India grounds 11 Indigo, GoAir jets after engine shutdowns

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Indian carriers have had three mid-air engine failures in less than a month, and the latest directive takes the total number of P&W geared turbofan-powered A320neos grounded to 14.

Sources said the grounding of A320 neo aircraft will have an impact on the flight operations of IndiGo and GoAir.

Citing safety of aircraft operations, the DGCA said, A320 neos fitted with PW1100 engines beyond ESN 450 have been grounded with immediate effect. Indigo and Go Air have been asked by the regulator not to refit these engines (PW1100 engines beyond serial number 450) which are spare with them in their inventory.

"P&W, in their latest communication, has also not given any firm commitment as to when the issue on the engine... will be resolved, and informed that all the affected engines will be replaced by early June 2018".

The European Aviation Safety Agency has ruled that operations with one defective engine should be permitted provided affected planes don't undertake extended flights over water, where they're more distant from diversionary airports in the event of an emergency.

Three IndiGo planes are already on the ground following the problem. He added that three were grounded last month after the EASA orders.

"We are working to mitigate the.situation by the end of the second quarter", said a statement from Pratt, a unit of United Technologies Corp. The aircraft landed safely on one engine with no injuries. These were: GoAir A-320 Neo (VT-WGB) after take-off from Leh on February 24; IndiGo A-320 Neo (VT-ITJ) after take-off from Mumbai on March 5 and IndiGo A-320 Neo (VT-ITA) after take-off from Ahmedabad on March 12.

In February, the U.S. aviation regulator said the Pratt & Whitney engines pose a shutdown risk, following similar action by European regulators that month.

India unilaterally grounded all Airbus SE narrow-body planes powered by the latest Pratt & Whitney engines after a series of in-flight incidents prompted the local regulator to question the safety of the aircraft.

After DGCA's regulations, the IndiGo airlines have ascertained that none of these affected engines shall be operated by IndiGo.

Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu is wasting no time in his new ministry.

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