INDIA. MUMBAI: The Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued a show-cause notice to the air carrier “SpiceJet” over incidents of technical malfunction in flights in the last 18 days, including the unplanned landing of Boeing 737 Max aircraft (Delhi-Dubai) at Karachi in Pakistan on Tuesday.
DGCA Director, Air Safety Sanit Kumar, in a notice dated July 05, called upon the air carrier to show cause within three weeks as to why no action should be taken against it. The DGCA’s financial assessment in September 2021 revealed that the airline operates on Cash and Carry and that suppliers/approved vendors are not being paid regularly, resulting in a shortage of spares and frequent invocation of minimum equipment lists (MELs).
“The reported incidents on aircraft operated by M/s. SpiceJet Limited from April 01 till date has been reviewed. It has been observed that the aircraft either turned back to its originating station on several occasions or continued landing to the destination with degraded safety margins.”
“SpiceJet has been authorized to perform commercial air operations up to May 16, 2023, vide order AOC-No S-16 by the operations manual and Rule 134 and Schedule XI of the Aircraft Rules 1937. It is deduced that M/s SpiceJet has failed to establish safe, efficient, and reliable air services under Rule 134 and Schedule XI of the Aircraft Rules 1937,” the notice read.
DGCA also discovered that the airline continued to coach its pilots on a simulator with identified gear faults under the simulator coaching program for the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.
On Tuesday, a Boeing 737 Max aircraft flying Delhi-Dubai (flight SG-011) sector made an unplanned landing in Karachi, Pakistan. Due to a malfunctioning indicator light in the cockpit. On the same day, a Bombardier Q400 Dash 8 plane from Kandla(Gujarat) to Mumbai made a priority landing in Mumbai after the outer pane of one of its windshields cracked. In the third incident, the SpiceJet cargo plane (Boeing 737 freighter aircraft) bound for Chongqing in China returned to Kolkata (West Bengal) on Tuesday when pilots realized after takeoff its weather radar was malfunctioning.
A flight (a Bombardier Q400 Sprint 8 aircraft) to Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh) returned to Delhi after the crew noticed smoke in the cabin. The plane took off from Delhi early Saturday. While climbing the previous 5,000 toes, the crew observed smoke within the cabin and the bathroom smoke alarm sound going off. The plane landed safely in Delhi a couple of minutes after 7 am, and all passengers were evacuated on the taxiway.
On June 19, two incidents were reported on two different SpiceJet flights. First, a Delhi-bound flight carrying over 185 passengers had to make an emergency landing after its left engine caught fire after taking off from Patna airport (Bihar). According to the airline, a bird strike damaged the fan blades. On the same day, a SpiceJet Bombardier Q400 Dash 8 flight from Delhi to Jabalpur made an emergency landing in Delhi due to a lack of cabin pressure as the plane gained altitude.
A SpiceJet-operated Boeing 737 MAX aircraft from Chennai (Tamil Nadu) to Durgapur (West Bengal) made an air flip after one of its engines needed to be shut down mid-air because of an oil filter warning.
A SpiceJet Boeing 737 plane from Mumbai to Durgapur flew into extreme turbulence shortly earlier than a touchdown, which led to several passengers being severely injured.
SpiceJet CMD Ajay Singh, in a statement, said that the airline would be “doubly careful” and strengthen aircraft inspection before they leave for flights. “Lot of these incidents that are being reported are relatively minor and happen to every airline. If the aviation regulator feels any gaps in SpiceJet’s system, we will address them”, the statement added.
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