A Go First flight heading from Delhi to Guwahati was diverted to Jaipur after the A320neo aircraft’s windshield cracked mid-air, aviation regulator DGCA officials said.
This is the third incident of technical malfunction on a Go First aircraft in two days.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is investigating all three incidents.
After the pilots observed that the windshield on the plane has cracked, they wanted to return to Delhi but could not do so due to heavy rains on Wednesday afternoon, the officials said, adding the A320neo plane was then diverted to Jaipur.
In a statement, Go First’s spokesperson confirmed the Wednesday’s incident.
”The pilot in command was very well experienced and a qualified TRI (type rating instructor) and handled the issue quite diligently and with maturity, and due to the bad weather at Delhi he took a precautionary measure and diverted the aircraft to Jaipur,” the spokesperson said. The passengers are being accommodated on the alternate aircraft from Jaipur to Guwahati and due care is being taken for their comfort and convenience, the spokesperson noted.
On Tuesday, Go First’s Mumbai-Leh and Srinagar-Delhi flights faced engine snags and both planes were grounded by the DGCA. The two planes involved in Tuesday’s incidents will be allowed to fly only after being cleared by the DGCA, officials noted.
Go First has not issued any statement about Tuesday’s incidents. According to its website, the carrier has 57 planes in its fleet.
There have been multiple technical malfunction incidents in planes flown by Indian carriers in the last one month. Consequently, between Sunday and Tuesday, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia held multiple meetings with airlines and officials from his ministry and DGCA to ensure safety oversight. The DGCA had on Monday said it conducted spot checks and found that an insufficient number of engineering personnel were certifying planes of various carriers before take-off. Before each departure, an aircraft is checked and certified by an aircraft maintenance engineer (AME). The DGCA has now issued guidelines for airlines on the deployment of qualified AMEs and directed them to comply by July 28.
The spot checks also found that AME teams of airlines are improperly identifying the ”cause of a reported defect”, the DGCA order noted.
On July 17, IndiGo’s Sharjah-Hyderabad flight was diverted to Karachi as a precautionary measure after pilots observed a defect in one engine.
On the night of July 16, the Calicut-Dubai flight of the Air India Express was diverted to Muscat after a burning smell was observed in the cabin mid-air.
A live bird was found in the cockpit of the Air India Express Bahrain-Kochi flight on July 15.
SpiceJet is also under scanner these days. On July 6, the DGCA issued a show-cause notice to SpiceJet following at least eight incidents of technical malfunction in its aircraft since June 19. The DGCA is currently investigating all these incidents.