airbus A320neo aircraft equipped with Pratt & Whitney’s PW1100G-JM turbofan engines. “The cause of the incident was an error during assembly stage as the PMA (Permanent Magnetic Alternator) Rotor was incorrectly installed on gear shift which over the period of time generated FOD (Foreign Object Damage),” the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said in the report, which was made public this week. DGCA has also said that it may ask all airlines to ensure that their certifying staff to follow its requirements strictly during certification work.

With its enquiry into the engine failure incident of the GoAir flight from Delhi to Bengaluru on February 8, 2017, which had 193 people on board, including six crew members, and returned to Delhi immediately after departure, DGCA  has put the controversy to rest that there was some fire in the aircraft engine.

No one was hurt during the incident, though, and the affected engine was sent to the manufacturer for inspection right after that. Pratt & Whitney, after the February incident, also revised its procedures of engine assembly and issued instructions on engine inspection to airlines, it added.

In the past one year, there have been several performance glitches in P&W engines-powered A320 neo aircraft, causing operational issues to its operators in India — IndiGo and GoAir. In recent times, both GoAir and IndiGo had grounded some of their A320 neo aircraft due to the engine glitches. As of September 30, Airbus had delivered 22 A320neo aircraft to GoAir, and 50 A320 neo planes to IndiGo.

As of July 31, 2017, the PW1100G-JM power plant had seen 26 premature removals, on account of distress in the combustion chamber, 77 premature removals due to the carbon seal bearing distress and also two premature removals due to main gearbox failure, across the world, the report showed.

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