Rising incidents of technical snags in domestic airlines continued with two Go First flights — Mumbai-Leh and Srinagar-Delhi — joining the list on Tuesday. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation grounded the carrier’s two A320 neo planes, officials said.
It is investigating the incidents and both planes, with Pratt and Whitney engines, will fly only when cleared by it, the officials added.
Both aircraft reported faults in engine number 2. The Mumbai-Leh flight was diverted to Delhi, DGCA officials said. The Srinagar-Delhi flight returned to Srinagar after engine number 2 showed a fault mid-air.
There have been multiple technical malfunction incidents in planes flown by domestic carriers in the last one month. Over the last three days, civil aviation minister, Jyotiraditya Scindia has held multiple meetings with airlines and officials from his ministry and DGCA officials to ensure safety oversight.
The DGCA on Monday said it conducted spot checks and found that an insufficient number of engineering personnel were certifying planes of various carriers before take-off.
Before each departure, an aircraft is checked and certified by an aircraft maintenance engineer (AME). The DGCA has now issued guidelines for airlines on the deployment of qualified AME personnel and directed them to comply by July 28.
The spot checks also found that AME teams of airlines are improperly identifying the ‘cause of a reported defect’, the DGCA order noted.
On July 17, IndiGo’s Sharjah-Hyderabad flight was diverted to Karachi as a precautionary measure after pilots observed a defect in one engine.
On the night of July 16, the Calicut-Dubai flight of the Air India Express was diverted to Muscat after a burning smell was observed in the cabin mid-air.
A live bird was found in the cockpit of the Air India Express Bahrain-Kochi flight on July 15. SpiceJet is already facing an investigation. On July 6, the DGCA issued a show-cause notice to it following at least eight incidents of technical malfunction in its aircraft since June 19. The DGCA is currently investigating all these incidents.