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Crew of GoAir Airbus A320 shut down wrong engine after birdstrike

Staff Writer |
On 21st June, 2017, Go Air flight G8338, an Airbus A320, returned to land at Delhi-Indira Gandhi International Airport in India after sustaining a bird strike to an engine.

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During takeoff roll on runway 09 at around 115 knots IAS, the aircraft suffered a bird strike on engine no.2. Both pilots noticed abnormal sound and vibrations but the captain decided to continue for takeoff, probably wanting to investigate the problem after getting airborne.

After takeoff the situation was incorrectly assessed and the engine no.1 (the unaffected engine) was shut down. The aircraft was climbing on engine no.2 (affected engine), for over three minutes. The climb was stopped at around 3330 ft altitude.

The crew then realized their mistake and attempted to start engine no.1 but encountered a Start Valve Fault. They carried out appropriate actions and engine no.1 was started at an altitude of around 3100 ft.

The throttle of the engine no.2 was later reduced as per QRH procedure and put on to IDLE. The aircraft lost a considerable amount of energy in the process of starting engine no.1 which, combined with flying the aircraft in absence of autopilot due to weather, resulted in activation of ALPHA FLOOR.

The crew carried out appropriate actions and ALPHA FLOOR was de-activated after 28 seconds at 2600 ft altitude. A go around was performed during the first approach as the aircraft was too high on a glide slope.

Subsequently the aircraft landed uneventfully at Delhi on a single engine, i.e. engine no.1. The vibration value of N1 of engine no.2 was above the specified limits for approximately six minutes during the flight.

On arrival, during physical inspection, blood stains were observed spread on the acoustic panel of engine no.2 and damage was observed on the tips of the leading edge of two fan blades. After rectification, the aircraft was released to service on 21/06/2017.

DGCA report: Incident was caused by incorrect identification of engine affected with high vibration followed by non-adherence to recommended procedures, lack of situational awareness, poor Cockpit Resource Management and poor handling of aircraft during emergency subsequent to bird strike.

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