An Airbus A-320 NEO airliner operated by carrier GoAir had a serious problem with one of its engines on Monday with some passengers reporting a fire in the tailpipe of the engine, the government's aviation watchdog, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has confirmed. The aircraft, which was flying to Kolkata from Guwahati and carrying 132 passengers, returned just a little over 10 minutes after take-off.
According to the DGCA, GoAir flight G8-546 had to turn back because of high vibrations in one of its engines and a loud sound. The engine had also stalled, according to the aviation watchdog.
GoAir, in a statement, called the incident a technical glitch and said the aircraft was being inspected and rectified by engineers. "GoAir flight G8 546 from Guwahati to Kolkata did an air turn back due to a technical glitch. After turn back, the flight landed safely at Kolkata airport with 132 passengers on board. The aircraft is being inspected and rectified by GoAir engineering team."
The aircraft has been grounded and a decision over it flying again would be taken by the DGCA.
This is the second incident involving a GoAir plane in as many days. On Sunday, a Chandigarh-bound aircraft from Mumbai returned due to a technical snag.
A consolidated list indicates that there have been engine related incidents on the Airbus A-320 NEO aircraft operated by GoAir and IndiGo since November 26. Both the airlines operate a problematic variant of a Pratt and Whitney-powered engine.
DGCA's American counterpart Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had last month told operators of the A320neo across the globe to urgently modify a critical component of the aircraft's low-pressure turbine.
"These conditions, if not addressed, could result in uncontained release of the LPT 3rd stage blades, failure of one or more engines, loss of thrust control, and loss of aircraft," the DGCA had said in November.
In other words, potentially faulty engine blades on A320neo could break free during a flight, resulting in an engine failure and a loss of power, which, in turn, could end in a fatal accident.
The aviation watchdog has set a deadline of January 31 by when all unmodified engines have to be replaced on GoAir and IndiGo.