In two recent incidents in India, a SpiceJet and an IndiGo scheduled flight experienced turbine blade damage, necessitating emergency diversions. Both incidents occurred last weekend on February 26.
AviationSource writer Gaurav Gowda reports.
SpiceJet Boeing 737 incident
The first incident involved a SpiceJet Boeing 737. Flight SG83 which was on its scheduled flight from Kolkata to Bangkok, and declared a general emergency just minutes after takeoff.
The aircraft made a return to Kolkata when pilots detected a broken engine turbine blade, and as a safety precaution they returned to the airport.
Flight SG83 departed on time at 1:09 AM IST for its destination Bangkok, when around 10 minutes into the flight the pilots detected the broken engine blade in their left engine.
They immediately contacted CCU ATC and declared a emergency; soon after this Kolkata airport authorities swung into action and fire service, ambulances and an emergency rescue team belonging to CISF (Central Industrial Security Force) were on standby.
ATC cleared the airspace to ensure SG83 got priority landing. At around 1:27 AM IST, SG83 landed safely with 178 passengers and crew at Kolkata International Airport.
“The flight was towed away to the bay and on enquiry it was learnt that one of its left engine blades had broken while taking off,” said an airport official in a statement.
Passengers were served with refreshments at the airport, and the airline arranged for an alternative flight which took off at 7:10 AM IST from Kolkata and reached Bangkok without incident.
The aircraft involved was towed to a remote bay for further inspection. The Indian aviation regulator DGCA has said it will investigate this incident.
IndiGo Airbus A320 incident
Another similar incident involving IndiGo also occurred, wherein Indigo flight 6E-646 flying from Surat – Delhi was diverted to Ahmedabad International airport on February 26.
The aircraft made an un-scheduled diversion when, during takeoff Surat airport, the aircraft suffered a bird strike and the pilot made the decision to divert to Ahmedabad International airport.
DGCA said in a statement “Due to a bird strike during climb at Surat, the Indigo A320 aircraft VT-IZI operating flight 6E-646 was diverted to Ahmedabad on February 26, 2023.”
“The N1 vibration was 4.7. The plane arrived safely in Ahmedabad, During the ground inspection, No.2 Engine fan blades were seen to be damaged. Aircraft declared AOG (Aircraft on Ground).”
The airline arranged for an alternative flight for the affected passengers and they reached Delhi safely. In this case, the aircraft involved in this incident was an Airbus A320neo which was 4.3 years old at the time of the incident.
According to the data available on FlightRadar24, the aircraft remained grounded for the entire day, as it was declared AOG.
The following day, the aircraft was declared air worthy and it operated as 63-966 flying from Ahmedabad – Kolkata.