NEW DELHI: Two GoFirst aircraft developed engine snags on Tuesday, with only plane diverting and the other returning to the origin — both safely. GoFirst Airbus A320 (VT-WGA) operating from Mumbai to Leh as G8-386 diverted to Delhi due to snag in engine number two two’s “engine interface unit”. And another A320 (VT-WJG) operating from Srinagar to Delhi as G8-6202 returned to Srinagar due to a snag in engine number two.
“We are investigating the snags and in the meanwhile, both these aircraft are being grounded and shall fly only when cleared by us,” said a senior Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) official.
Aircraft maintenance technicians of both GoFirst and IndiGo have been reporting sick at some airports in past few weeks to protest poor salaries. Following a spate of incidents across airlines, the DGCA had on Monday identified “improper identification of cause of a reported defect; increasing trend of MEL releases and non-availability of required certifying staff to cater to multiple scheduled arrivals / departures in a short interval” as contributory factors for this spurt.
Tuesday’s regulatory order adds that “airlines are resorting to frequent one-off authorisation to (some) certifying staff at transit stations which is not in line with existing regulatory provisions.” Based on these findings, the DGCA has directed that all aircraft at base and transit stations shall be released by certifying staff holding AME (aircraft maintenance engineer) licence with appropriate authorisation by their organisation. Airlines have been asked to take care of these issues by July 28.
“In last four months, there have been at least one Pratt & Whitney and three CFM engine snags. They all had different issues and were commanded shutdown. They are being investigated closely in consultation with the original equipment manufacturers (PW & CFM),” a senior DGCA officials investigating these snags had recently told TOI.
Engine manufacturers say the “environment” of the Middle East and India — hot, dusty, sandy and humid (in India’s case) — is the most difficult for their machines. The behaviour of engines in cold and dry places is different than those operating in a harsh environment, they say, adding that this issue is being taken care of through technological means.