Two GoFirst planes grounded due to in-flight safety issues

Another Indian airline has come in for closer scrutiny by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation of India (DGCA) after engine issues on board passenger planes.  

The DGCA grounded two passenger aircraft of Mumbai-based low-cost carrier GoFirst following two engine incidents in-flight, which recently happened in India, local media reported. 

The first incident which caught the attention of the local aviation regulator happened on July 19, 2022, when a GoFirst Airbus A320-200 passenger plane, registered VT-WGA was performing domestic flight G8-386 between Mumbai (BOM) and Leh (IXL).  

However, when the aircraft was enroute, the pilots noticed abnormal indications for the right-hand Pratt & Whitney PW1127G engine and decided to land at Delhi (DEL). 

Another GoFirst Airbus A320-200 jet suffered a similar issue in-flight on the very same day, also forcing the flight crew to divert. The A320 jet registered VT-WJG took off for a regular scheduled domestic flight G8-6202 from Srinagar (SXR) to Delhi (DEL) but pilots reported an issue with the aircraft’s right-hand Pratt & Whitney PW1127G engine when the jet was climbing out of SXR airport and immediately turned around for a return to the airport of departure. 

Since both incidents involved two similar planes operated by the same air carrier, the DGCA grounded the aircraft and opened an investigation.  

The regulator told The Indian Express that it was investigating and the GoFirst planes will only be allowed to fly once the regulator allows. The paper said GoFirst declined to comment.  

Safety issues elsewhere 

GoFirst is not the only Indian carrier that has come under increased scrutiny by the DGCA.  

The Indian Express said DGCA has issued an order to carriers regarding an increase in engineering issues after spot checks had shown carriers were failing to properly identify causes of reported plane defects or even employ properly qualified aircraft engineers to solve technical issues at airports.  

The regulator also said in the order that it has noticed a significant increase of instances where aircraft are released to fly with a minimum equipment list (MEL), which allows airlines to operate an aircraft temporarily when certain its functions or equipment are inoperative.   

Low-cost rival SpiceJet has also been involved in several incidents recently and the airline has been warned by the DGCA over safety and maintenance.  


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