Fuselage door warnings lit up on two separate Spicejet planes while taking off on Friday, June 24 and Saturday, June 25, forcing the aircraft to abandon their journeys and return, said officials of Indian aviation regulator DGCA, which ordered a probe into the incidents.
There have been a total of four incidents — including the aforementioned two — on SpiceJet flights during the last week. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is investigating all the four incidents, officials stated.
The fuselage is the central body of the aircraft where passengers and crew members sit. Officials said on Friday, June 24, the fuselage warning light on a SpiceJet Q400 plane illuminated when it was on ‘rotation’ — when pilots pitched the nose of the aircraft up to climb in the air during take-off.
The pilots of the Q400 aircraft, which was heading from Guwahati to Kolkata, found that the warning was coming from the baggage door at the rear end of the plane. The Q400 plane was levelled off at 5,000 feet and the pilots decided to return to Guwahati.
On June 19, an engine on SpiceJet’s Delhi-bound aircraft carrying 185 passengers caught fire soon after taking off from the Patna airport and the plane made an emergency landing minutes later. The engine malfunctioned because of a bird hit.
In another incident on June 19, a SpiceJet flight for Jabalpur had to return to Delhi due to cabin pressurisation issues.
An incident similar to the Friday, June 24 took place on SpiceJet’s Patna-Guwahati flight on Saturday, June 25. A SpiceJet Q400 aircraft stopped its take-off roll at the Patna airport after the plane’s fuselage door warning light lit up.
In this case, too, it was found that the warning had come from the baggage door at the rear end of the aircraft. The Q400 plane returned to the parking bay of the Patna airport after cancelling its take-off.
Regarding the Friday, June 24 incident, SpiceJet said that “Q400 aircraft was operating flight SG-4126, sector Guwahati-Kolkata”.
At rotation, the fuselage door warning light was illuminated and take-off was continued. Subsequently, the aircraft was levelled off at 5,000 feet and the pilot-in-command decided to return to Guwahati. Air turn back was initiated in coordination with ATC (air traffic controller) and the aircraft landed safely at Guwahati, it said.
Regarding the Saturday, June 24 incident, the airline said, “SpiceJet Q400 aircraft was operating flight SG-3724, sector Patna-Guwahati. During the takeoff roll, the fuselage door warning light illuminated. Subsequently, the take-off was rejected and the aircraft returned to the bay.