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Old 15th March 2018, 09:35   #31
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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. If you wish to argue do so on facts and experience Sir.
Mr. Narayan, Please don't even think like that. You always give so much of relevant information and in details, more so in the areas where you have a great professional experience.

If someone wants to dispute your point of view, fair
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Old 15th March 2018, 10:11   #32
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Default Re: Airbus A320neo: Pratt & Whitney engine issues

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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.
For CRM failure with catastrophic consequences, we only need to look back at the Air India Express AI812 crash at Mangalore Bajpe

http://www.dgca.nic.in/accident/reports/VT-AXV.pdf
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Old 15th March 2018, 11:04   #33
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Default Re: Airbus A320neo: Pratt & Whitney engine issues

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Originally Posted by HKap View Post
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.
If I am not wrong, they offer better fuel efficiency (~3% I think). However, with fuel prices lower than earlier, it isn't a very attractive proposition anymore. But then aircrafts are bought with 20 years in mind.

Not sure if they offer anything else than the above advantage (may be quieter, but I don't know).
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Old 15th March 2018, 11:21   #34
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Default Re: Airbus A320neo: Pratt & Whitney engine issues

I had an upcoming MAA-COK return flight in GoAir booked for the end of April. The flight was being cancelled since March 1 2018.

I logged into Flightaware to check it's on time performance just to see that they have been cancelling since March 1st. I spoke to the customer care who did not reveal the actual reason.

I came to know only a couple of days back that this is due to the PW engine problem.

DGCA seems to have acted quicker than the media reports suggest.

I am not an aviation expert or do not want to judge the DGCA, but as a frequent domestic flyer, I am happy that some action has been taken.
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Old 15th March 2018, 12:48   #35
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Default Re: Airbus A320neo: Pratt & Whitney engine issues

My two bits to summarise what has been discussed here:

1. PW Geared Turbofan is a revolutionary design and it seems to all of us that this design came to market a bit too soon. Engines that fail 10x or 20x more frequently are not market ready - that is something we can all agree on.

2. The PW engine is all their eggs in one basket. This same engine is being supplied in lower power models to the Bombardier C-Series program, Embraer's new E-Jet program, Mitsubishi's MRJ program and many others. They simply cannot afford the technology to fail. It seems as though, especially in the Airbus situation, the engine is being pushed to its design limit more than in a lower power version which is why a number of problems are occuring. Also, the A320 family is the longest range aircraft running the PW Geared Engine, so maybe this is contributing to increased reliability issues. Furthermore, deliveries of the Bombardier are slow possibly because of engine issues on the PW.

3. As far as the DGCA is concerned, I have nothing bad to say. Journalists who say passenger lives are at risk need to go back to school. Every plane has two engines, so one level of fail safe situation. The concern is that we seem to be falling back to the backup too often and their notification is justified and timely. It must also be noted that the engines in these cases are voluntarily shut down by the pilots when an error message or vibration is found. God forbid if both engines have a problem, the pilots can continue running them and make an urgent emergency landing. Furthermore on descent and right up to touchdown, the engines run between 10% and 50% thrust, so spooling them down and making a landing remains a safe option. The in-flight shutdowns are done to prevent major engine damage. In a life and death situation, nobody will care about major engine damage.

4. It must be noted that aviation is a safety-first industry, not because of conscience but money. A crash is simply too expensive in terms of losses plus future business loss. 2017 was a year with most jet passengers and ZERO fatalities on jet planes apart from medical issues. This is laudable and is a result of proactive methods employed by everyone, DGCA and airlines included.

5. Air India & Vistara fly the CFM equipped NEOs which seem to be trouble free - requiring regular normal maintenance only. The A321NEO is currently being delivered only with the CFM engine. It appears that Airbus trusted PW too much and is now being bitten in the backside over this issue. Not entirely their fault, but this is business. Tesla's model 3 deliveries also may be because of a supplier, but at the end of the day, it is your fault as the manufacturer.

6. I believe PW will get their engine in shape eventually, but how much corporate and financial bloodshed occurs over this course remains to be seen. Personally, I prefer the A320 family as a passenger over the B737 family, so I hope it gets better - fast.
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Old 15th March 2018, 14:20   #36
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Default Re: Airbus A320neo: Pratt & Whitney engine issues

The so called Media house is aspiring for TRP"s and nothing else . The PW GTF issue has been known for a while and the DGCA has taken corrective action , there is nothing more to it .

Every day aircraft are dispatched under MEL guidelines , if as passengers we knew that one AC pack is not working we will panic like no tomorrow , this is the same sort of panic being created by these kind of news channels.

A couple of spirit airline planes and others in the US with the PW GTF have been grounded for months by the FAA and by PW themselves . PW has been paying stiff payouts to Airbus and further to the airlines for these issues and subsequent loss of business

AFAIK - Indigo has also been paid some 100cr for losses incurred due to GTF failures

Last edited by wbd8779 : 15th March 2018 at 14:21.
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Old 15th March 2018, 14:28   #37
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Default Re: Airbus A320neo: Pratt & Whitney engine issues

Barring the "MAA-COK return flight in GoAir booked for the end of April" mentioned by para_7k has anyone else also faced issued in flight delays / cancellation due to the grounding of aircrafts?
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Old 15th March 2018, 15:37   #38
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Default Re: Airbus A320neo: Pratt & Whitney engine issues

Sorry guys if I offended someone, but from a common man perspective, the information available was enough to cause worry. Especially for someone like me who would take multiple flights on a weekly basis. As pointed out by some people above, I am "ignorant" in this field but not everyone can be an expert in every field.

Also I dont think news channels are unbiased, however I also do not think that a company as cost sensitive like Indigo will prioritize passenger safety for profitability. Reminds me of the Fight Club conversation (1999) which goes as below.

Narrator: A new car built by my company leaves somewhere traveling at 60 mph. The rear differential locks up. The car crashes and burns with everyone trapped inside. Now, should we initiate a recall? Take the number of vehicles in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of failure, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don't do one.

Business woman on plane: Are there a lot of these kinds of accidents?

Narrator: You wouldn't believe.

Business woman on plane: Which car company do you work for?

Narrator: A major one.
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Old 15th March 2018, 15:46   #39
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Default Re: Airbus A320neo: Pratt & Whitney engine issues

I read thru the entire thread and i agree about the news channels trying to create panic.

A School friend of mine sent a message on whatsapp group saying 60+ flights cancelled, we have been traveling in faulty planes which were very unsafe.

I tried explaining to him that airline industry has one of the highest safety records and with better ETOPS, there is no need to worry especially in India where the max travel distance between 2 points is not even 4 hours and a pilot with faulty engine can easily find an airport to land in less than 30 - 60 minutes

In reply he copy pasted a link from news website as if i am trying to justify the actions of DGCA as if they were my personal actions. i simply muted the group and ignored his last message.
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Old 15th March 2018, 16:10   #40
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Default Re: Airbus A320neo: Pratt & Whitney engine issues

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Originally Posted by 2000rpm View Post
Also I dont think news channels are unbiased, however I also do not think that a company as cost sensitive like Indigo will prioritize passenger safety for profitability.
They do. In fact, all of them have to do it as DGCA will cancel the license and that is a big loss. And oh yes, ALL airlines are cost sensitive. More so now as most of them are loss making basically (like all the aircraft manufactures).
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Old 15th March 2018, 16:21   #41
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Default Re: Airbus A320neo: Pratt & Whitney engine issues

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Originally Posted by 2000rpm View Post
Also I dont think news channels are unbiased, however I also do not think that a company as cost sensitive like Indigo will prioritize passenger safety for profitability. Reminds me of the Fight Club conversation (1999) which goes as below.

[b][i]Narrator: A new car built by my company leaves somewhere traveling at 60 mph. The rear differential locks up
Well, I believe that at least the aviation industry is far better regulated than the Automobile industry, both in India as well as the world. Though I am not sure about the exact calculation, but wont the losses associated with a crash be a lot more compared to keeping them grounded? Automobiles and Aircraft can't be compared in this aspect.

@V.Narayan is there a possibility of carriers like Indigo being able to arrange alternate aircraft from some leasing company? Like say one month or so?
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Old 15th March 2018, 16:24   #42
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Default Re: Airbus A320neo: Pratt & Whitney engine issues

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Originally Posted by 2000rpm View Post
the information available was enough to cause worry.
I think you are understanding wrongly, so the analogies given by you are incorrect.

The total number of Engine failures in flight or during take-off is not 69 on these engines. Most of the failures or changes of engines due to technical reasons are at the time when flights are being prepared or when the checks are carried out on arrival or at least that's what is my understanding. So there are systems in place which tells in Advance or there are checks which are carried out before the flight, unlike an Automotive where we go to a service station at periodic intervals or when there is a failure.

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Originally Posted by 2000rpm View Post
Yep, my understanding is that the engine failure was in-flight or during take off. Thankfully we have some experts who can clarify.
ahh, did you heard 69 flights being diverted or doing emergency landings? Of course, failure of so many engines is not a norm but we need to trust & appreciate the systems at the place due to which preventive action was taken.

Last edited by Turbanator : 15th March 2018 at 16:37.
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Old 15th March 2018, 16:29   #43
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Default Re: Airbus A320neo: Pratt & Whitney engine issues

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Originally Posted by Turbanator View Post
I think you are understanding wrongly, so the analogies given by you are incorrect, the Total number of Engine failures in flight or during take-off is not 69 on these engines.

Most of the failures or changes of engines due to technical reasons are at the time when flights are being prepared or when the checks are carried out on arrival or at least that's what is my understanding. So there are systems in place which tells in Advance or there are checks which are carried out before the flight, unlike an Automotive where we go to a service station at periodic intervals or when there is a failure.
Yep, my understanding is that the engine failure was in-flight or during take off. Thankfully we have some experts who can clarify.
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Old 15th March 2018, 16:42   #44
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Default Re: Airbus A320neo: Pratt & Whitney engine issues

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Originally Posted by audioholic View Post
@V.Narayan is there a possibility of carriers like Indigo being able to arrange alternate aircraft from some leasing company? Like say one month or so?
Yesterday at Hyderabad, I spotted a Small Planet branded A320. It had a small 'operated for Indigo' or similar written below. Probably operated under a wet-lease.

Btw, it was just yesterday that I came to know of this issue and was more worried about the delay rather than the safety. I for a fact know that flying commercial is probably one of the safest means of travel possible today. There have been no fatalities in 2017 - that in itself is mind boggling. Thankfully, DGCA takes a very strict stance on safety and is totally unlike the 'chalta hai' attitude seen elsewhere in the country.
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Old 15th March 2018, 17:56   #45
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Default Re: Airbus A320neo: Pratt & Whitney engine issues

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Originally Posted by 2000rpm View Post
(...) you think all corporates are ethical and are ready to book losses of this magnitude?
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Originally Posted by the_skyliner View Post
They do. In fact, all of them have to do it as DGCA will cancel the license and that is a big loss. And oh yes, ALL airlines are cost sensitive. More so now as most of them are loss making basically (like all the aircraft manufactures).
Indigo has a contract with P&W for a minimum performance guarantee. This covers both engine safety as well as other performance parameters such as Fuel Efficiency. Ever since the A320neo has entered service, the P&W engines were performing below spec and P&W was compensating Indigo for their losses (I don't have the figures at hand, but they are clearly mentioned in their annual reports).

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Originally Posted by 2000rpm View Post
Sorry guys if I offended someone, but from a common man perspective, the information available was enough to cause worry. Especially for someone like me who would take multiple flights on a weekly basis.
Commercial air travel is the most safe method of transport by an order of magnitude.

Just to keep your mind at ease, know that every aircraft has to undergo constant checks
  • After every flight
  • Before every flight
  • Once a day (more comprehensive)
  • Once a week (approx.) (even more comprehensive)
  • After every couple of thousand take off + landing cycles (much more comprehensive)
  • Approx. every year (very very comprehensive)

In addition to that, every part on the aircraft down to individual screws is tracked - condition, age, manufacturer etc. and have to obey strict limits.

Just like any car, aircraft too can develop niggles. Sometimes they might be major (engine warnings, primary avionics failure) which will cause the flight to be cancelled. Others might be minor and non-critical e.g. scratches/dents on non-critical surfaces, non-load bearing rivets, non-essential electronics, faulty air conditioning etc. Such non-critical issues are simply logged for repair the next day/week and the flight allowed to proceed. So it is perfectly normal for a flight to take off with such 'faults'.

Note that the decision of what is a critical component (or not) is not up to the pilot or even the airline - it is defined by the manufacturer and approved by the licensing authority (FAA/EAA/DCGA).
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