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Old 14th March 2018, 17:50   #16
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Default Re: Airbus A320neo: Pratt & Whitney engine issues

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post

These engines have been giving trouble even after a delayed and difficult entry into service.
Thanks for the detailed explanation sir. Very informative and I didnt have to browse some other place with either too much detail or our famed Indian journalists' creations.

I was admiring the PW engine when I took a GoAir flight from Bengaluru to Port Blair recently. It was served by a brand new A320 neo VT-WGI. The engine was smooth and silent. Luckily the flight was uneventful, though there was a delay. On the return flight it was the regular A320 with the CFM engine.

However, I see that this aircraft VT-WGI is still flying as of today. Was the grounding order taken back? Or does it apply only to Indigo?

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Old 14th March 2018, 18:03   #17
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Default Re: Airbus A320neo: Pratt & Whitney engine issues

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Originally Posted by A350XWB View Post
B787 has a standard electrical interface to allow an aircraft to be fitted with either Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 or GE GEnx engines. The engine change was intended to take 24 hours. But I don't know whether anybody in the industry is actually utilizing/going to utilize this feature, due to a lot of other factors.
That\s interesting. I was aware that these two engines were made specifically with the 787 in mind so they would be very similar.
If a plane is designed in such a way that would certainly help. To your point, whether it would actually be used in such a fashion is probably a different matter alltogether. A lot would depend I guess how the certification was done. If it is fully certified for both and the swap itself, that would help I guess. In all honesty, I dont think this particular feature was likely to be developped to allow engine swaps the way it was suggested earlier on in this thread. It"s probably along the lines of standardisation in general and the efficiencies that brings in many aspects of operating the plane, rather then "bolt on any engine" in case of an emergency, such as grounding of the P&W.

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Old 14th March 2018, 18:47   #18
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Default Re: Airbus A320neo: Pratt & Whitney engine issues

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Originally Posted by 2000rpm View Post
The ministry has finally woken up and has done the right thing. This was a disaster waiting to happen.
Is this decision could be made after recent changes in aviation ministry? Suresh Prabhu is now overlooking aviation ministry on special charge.

Overall, it is good decision and safety is paramount for users.
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Old 14th March 2018, 19:17   #19
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Default Re: Airbus A320neo: Pratt & Whitney engine issues

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The ministry has finally woken up and has done the right thing. This was a disaster waiting to happen.
In all fairness to DGCA they were monitoring the situation which is why 3 Indigo aircraft were grounded in February. These are very grey areas - choking off supply of seats. If you brake too soon the public howls. If you brake at all the airlines howl. If you don't brake worse could be in store. It is a difficult balance especially in our country where everyone has 2 opinions and every journalist is an expert. My empathy here is with DGCA.

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Originally Posted by Turbanator View Post
He may have lifted from here-

European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has said the Indian decision is a "unilateral" one with which EASA wasn't involved, adding that a complete grounding "is not deemed necessary for the time being."

http://avherald.com/h?article=4b5fedf4&opt=0
Thanks Turbanator. The worthy journalist is quoting Mr A.N. Onymous. It is not normal for one regulator to pass a derisive comment on another regulator especially when the second is opting to implement a tighter standard. What DGCA does in India is beyond the mandate of EASA to pass opinion on. EASA being a statutory body will not pass comment on another regulator. I don't know where this writer is coming from. It is like a judge in one High Court will not issue press statements on the judgement passed by another judge in another High Court.

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As a layman, many times I get little paranoid if both pilots are young especially in low-cost airlines in India, am not aware if the training and prerequisites of flying an Airbus here and in Europe are same or different or even within Indian if there are any differences in experience or training within airlines. If this is indeed correct, then Indian authorities have played safer correctly.
Experience does matter without doubt and some years ago DGCA were caught with their knickers down passing untrained pilots but on the whole our standards for passing a pilot for both seats are (and you must believe this) tougher than the tests carried out in USA. I do not know about Europe but the knowledge part of the exams in India is rather daunting. In Europe airlines like Ryan Air or Easy Jet you could have both pilots below 25 years of age. Having said that several Western airlines have very solid pilot training and refreshers.

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Originally Posted by audioholic View Post
Thanks for the detailed explanation sir. Very informative and I didnt have to browse some other place with either too much detail or our famed Indian journalists' creations.
Always a pleasure.
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However, I see that this aircraft VT-WGI is still flying as of today. Was the grounding order taken back? Or does it apply only to Indigo?
It could have been a neo with engines from a batch other than the production batch under the scanner. The order applies to both airlines.
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Old 14th March 2018, 20:04   #20
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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
In all fairness to DGCA they were monitoring the situation which is why 3 Indigo aircraft were grounded in February. These are very grey areas - choking off supply of seats. If you brake too soon the public howls. If you brake at all the airlines howl. If you don't brake worse could be in store. It is a difficult balance especially in our country where everyone has 2 opinions and every journalist is an expert. My empathy here is with DGCA.



.

The question is whether they should care at all what the carriers and or the public thinks or says. Don't know about the DGA brief/mandate but their Europeans and American counterparts only have one responsibility and that is safety!

Could you elaborate why you think the Indian knowledge test is better than the USA test. In what respect does it create better, thus safer, pilots?

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Old 14th March 2018, 21:12   #21
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Default Re: Airbus A320neo: Pratt & Whitney engine issues

I think the DGCA did just fine. In February they did ground aircraft that were running two of these engines which made perfect sense as you did stare at a very real possibility of a dual shutdown. Grounding all the planes now is also perfectly fine as the frequency of shutdowns was way higher than it should be. Thank God that we haven't seen a major tragedy linked to these engines. I wouldn't have complained even if DGCA would have grounded all the airplanes using this engine back in February.

Indigo has almost 400 orders of the NEO. I wonder if they will switch engines now. I'm not sure if the P&W engines offer any kind of advantage over the CFMs. Does RR also make engines for the A320?

I've always wondered how each of these engines stack up as far as efficiency and engine noise are concerned. I believe the RR engines are louder (the roar at takeoff) than the GE engines in general and esp on the 787 and the A380. Any expert views?
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Old 14th March 2018, 22:12   #22
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Default Re: Airbus A320neo: Pratt & Whitney engine issues

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
In all fairness to DGCA they were monitoring the situation which is why 3 Indigo aircraft were grounded in February. These are very grey areas - choking off supply of seats. If you brake too soon the public howls. If you brake at all the airlines howl. If you don't brake worse could be in store. It is a difficult balance especially in our country where everyone has 2 opinions and every journalist is an expert. My empathy here is with DGCA.
Shouldn't safety take precedence over everything? It was india's chalta hai attitude which let them allow the flights to operate. Multiple aircrafts reported one engine failure. How close were those passengers to meeting their creators? Especially since the second engine was of the same make.
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Old 14th March 2018, 22:49   #23
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Default Re: Airbus A320neo: Pratt & Whitney engine issues

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Originally Posted by 2000rpm View Post
Shouldn't safety take precedence over everything? It was india's chalta hai attitude which let them allow the flights to operate. Multiple aircrafts reported one engine failure. How close were those passengers to meeting their creators? Especially since the second engine was of the same make.
Yes safety does take precedence. You are driving on a highway at 90 kmph. You see an old villager attempting to cross the road 150 metres away but crossing too slowly. There will be a point at which you will take note, another second later start slowing down, a third second later start braking and blow the horn and so on all the time watching the scenario change and more data come in on distance, speed and trajectory. Or would you slam the brakes at full pressure in the very first instant and throw all you car passengers to a jolt and maybe cause the car behind to hit you.

Help me understand better at which point in the last 6 weeks would you have taken the decision assuming you are head of safety at DGCA. Go through the facts and the sequence in which information and events flowed. Do not under estimate the shades of grey in the scenarios like this and the uncertainties of why something is happening - faulty engine design, pilots not trained properly in some specific procedure, fuel contamination, incorrect maintenance procedure on a brand new engine type etc - any one or more could have also been the reason. Take note of the rapidness with which the events took place. The fact that the engine may not be sound was also being weighed. Bear in mind that most of the engines in operation are doing fine and only certain pieces are wobbling. It is not as if every engine produced is shutting down. I hold no candle for the DGCA but see no point beating them up.
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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Could you elaborate why you think the Indian knowledge test is better than the USA test. In what respect does it create better, thus safer, pilots?
The Indian knowledge test of equipment and how it works, weather, radio navigation workings for example is more rigorous. The amount you have to study and cram is greater - sometimes to the point of silliness. Whether it makes you a better pilot is hard to determine. It is a fallout of the general tendency in India that education is cramming by heart. Just like knowing perfectly how the detailed thermodynamics in an IC does not make you a better driver. I have not said the Indian test leads to better pilots or safer pilots that is your reading between the lines . In my business I employ pilots from several countries. In my experience a good safe pilot has similar virtues regardless of nationality or gender.

Last edited by ajmat : 15th March 2018 at 16:29. Reason: typo
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Old 14th March 2018, 23:14   #24
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Default Re: Airbus A320neo: Pratt & Whitney engine issues

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Originally Posted by 2000rpm View Post
Shouldn't safety take precedence over everything? It was india's chalta hai attitude which let them allow the flights to operate. Multiple aircrafts reported one engine failure. How close were those passengers to meeting their creators? Especially since the second engine was of the same make.
I think the directive from the EASA was to ground planes with two affected engines. This directive was issued on Feb 9th. I think the DGCA also issued a similar directive around the same time. The directive to ground airplanes with even 1 affected engine has been issued after repeated failures and is a precaution that not even the FAA has taken so far. So the DGCA is ahead of most of these bodies as of now. The frequency of failure also has something to do with the fact that India has 38% of all the affected engines. All in all I think the DGCA has done alright here. Hopefully the problem is fixed soon and the bird can fly again.

Teething issues have been very common lately and I guess that is because of the quantum leap in technology in the latest gen aircrafts. The 787 had issues with the battery. The A350 also seems to have some fuel tank issues. We haven't heard about too many issues with the 737 Max but that is the latest entrant with first commercial flight only a few months ago.
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Old 14th March 2018, 23:32   #25
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Default Re: Airbus A320neo: Pratt & Whitney engine issues

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Originally Posted by Turbanator View Post
As a layman, many times I get little paranoid if both pilots are young especially in low-cost airlines in India
Of course, airlines like Indigo are renowned for their CRM (Cockpit Resource Management), but if you went a couple of decades back, you found that airplane crashes were MORE likely if the pilot flying (in control) was the captain, who was substantially senior to the first officer, due to the reluctance of juniors to counter their superior directly in some cultures.

http://www.publicspeakingtoolkit.com...e-crashes.html

Ignore the Korea bit, but focus on the cultural aspects.

That said, this engine may very well result in P&W going under, given the unprecedented rate of failures, as quoted on the previous page.
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Old 14th March 2018, 23:40   #26
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Default Re: Airbus A320neo: Pratt & Whitney engine issues

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
Yes safety does take precedence. You are driving on a highway at 90 kmph. You see an old villager attempting to cross the road 150 metres away but crossing too slowly. There will be a point at which you will take note, another second later start slowing down, a third second later start braking and blow the horn and so on all the time watching the scenario change and more data come in on distance, speed and trajectory. Or would you slam the brakes at full pressure in the very first instant and throw all you car passengers to a jolt and maybe cause the car behind to hit you.
Yes, i would stop at as safe a distance as possible if the possible outcome of error was death for 200 passengers.

Find below article from more than a month ago.

http://www.timesnownews.com/india/ar...-go-air/197610

"At least 23 aircraft of Indigo Airlines had 69 engine failures over a span of 18 months between March 2016 and September 2017. A mega investigation by Times Now has revealed that the airline suffered about four engine failures every month over this period, thus risking lives of passengers on various routes"

Read the above line from the article. Four engine failures per month!! What is a better thing to do in this case? Allow flights to run till an incident occurs or take preventive measures till all engines are repaired. There was no doubt that the engine is the culprit.

The DGCA is not the RTO and should stop behaving like one.
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Old 15th March 2018, 00:05   #27
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Default Re: Airbus A320neo: Pratt & Whitney engine issues

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Originally Posted by 2000rpm View Post
Yes, i would stop at as safe a distance as possible if the possible outcome of error was death for 200 passengers.

Find below article from more than a month ago.

http://www.timesnownews.com/india/ar...-go-air/197610

"At least 23 aircraft of Indigo Airlines had 69 engine failures over a span of 18 months between March 2016 and September 2017. A mega investigation by Times Now has revealed that the airline suffered about four engine failures every month over this period, thus risking lives of passengers on various routes"

Read the above line from the article. Four engine failures per month!! What is a better thing to do in this case? Allow flights to run till an incident occurs or take preventive measures till all engines are repaired. There was no doubt that the engine is the culprit.

The DGCA is not the RTO and should stop behaving like one.
Sir, I really don't know how many engines you have repaired or changed nor do I know how many flights you have operated or how many times you have had to make a go-no go decision in aviation safety. Having dealt with all three for several years I speak only from my limited professional experience on these matters and not newspaper reports.

The newspapers are not telling the industry anything the industry has not been working on already or knows about. What the media is talking of is 69 cases where Indigo felt all was not well with the engine and proactively thought fit to replace it on the wing with a new one and ask P&W to assist on maintenance under the warranty. That is very different from an engine failure. This is not done secretly in the dark for TV media sleuths to come and uncover one day. Engine difficulties are recorded and discussed in full view with both OEMs (Airbus & Pratt), DGCA and partners such as maintenance contractors. Data is exchanged across airlines as safety affects us all. Unlike with a car changing an engine on an aircraft is a more common place activity as you want to always fly with least risk.

Times Now or whoever are not revealing some sordid secret. Each engine change is an open record at DGCA. A rider in our office collects them when needed. What more can I say. Times Now are trying to make a masala story for their TRP. I mentioned in post #14 that such matters are very difficult to manage in India as you are pilloried either ways as in our country every journalist is an expert. I am ending my participation in this thread. If you wish to argue do so on facts and experience Sir.

PS: I am not employed by either airline, P&W or the Govt. I am only trying to bring facts and sanity to this discussion as shrieking news is our national malady

Last edited by V.Narayan : 15th March 2018 at 00:18.
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Old 15th March 2018, 00:16   #28
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Default Re: Airbus A320neo: Pratt & Whitney engine issues

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
If you wish to argue do so on facts and experience Sir.

PS: I am not employed by either airline, P&W or the Govt. Iam only trying to bring facts and sanity to this discussion as shrieking news is our national malady
I have relied on facts and data available to common man (which is the news articles). If there was anything which was blown out of proportion by the media, Indigo or the engine manufacturers must have clarified. In absence of the same, I would want to believe what's reported. Also if all news agencies are corrupt, you think all corporates are ethical and are ready to book losses of this magnitude?
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Old 15th March 2018, 04:31   #29
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Default Re: Airbus A320neo: Pratt & Whitney engine issues

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
The Indian knowledge test of equipment and how it works, weather, radio navigation workings for example is more rigourous. The amount you have to study and cram is greater - sometimes to the point of silliness. Whether it makes you a better pilot is hard to determine. It is a fallout of the general tendency in India that education is cramming by heart. Just like knowing perfectly how the detailed thermodynamics in an IC does not make you a better driver. I have not said the Indian test leads to better pilots or safer pilots that is your reading between the lines . In my business I employ pilots from several countries. In my experience a good safe pilot has similar virtues regardless of nationality or gender.
Fair enough. One would hope that stringent training and subsequent exams ultimately lead to better pilots. When it comes to commercial aviation that, in my opinion (and for instance the FAA) means safer pilots. It doesnít always work like that of course.

I got both my VFR and IFR ticket in the USA under the FAA rules and I wasnít that impressed perse with the so called knowledge test at the time. (2010-11) I passed with flying colours, but it is essentially a lot of cramming. Quite a bit of stuff that I think is hardly relevant. Each question weighs in equally. All multiple choice. Most importantly, and to me this is the killer, you pass with 65% or thereabouts correct answers. To put that in context; There are pilots out there that only know 2/3 of the theoretical knowledge!!! Amazingly, at least I thought so, a lot of people fail the knowledge test. Which to me is just ridiculous. Anybody with common sense can cram on just about any topic under the sun. It just takes time and commitment.

The real cruncher comes into the hour of questioning by the FAA examiner prior to your check ride. There he or she will really test the practical application of all your knowledge. My CFI (certified Flight Instructor) was very good in teaching this aspect. We spend hours going through these sort of discussion. Just put a low altitude chart on the table and start planning, explaining what you do, how you read/interpret the chart etc etc. Extremely useful, also to be honest, much more difficult then the knowledge/theoretical test.

Recently the whole FAA certification program was overhauled and all the initial certifications are now so called scenario based. So the emphasis is very much on how you as pilot deal with a given situation. I thought it was a great change, but even to date, it is heavily debated between well known and respected aviation experts who are pro or con. So the jury is still out on this one.

Having worked next to my day job in post graduate adult education for several decades, I donít believe in cramming at all. Of course, you do need a sound base of certain facts and data, but in the end it is about how you apply that knowledge.

Mind you, when it comes to educational methods there are always different views and flavours and what is considered outdated might come back in a somewhat adjusted form a decade later.

My certification is all under FAA. I have a few insights into the European system but not the Indian. I would still say that the US system with a theoretical test (knowledge test), an application test on that knowledge and an actual flight is still a very good system. Certainly when pushed into the regime of scenarioís. The main difference between the US and the European system is that the US system is more practical and functional then the European model. Whether that produces better pilots remains to be seen. I have written before about the FAA research into the effects of experience. In the GA world itís very little, some effect in the commercial world at best. Most important is pilot attitude to safety.

But the USA is pretty unique in terms of career paths of pilots. Most of them will follow something along the line of getting their PPL, maybe an IFR ticket, then they become a flight instructor, build hours, get a twin rating, get their ATP (1500 hours minimum these days), start in the right hand seat of some regional airliner, move to the left seat after a few years, join a major air liner in the right seat after a few years etc.

And then there are a good many that bring military experience into the equation. I donít know of any other nation that has such a diverse career path to become a commercial pilot flying the big jets.

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Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Of course, airlines like Indigo are renowned for their CRM (Cockpit Resource Management), but if you went a couple of decades back, you found that airplane crashes were MORE likely if the pilot flying (in control) was the captain, who was substantially senior to the first officer, due to the reluctance of juniors to counter their superior directly in some cultures.
The biggest commercial aviation accident to date, the Tenerife Disaster lack of proper CRM was very much a contributing cause.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenerife_airport_disaster

What you wonít find in any official report is also the fact that the KLM captainís wife had some medical problems and needed to be admitted to hospital. Such pressure, say a divorce or a wife about to give birth, the death of a parent/child have big impact on a human being. So maybe pilots who encounter such events in their life should not be flying? Nobody thought like that in those days Thatís why it isnít mentioned in any of the official reports. But KLM (and a few other carriers) do think like this today. If you find yourself in such situations, you can be relieved from duty, fully paid! all in the name of safety!

No offence, but Iím not aware of Indigo CRM as a bench mark in the industry. If you visit the international pilot forums, you will find Indian carriers under represented in every way imaginable. I might be wrong, or simply not have sufficient insights. But please elaborate on how Indian/Indigo is seen by the aviation industry at large as a shinning example be it CRM or otherwise.

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Originally Posted by 2000rpm View Post
"At least 23 aircraft of Indigo Airlines had 69 engine failures over a span of 18 months between March 2016 and September 2017. A mega investigation by Times Now has revealed that the airline suffered about four engine failures every month over this period, thus risking lives of passengers on various routes"

Read the above line from the article. Four engine failures per month!! What is a better thing to do in this case? Allow flights to run till an incident occurs or take preventive measures till all engines are repaired. There was no doubt that the engine is the culprit.

The DGCA is not the RTO and should stop behaving like one.
As Narayan tried to explain, this is simply not a correct way of representing what is happening. Let me put it in another way; Every day, thousands and thousands of aircrafts take off with known faults, equipment (partly) not working.

If you are of a nervous disposition when it comes to flying, or just want to belief everything that the media throws at you, my comments might not help. Still, they are the truth. The aviation industry is extremely well regulated and what is permissible and still safe is very well defined. Every single day several aircraft will be taking to the sky in India with certain systems out of action or partly working. Again, itís all regulated and controlled and accounted for. But you can still make a head line which is factually correct that every day planes takes to the Indian sky with known equipment faults!!!

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Originally Posted by 2000rpm View Post
I have relied on facts and data available to common man (which is the news articles). If there was anything which was blown out of proportion by the media, Indigo or the engine manufacturers must have clarified. In absence of the same, I would want to believe what's reported. Also if all news agencies are corrupt, you think all corporates are ethical and are ready to book losses of this magnitude?
See my earlier comment. There is virtually no unbiassed neutral media left in the world anywhere. Also, apart from certain specialised circulations they might just not have the expertise to bring the in depth neutral observer view. I certainly donít consider that corrupt, I consider it just a fact of life. My future son in law is a journalist. He does a lot of these quite extensive and in-depth investigations on various topics. But whenever he is involved in a field I happen to have some insights in, he and I rarely agree.

Look at what Narayan wrote earlier. Truth be told, very few people would be interested to read and acknowledge in-depth knowledge and insights. It takes time, it takes effort, it take concentration. Unfortunately those are qualities the public at large donít seem to have much these days. So we go by headlines and a handful of one liners that catch the general public eye.

Each to its own, but I rarely believe anything I read in any newspaper or internet site anywhere in the world. In order for me to make up my mind, I know I have to rely on multiple sources, multipel insights, actively look for people who might have a different view, in order to make up my own mind.

I have often cautioned on this very forum you need to be careful who and what you believe on the internet. I have had some members being critical about those comments. But I just donít believe in single source gospel truth. Whether itís about a car engine throwing a CEL or a problem with a Jet engine. You have to actively teach for multiple sources. Preferably find sources that contradict or have different points of view. If it is a subject you feel strongly about, you should spend time on it, absorbing and actively looking for in-depth expertise and knowledge. Donít rely on what main stream media throws at you. Itís not necessarily wrong, certainly not necessarily corrupt. But it always biased. Biased in terms of getting a catchy head line, biases in terms of pushing maybe a political and commercial agenda etc.

I always subscribe to multiple newspapers. And I make sure at least one of my subscriptions is one with a political affiliation I donít like at all. But I want that input/insights to make up my own mind.

Everybody is entirely free to make up their mind whichever way you feel appropiate. If you take the main stream media as gospel, why not? Personally, I think that is too limited a view, but I have had many people with me disagreeing over many different topics!

And I have said this before on our forum many times, never believe what I say. Check multiple sources, preferably ones that are very different in orientation, background, experience etc. Again, donít even believe this!! Make up your own mind, but I strongly urge you not to rely to literally on what appears in main stream media, or any media for that matter. It is always biassed. Donít believe this either, double check with some other sources!!

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Old 15th March 2018, 09:07   #30
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Default Re: Airbus A320neo: Pratt & Whitney engine issues

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
I am ending my participation in this thread.
Aap bhi na Sir !! You don't have to stop talking sense just because one of us ignorant people chooses to believe the tabloids. You were one of the very few sources here with practical knowledge and experience; one who actually knows what he is talking about. I would rather read your insights and arguments, than excerpts from the tabloids.


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Originally Posted by 2000rpm View Post
I have relied on facts and data available to common man (which is the news articles). If there was anything which was blown out of proportion by the media, Indigo or the engine manufacturers must have clarified.
Not everyone wants to get into a screaming match on TV. We probably don't even get to hear what the stakeholders are saying because only the sensational parts are highlighted in the TRP hungry media.

As for biases - if you think news channels are not biased, then you really have to read around and ask around. It's an open secret that corruption rules the roost.


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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Look at what Narayan wrote earlier. Truth be told, very few people would be interested to read and acknowledge in-depth knowledge and insights. It takes time, it takes effort, it take concentration. Unfortunately those are qualities the public at large don’t seem to have much these days. So we go by headlines and a handful of one liners that catch the general public eye.
Well said. Each one of us is biased, and we view/read news with glasses tinted towards our own views and political affiliations.

Last edited by samaspire : 15th March 2018 at 09:09.
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