A SpiceJet flight operating on a Boeing 737 MAX aircraft from Chennai to Durgapur in West Bengal on Tuesday evening turned back to land at its origin point shortly after take-off. According to sources, while climbing out of Chennai, pilots were alerted of a glitch in the aircraft’s right-hand side engine, following which the crew decided to turn the engine off and land back at Chennai airport.
Notably, this is the second such incident with SpiceJet involving its Boeing 737 MAX plane, which is equipped with CFM Leap engines. In December, because of a similar glitch, a Kolkata-bound flight had returned to Mumbai.
“During climb, Engine #2 ‘oil filter bypass’ light got illuminated. The pilot-in-command carried out an IFSD (in-flight shut down) of No.2 engine as per the QRH (quick reference handbook) non-normal checklist actions. After this, an air turn back was initiated and the aircraft landed safely in Chennai,” an official with the aviation safety regulator DGCA said.
The official added that the aircraft has been grounded at Chennai airport and is being investigated.
Confirming Tuesday’s incident, a SpiceJet spokesperson said: “SpiceJet flight SG-331 operating from Chennai to Durgapur on May 3 returned to Chennai after take off due to a technical issue. The aircraft landed back safely”.
Just last week, another SpiceJet flight on its way to Durgapur encountered severe turbulence that injured at least a dozen people on board. Following that incident, the crew of the flight was taken off duty, along with an aircraft maintenance engineer at Durgapur airport, who cleared the damaged plane for an onward flight to Kolkata. In addition, the in-charge of SpiceJet’s maintenance control centre was also off-rostered pending an investigation into the incident.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), as a regulatory measure, had ordered inspection of SpiceJet’s aircraft across its fleet.