SpiceJet suffers 7 emergency landings in 17 days, trouble brewing for airline?

A Spicejet flight made an emergency landing in Pakistan, making it one of the 7 incidents in past 17 days as Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) investigates all the seven incidents.

SpiceJet suffers 7 emergency landings in 17 days, trouble brewing for airline?

A SpiceJet Delhi-Dubai flight suffered a mid-air malfunction in its fuel indicator on Tuesday and was diverted to Karachi. Another SpiceJet flight developed cracks on the windshield at a height of 23,000 feet, forcing a priority landing in Mumbai. The double whammy for the budget airline in a single day have taken the total number of technical malfunction incidents involving SpiceJet aircraft to seven in the last 17 days. According to officials of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the India's aviation regulator is investigating all the seven incidents, and can result in DGCA coming down hard on the airline, although no statement has been released by either of the two parties in this matter. 

As for the seven incidents, 6 of them were domestic flights, while one was an international flight. The international flight incident was reported on June 5 morning when a SpiceJet's Boeing 737 Max with around 150 passengers travelling from Delhi to Dubai made an emergency landing in Pakistan's Karachi. The plane started showing unusual fuel quantity reduction from its left tank when it was mid-air, following which it was diverted to Karachi.

When an inspection was done at the Karachi airport, no visual leak was observed from the left tank, they added. SpiceJet deputed another aircraft from India in the evening and by 10 PM in the night, all passengers left for Dubai again, spending 12 hours in Pakistan. 

In the second incident, the pilots of the Q400 plane had to carry out a priority landing at Mumbai airport after its windshield cracked at 23,000 feet altitude, DGCA officials said. The number of passengers on the 78-seater Q400 plane on a Kandla-Mumbai flight was not immediately known.

The aircraft did not face any cabin pressurisation issues, they said. "On 5th July, 2022, SpiceJet Q400 aircraft was operating SG 3324 (Kandla-Mumbai). During cruise at FL230 (23,000 feet altitude), P2 side windshield outer pane cracked. Pressurization was observed to be normal. The aircraft landed safely in Mumbai," the SpiceJet said in a statement.

On June 19, an engine on the carrier's Delhi-bound aircraft carrying 185 passengers caught fire soon after the takeoff from Patna airport and the plane made an emergency landing minutes later. The engine malfunctioned because of a bird hit. It was one of the biggest incidents in the last few days and the pilot of the plane, Monica Khanna is being credited for safely landing the aircraft. 

Also read: SpiceJet plane lands in Mumbai after windshield cracks mid-air

In another incident on June 19, a flight for Jabalpur had to return to Delhi due to cabin pressurisation issues. Fuselage door warnings lit up on two separate planes while taking off on June 24 and June 25, forcing them to abandon their journeys and return.

On July 2, a flight heading to Jabalpur returned to Delhi after the crew members observed smoke in the cabin at around 5,000 feet altitude.

With agencies inputs

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