An A320neo aircraft of Air India returned to the Mumbai airport just 27 minutes after takeoff as one of its engines shut down mid-air due to a technical issue, sources said on Friday, May 20.
Air India spokesperson said the passengers were flown to the destination Bengaluru after a change of aircraft on Thursday, May 19.
“The aircraft (VT-EXM) operating as AI-639 was involved in an air turn back after engine number 2 had an inflight shutdown (IFSD) due to engine stall and some other snags,” said a person in the know. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is probing this snag.
Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation is investigating this incident, sources said.
The pilots of the A320neo plane received a warning about high exhaust gas temperatures on one of the engines just minutes after the aircraft’s departure from the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport at 9:43 AM.
With that engine being shut down, the pilot landed back at the Mumbai airport at 10:10 AM, sources said.
“Air India accords top priority to safety and our crew are well adept at handling these situations. Our Engineering and Maintenance teams had immediately started looking into the issue. The scheduled flight had left with passengers to Bengaluru after a change of aircraft.”Spokesperson, Air India
Passengers of Air India flight AI-639, which was scheduled to land in Bengaluru at 11 AM, eventually arrived at the destination over three hours late at 2:40 PM.
Air India A320 Neo is powered by CFM LEAP engines and unlike IndiGo and GoAir’s Pratt and Whitney (PW) A320 Neo engines, these haven’t had technical problems.
After induction in 2016, the PW Neo engines faced serious issues such as combustion chamber distress, engine vibration, low-pressure turbine etc, which had led to many inflight engine shutdown incidents.
In March, PW announced that the issues with the Neo engines have been addressed. “Since CFM engines have not had technical issues, the focus of the investigation would be maintenance,” said a source.
“In the last two months, there have been one Pratt & Whitney and three CFM engine snags. They all had different issues and were commanded to shut down. It is being investigated closely in consultation with the original equipment manufacturers (PW & CFM),” said senior DGCA officials investigating these snags.
Industry insiders point out this is the fifth CFM engine snag in the last six months. On December 10, 2021, a SpiceJet MAX suffered this snag. Then on April 7, 2022, an Air India A320 and a SpiceJet B737; on May 5 a SpiceJet MAX and on May 19 an Air India A320 neo.