IndiGo’s Jaipur-bound flight grounded after ‘high vibration’ in P&W engine

New Delhi: Another P&W-powered A320neo aircraft of IndiGo was grounded on Monday after its pilot observed “high vibration” in its engine soon after taking off from Lucknow airport. The flight 6E-451, which was heading to Jaipur, returned to Lucknow as a precautionary measure. It is currently being inspected by IndiGo’s technical team.

Pratt and Whitney (P&W) engine woes have forced both IndiGo and its smaller rival GoAir to ground some of the A320neos. IndiGo operates around 57 P&W-powered A320neo aircraft. Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Thursday banned IndiGo and GoAir from operating their A320neo planes to Port Blair in the wake of problems with their P&W engines.

“An IndiGo flight 6E-451 was operating from Lucknow to Jaipur on January 21, 2019. The pilot observed high vibration on engine number 2. As a precaution, he returned the aircraft to Lucknow,” IndiGo said in its statement.

“The aircraft is currently at Lucknow and being inspected by the technical team,” the airline added. P&W said in its statement: “The Indigo A320neo aircraft which was involved in the air turn back at Lucknow, Amausi, India on January 21, 2019, was powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM engines. We are working with our customer to help minimize any disruption to their operations.” P&W did not give any other details regarding Monday’s incident.

The flight departed from Lucknow at around 5pm and it was expected to land in Jaipur by 6.30pm, a source said. The flight returned to Lucknow within 30-40 minutes of its departure due to engine vibration, he added.

In a three-hour meeting on January 8, the civil aviation ministry sat with senior executives of P&W, Airbus, Indigo and GoAir to review frequent on-ground and mid-air glitches that the P&W engines, powering certain Airbus planes, have been facing since their induction in early 2016.

When asked about P&W engine issues, Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu on January 11 said passengers’ safety has to be paramount and there is zero tolerance for any violation of relevant guidelines. “(There is) zero tolerance for any violation of safety issues,” the minister said during a Twitter livestream.

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