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Last Updated : Dec 03, 2019 11:41 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

IndiGo directs pilots to employ gentler take-off practices after DGCA finds maximum push wears out engines: Report

Pilots on the A320neo jets are asked to use thrust setting below 93 percent on take-off to minimise exposure of engines, an IndiGo spokeswoman said.

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IndiGo has directed pilots to discontinue pushing engines to their limit when ascending. This comes after the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) stated that the practice was likely responsible for the multiple incidents of mid-air turbine failures of its A320neo aircraft, as per a Bloomberg report.

Pilots on the A320neo jets are asked to use thrust setting below 93 percent on take-off to minimise exposure of engines, an IndiGo spokeswoman told the publication, adding that the change has not made much difference in day-to-day operations.

“Beyond taking two to three minutes longer for aircraft to reach optimum flight level due to lower thrust settings, and the difference in fuel consumption is marginal,” she said.

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Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.

The maximum thrust ascent reduces fuel spent during take-off. Pilots on the A320neo are instructed to stay below 93 percent thrust until 31,000 feet while those on the A321neo cannot touch full thrust till 33,000 feet, sources told the publication.

IndiGo suffered 13 engine shutdowns – all during take-offs – in 2019 alone. The DGCA probe found that the full-thrust take-offs wear could impact engine wear and tear, which might have contributed to the shutdowns, it quoted sources as saying.

Engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney has however denied any link between the practice and the incidents, IndiGo spokeswoman added.

Sources have further told Bloomberg that Go Airlines, which uses the same engines but employs the moderated take-off thrust has not faced engine or turbine issues.

Pratt, Airbus and the DGCA did not respond to Bloomberg’s queries.

The engine drama has severely dented IndiGo’s international expansion plans, and the DGCA has ordered the budget carrier to ground one A320neo to be fixed each time a new plane joins its fleet.

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First Published on Dec 3, 2019 11:41 am
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