Mumbai: A Boeing Co. 737 Max operated by SpiceJet Ltd. had to turn back to Mumbai shortly into a flight to Kolkata after its pilots shut down an engine due to a technical issue.
While the plane landed safely and nobody was injured, the incident is sensitive as it involved an aircraft model that only recently returned to the skies in India after a lengthy global grounding in the wake of two fatal crashes that were primarily blamed on faulty software.
Arun Kumar, director general of India’s aviation regulator, confirmed the SpiceJet flight landed safely. The crew shut down the second engine after an “oil filter bypass light got illuminated in cruise,” he wrote in a text message. Modern commercial aircraft are equipped to operate on a single engine.
SpiceJet said Flight 467 returned to Mumbai safely after experiencing a technical issue. It didn’t elaborate. The Times of India reported the incident earlier Friday.
Data from Flightradar24.com show the aircraft took off Thursday evening and started to turn back after about 15 minutes in the air.
The engine on the plane was manufactured by a venture between General Electric Co. and France’s Safran SA. The incident doesn’t appear to be linked to automated software known as the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, or MCAS, which was established as the main reason for the 2018 and 2019 crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed 346 people.
The Max was grounded worldwide in March 2019 after the second crash. The single-aisle jet has returned to service in most major markets bar China over the past 12 months following extensive fixes. India cleared it in August. SpiceJet has 13 Max aircraft in its fleet and as many as 205 on order. – Bloomberg