Aviation regulator DGCA has directed Indian airlines to inspect the Boeing B737 aircraft in their fleet after the US aviation regulator FAA issued an emergency directive on this matter on Friday, officials said.
Three Indian airlines — SpiceJet, Air India Express and Vistara — have B737 aircraft in their fleet.
The emergency directive was “prompted by four single-engine shutdowns” that happened due to compromised air check valves in the engines of the certain B737 aircraft, said the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in its emergency directive.
US aviation regulator Federal Aviation Administration issued the directive on July 23 due to four recent reports of a single-engine shutdown, which were expected to be possibly a result of corrosion of some internal parts of the valve during storage amid COVID-19 pandemic.
“Corrosion of these valves on both engines could result in a dual-engine power loss without the ability to restart,” the FAA noted.
The airworthiness directive requires airlines to inspect the engine bleed air 5th stage check valve on each engine and the replacement of engine bleed air 5th stage check valve if any inspection is not passed.
Boeing , in a statement, said, “Out of an abundance of caution, Boeing has advised operators of 737 Classic airplanes (series -300 to -500) and Next-Generation 737s (series -600 to -900) to inspect an engine valve for corrosion. With airplanes being stored or used infrequently due to lower demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, the valve can be more susceptible to corrosion.”
Boeing is providing inspection and replacement information to fleet owners if they find an issue, it added. SpiceJet spokesperson said the FAA airworthiness directive (AD) applies to a small number of 737s in its fleet that have not yet completed 10 cycles on return of aircraft to service.
“They are being inspected. The majority of our planes have completed 10 cycles already and are not affected by this AD,” the SpiceJet spokesperson added. On this matter, Vistara spokesperson said, “Vistara is in compliance of the directive. The inspection of the engines of all six of our B737 aircraft has already been completed.”