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Engine Issues Prompt Airbus to Temporarily Halt P&W A320NEO Deliveries

Airbus A321neo in flight. Photo Clemens Vasters from Viersen, Germany (CC BY 2.0)

Airbus has temporarily halted Pratt and Whitney-powered A320neo due to issues. IndiGo Airlines, one of the first customers for the revised jet has been one of the airlines affected by the issues. IndiGo reported 69 instances of single-engine failure over a period of 18 months. Just last week, the airline grounded three A320neos after engine issues.

Following a directive by European aviation safety regulators, EASA, Airbus and P&W safety boards evaluated the PW1100G-JM engine issue and decided to put all neo deliveries on hold until further notice. IndiGo, one of the first airlines to receive the P&W powered A320neos stated that the issue impacts only a limited sub-population of engines.

Details of the Airworthiness Directive

Airbus has issued an alert that provides instructions to de-pair (only allow one per plane) affected engines and discontinue extended-range twin-engine (ETOPS) operations for planes that are fitted with the affected engines. Airbus and P&W are working to find a swift solution. Eight airlines fly the A320neo powered by Pratt and Whitney engines.  Here’s the full restrictions from the Emergency Airworthiness Directive:

(1.)Within 3 flight cycles (FC) from the effective date of this AD, do not operate an aeroplane having two affected engines installed.

(2) Within 1 FC from the effective date of this AD, for an aeroplane having at least one affected engine(s) installed, ETOPS operations are not allowed.

(3) Inserting a copy of this AD in the ETOPS Configuration, Maintenance and Procedures (CMP) of concerned aeroplane models and, thereafter, operating that aeroplane on ETOPS accordingly, is acceptable to comply with paragraph (2) of this AD.

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Kim Clark

Written by Kim Clark

Former CNN Radio News Network anchor Kim Clark is a freelance writer and editor, specializing in the aviation industry and financial markets. She currently freelances for S&P Global and works as a club and event Disc Jockey in Atlanta, Georgia, after having held positions doing news on radio morning shows and holding down the position of Music Director of commercial radio stations owned by Cumulus and Clear Channel.

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