A SpiceJet Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft diverted to Mumbai, India, due to a reported engine issue on December 9, 2021.
The SpiceJet Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, registered as VT-MXX, was on a domestic flight SG467 between Mumbai and Kolkata. The jet took off from Mumbai Airport (BOM) at around 6:55 p.m. (UTC) and was supposed to land at Kolkata Airport (CCU) a few hours later, according to Flightradar24.com data. However, around 15 minutes after the take-off, the aircraft diverted back to Mumbai.
SpiceJet has not made public the potential cause of the incident yet. Local media reports that the Boeing 737 MAX 8 had a technical issue with the second engine. The flight crew shut down the engine and diverted the plane to the airport of departure. The aircraft landed safely without any further incidents.
Chief of Indian Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Arun Kumar disclosed to the media that pilots shut down the engine after the oil filter bypass light lit up. The jet was at a cruising altitude at the time.
The incident appears to be not related to the aircraft type’s previous problems that caused the worldwide grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX in 2019. The failure of the automated software system called the Manoeuvring Characteristics Augmentation System, MCAS, was previously named as the main cause of two fatal crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia in 2018 and 2019.
India grounded the Boeing 737 MAX in March 2019 and allowed the return of the aircraft type only in August 2021. SpiceJet, the country’s only MAX operator, returned the type to service in late November 2021. The data from Planespotters.com shows that the airline currently has 13 Boeing 737 MAXs in the fleet.