Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Airbus warns of new Pratt & Whitney engine problem

An Airbus A320neo powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engines An Airbus A320neo powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engines at Hartford Bradley International Airport in Connecticut. Pratt & Whitney
Orlando Vargas | 11 February, 2018, 03:32

A senior official at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said that EASA on Friday issued an emergency airworthiness directive for A320 neo planes fitted with PW1100 engines having a particular serial number. "As soon as IndiGo learnt of these developments, IndiGo had proactively withdrawn the three A320neo aircraft from service w.e.f. 9th of February", the company said in a statement.

EASA has ordered operators to ground aircraft within three flight cycles if both engines have the aft hub modification. "Airbus and Pratt are working in close cooperation and will be swiftly communicating on the way forward to regain normal operations and resume aircraft deliveries", said the IndiGo statement. It is also said extended-range, twin-engine operations (ETOPS) can online be performed with two unaffected engines.

An IndiGo spokesperson said: "IndiGo confirms receiving the recommendations by Pratt & Whitney as well as the European Aviation Safety Agency with respect to the A320neo aircraft powered by PW1100G-JM engines. Safety of aircraft, passenger and crew at IndiGo is of highest priority and at no time it can be compromised with", IndiGo further said. "IndiGo has only three such affected aircraft". "Some have made a decision to put off their delivery and others have not".

P&W, with the support of Airbus, is in close contact with the airline to address the results of a recent finding related to the issue, it added.

A320neo operators with Pratt & Whitney engines have been plagued by reliability issues since they began flying passengers in 2016.

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Technical issues with certain engines of IndiGo's A320neo planes had led to the grounding of many flights past year.

Plane maker Airbus has postponed the deliveries of its A320 Neo planes indefinitely, potentially impacting schedules of Indian customers IndiGo and Go Air.

Neither the aircraft manufacturer nor the agency disclosed what airlines are operating aircraft with affected engines.

According to commentators, the problem with a core part of the engine comes as the latest in a series of setbacks suffered by the company with its geared turbofan engines. On certain days, the airline had seen as many as nine of its aircraft grounded due to unavailability of spare engines leading to flight disruptions.

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