IndiGo plane tilts mid-air, airline denies engine issue; probe ordered

The logo of IndiGo Airlines is pictured on passenger aircraft on the tarmac in Colomiers near Toulouse | Photo: Reuters

Passengers of an IndiGo flight from Hyderabad to Port Blair experienced anxious moments on Tuesday as the A320 neo aircraft tilted mid-air, according to a senior regulatory official.

Aviation regulator DGCA has started a probe into the incident, which is the latest in a series of issues involving IndiGo's fleet of A320 neo planes powered with Pratt & Whitney engines.

After it tilted to one side mid-air, the pilot managed to balance the aircraft, a senior DGCA official told PTI.

An IndiGo spokesperson said the pilot observed a minor engine sensor issue that did not warrant any automated caution and that the plane made a normal landing at Port Blair.

The number of passengers on board could not be ascertained. A320 neo plane has more than 180 seats.

The A320 neo aircraft suffered "yawing" and the regulator might also ask for the flight's DFDR (Digital Flight Data Recorder) to assess the angle of tilt and fix responsibility for the incident, the official said.

Generally, yaw motion is side-to-side movement of an aircraft's nose and can result in asymmetrical lift on the wings.

"The pilot's report says the aircraft yawed. Now, the angle or the degree of the yaw is to be determined and that would reveal the seriousness of the matter. We have already started our investigation," the official noted.

Further, the official said that after gathering the requisite data, the DGCA will be able to find out whether the incident happened due to lapses at the end of engineers or pilots.

In a statement, the IndiGo spokesperson said that neither its Hyderabad-Port Blair flight, 6E-293 had any emergency landing nor was there any mid-air engine failure.

"The pilot observed a minor engine sensor issue which did not warrant any automated caution. Hence, the pilot continued the flight and made a normal landing at Port Blair," it said.

As per live flight tracking website Flightradar24, the snag-hit plane remained grounded in Hyderabad for more than 48 hours after performing the return flight from Port Blair on November 20.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel