DGCA issues notice to SpiceJet over recent mid-air incidents

After India’s budget carrier, SpiceJet makes headlines with a series of mid-air incidents, Civil aviation regulator DGCA issued a show cause notice to the airline asking for a written explanation for the incidents.

In the latest incident, a China-bound SpiceJet cargo plane returned to Kolkata on Tuesday due to faulty weather radar. The SpiceJet freighter aircraft of Boeing 737 was scheduled to operate from Kolkata to Chongquing, but after the take off it was found that the weather radar was unserviceable, according to the spokesperson.

The pilot-in-command decided to return to Kolkata and landed the plane safely there.

“On July 5, 2022, SpiceJet Boeing 737 freighter was scheduled to operate from Kolkata to Chongqing. After take-off, the weather radar was not showing the weather. The PIC (pilot-in-command) decided to return to Kolkata. The aircraft landed safely at Kolkata,” SpiceJet spokesperson told HT.

“Passenger safety is paramount. Even the smallest error hindering safety will be thoroughly investigated & course-corrected,” Union minister of civil aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia said in a tweet.

In the last few weeks, this is the 9th incident of technical malfunction happening on SpiceJet aircraft forcing an emergency landing. On Tuesday, a Delhi-Dubai flight was diverted to Karachi due to a faulty fuel indicator while its Kandla-Mumbai flight did priority landing in Maharashtra’s capital city after cracks developed on its windshield mid-air.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), amid the string of issues hitting budget carriers this summer has ordered an investigation into the incident involving the Delhi-Dubai flight where about 150 passengers had to wait for over eight hours in Karachi before a replacement jet arrived.

Recent mid-air snags on SpiceJet aircraft:

  • May 4: Chennai-Durgapur B737 MAX aircraft turned back after one of its engines had to be shut mid-air due to an oil filter warning.
  • May 28: Mumbai-Gorakhpur flight returned to base after the aircraft’s windshield cracked.
  • June 19: Delhi-Jabalpur Bombardier Q400 Dash 8 plane returned to origin after cabin pressure did not build up with a gain in altitude.
  • June 19: Patna-Delhi Boeing 737 aircraft made an emergency landing after its engine aircraft caught fire due to a bird hit soon after take-off
  • July 2: Jabalpur-bound Bombardier Q400 Dash 8 plane returned to Delhi after smoke was observed in a cabin at around 5,000 feet.
  • July 5: Kandla-Mumbai Q400 aircraft did a priority landing in the financial capital after its windshield cracked at 23,000 feet altitude.
  • July 5: Delhi-Dubai Boeing 737 aircraft diverted to Karachi after fuel indicator started malfunctioning.
  • July 5: Kolkata-Chongquing Boeing 737 cargo plane returned to Kolkata due to faulty weather radar.

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