Four Air Turn Back (ATB)/Inflight Shut Down (IFSD) events were witnessed on Airbus A320Neo aircraft operated by Indigo in a week during October 2019 due to the failure of 3rd stage LPT (low pressure turbine) blades.
Stating that “desperate measures” were required to “put things in order,” the DGCA had on November 1 told IndiGo to replace the PW engines in 97 A320neo aircraft “at all costs” by January 31 or they would be grounded.
In some aircraft, only one of the PW engines is unmodified and has to be replaced.
Later, unsatisfied with IndiGo’’s speed in replacing the unmodified PW engines, the regulator on November 25 had instructed it to ground an old A320neo family aircraft with an unmodified PW engine for every new A320neo plane added to its fleet to prevent large-scale cancellation of flights from January 31 onwards.
The DGCA stated it believes that the unmodified PW engines do contain an “unsafe condition, which is prone to undesirable outcomes” and therefore, need to be dispensed with. “Post DGCA order dated Nov 1, 2019, all stakeholders, the airline and the aircraft and the engine manufacturer, have made significant efforts towards completion of the task.