NEW DELHI: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Friday penalised IndiGo Rs 30 lakh for lapses that have led to as many as four tail strikes within six months this year alone on its Airbus A321 aircraft. DGCA chief Vikram Dev Dutt had ordered a special audit of the airline to review its documentation and procedure on operations, training, engineering and flight data management programme. This audit revealed “certain systemic deficiencies in documentation pertaining to operations, training procedures and engineering procedures,” the regulator said in a statement.

Subsequently, the DGCA had issued a show cause notice to IndiGo. “The airline’s reply was reviewed at various levels and was not found satisfactory. Subsequently, we have imposed a financial penalty of Rs 30 lakh on IndiGo and also directed them to amend their documents and procedures in line with DGCA requirements and original equipment manufacturers’ guidelines,” the DGCA statement on Friday said.
Since last April, IndiGo has seen at least eight tail strikes on its A321s.

Earlier this week (Wednesday, July 26), the regulator had suspended the licences of pilots who had operated an A321 (VT-IMW) to Ahmedabad on June 15, 2023, which had a tail strike during landing. While the pilot-in-command’s (PIC) licence was suspended for three month, the co-pilot’s was suspended for a month. The regulator had issued show cause to the pilots on this incident and found “violation of the provisions of the relevant (rules)” by the crew that had led to the same. “DGCA investigation revealed the crew carried out the landing in deviation of established SOPs (standard operating procedures),” a senior DGCA official had said on Wednesday (July 26).
A tail strike occurs when the aft fuselage (tail) of an aeroplane comes in contact with the runway during either takeoff or landing. According to aviation website Skybrary, statistically the majority of tail strikes occur on landing. “Tail strikes most often occur as a result of human error although environmental factors, such as strong gusty winds, can increase the potential for an event,” Skybrary says.

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