SpiceJet was caught in two separate incidents on Tuesday, July 5, where two of its aircraft were forced to make priority landings after they developed technical glitches.
A SpiceJet aircraft flying from Gujarat's Kandla made a priority landing in Mumbai after its outer windshield developed a crack mid-air.
The airline officials said the Kandla-Mumbai flight was at an altitude of 23,000 feet when the windshield's outer pane cracked. However, all passenger and crew members are safe, NDTV reported.
"During cruise at FL230, P2 side windshield outerpane cracked. Associated non-normal checklist actions were carried out, and Pressurisation was observed to be normal. Priority landing was carried out, and aircraft landed safely at BOM (Bombay)," the airline said in a statement.
Delhi-Dubai Flight Diverted
In another incident on the same day, a SpiceJet plane flying from Delhi to Dubai had to be diverted to Karachi due to a malfunctioning indicator light. The plane landed safely, and a replacement aircraft was sent from India to pick up 138 passengers and complete the journey.
A Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority spokesperson described the incident as an emergency landing and said there was an issue with the fuel indicator.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) officials also confirmed that the flight was diverted to Karachi due to a fuel indicator malfunction. The regulator has now ordered a probe into the incident, The Economic Times reported.
DGCA Issues Show Cause Notice
On July 6, the DGCA issued a show cause notice to SpiceJet after the airline reported eight malfunction incidents in the last 18 days. The Indian regulator said the budget carrier has failed to establish safe, efficient and reliable air services under Aircraft Rules, 1937.
Eighth Malfunction In Less Than 3 Weeks
According to NDTV, this is the eighth safety-related concern in SpiceJet in less than three weeks. The other incidents, all of which have been brought to the regulator's attention, include two door warnings, a bird hit, oil leakage from an engine, a pressurisation problem, and yesterday's malfunction.
On June 19, a Delhi-bound Boeing 737-800 operated by the Gurugram-based low-cost airline made an emergency landing in Patna, minutes after its take-off, when one of its engines suffered a bird hit. The flight was carrying 185 passengers and six crew members.
A Bombardier Q400 Dash 8 developed a cabin pressurisation issue after it departed from Delhi. As the aircraft climbed out of the national capital, the pilots observed that the cabin pressure did not build up in line with the altitude gain. Following this, the crew decided to return and the aircraft landed safely back in Delhi, The Indian Express reported.
On June 24, the fuselage warning light on a SpiceJet Q400 aircraft (Guwahati-Kolkata) lit up when it was on 'rotation', forcing them to cancel their journeys and return. The flight pilots found that the warning was coming from the baggage door at the rear end of the plane, the officials said.
The next day on June 25, a similar incident occurred on SpiceJet's Patna-Guwahati flight. A SpiceJet Q400 aircraft was forced to ditch its take-off roll at the Patna airport after the aircraft's fuselage door warning light lit up. It was noted that the warning had come from the baggage door at the rear end of the aircraft.
A Jabalpur-bound flight operated by the low-cost carrier on a Bombardier Q400 Dash 8 plane made an emergency landing in Delhi on July 2, after the smoke alarm was triggered. The aircraft took off from Delhi early morning, and while climbing past 5,000 feet, the crew observed smoke in the cabin along with the lavatory smoke alarm sound going off.
Meanwhile, the DGCA carried out a fleet-wide safety audit of SpiceJet aircraft in June and continues to conduct inspections on a case-by-case basis.
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