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Pilot Technique May Be The Cause Of Engine Issues On IndiGo A320s

Pilots Trained To Apply Full Thrust Just After Takeoff

India's aviation authority says that the practice employed by IndiGo pilots of applying full thrust on takeoff in its A320neo airplanes may be leading to the inordinate number of engine shutdowns experienced by the budget carrier.

Bloomberg reports that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation told InterGlobe Aviation Ltd., IndiGo's operator, that the practice of revving the engines to full thrust during climb-out could cause excessive wear on the engines, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The DGCA compared IndiGo to Go Airlines, which uses an alt climb method after takeoff. That burns more fuel, but causes less wear on the engines.

IndiGo has experienced 13 engine shutdowns related to low-pressure turbines during climbs this year, according to the report. In a text message, an IndiGo spokeswoman said that the FAA has not identified any connection between the climb procedure and engine failures. A spokesman for Airbus said that the planes are designed to handle a full-thrust climb-out, but its "established best practice" is to lower thrust during initial climb to reduce stress on the Pratt & Whitney geared-turbofan engines.

The DGCA had told IndiGo that it needed to replace all of its faulty engines by January 31, but recently said the airline was not making sufficient progress towards that goal. The airline asked the regulator for a one-year extension of the deadline, but the regulator denied that request.

IndiGo still needs to replace 110 of its 196 affected engines, according to Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri. After being notified of the DGCA's findings, IndiGo reportedly started moving towards a climb procedure similar to the one employed by Go Air, according to the report.

(Image from file)

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