An IndiGo A320neo flying from Lucknow to Bangalore suffered cabin depressurization shortly before landing. The aircraft declared an emergency and began descending to 10,000 feet, while overhead oxygen masks deployed in the cabin. The flight landed safely in Bangalore and the incident is under investigation by the authorities.
The incident occurred on an IndiGo flight 6E 6654 from Lucknow to Bangalore on Friday, 2nd April. The flight departed Lucknow 15 minutes before its scheduled departure, at 17:45 local time, and began the two-hour and ten-minute journey to Bangalore. The aircraft quickly reached its cruising altitude of 39,000 feet and remained there until shortly before landing.
However, just 240 kilometers from Bangalore, the aircraft reportedly suffered a cabin depressurization incident at 11,000 feet, according to Times of India. The aircraft had already begun its descent at the time and the pilots immediately requested permission to descend to 10,000 feet.
The permission was given and the plane remained at this altitude for a few minutes before beginning landing in Bangalore. The aircraft also declared an emergency and squawked 7700 at 19:52 local time to inform ATC and other nearby aircraft of the incident onboard.
For passengers onboard, the experience may have been quite shocking. The cabin depressurization meant that the overhead oxygen masks deployed and passengers had to put them on for safety reasons. Thankfully the aircraft quickly reached 10,000 feet and passengers could breathe normally once again. However, the emergency incident likely shook up even experienced travelers.
The aircraft landed at 20:19 local time, nearly 40 minutes behind its scheduled arrival. Notably, sources suggest at the aircraft resumed normal operations soon after declaring an emergency, roughly 130 kilometers from Bangalore. The flight landed safely, with no passenger injuries, and teams on the ground began worked to inspect the aircraft and what caused the incident.
The plane involved in the incident was one of IndiGo’s Airbus A320neos. Registered VT-ITM, the aircraft was delivered new to IndiGo in November 2016 and has served with the airline since, according to Planespotters.net. The plane is powered by two Pratt & Whitney engines and carries 180 passengers in a 3-3 configuration.
Flight data shows that the A320neo spent almost two days on the ground in Bangalore undergoing technical checks. The aircraft began flying again on 4th April, operating from Bangalore to Chennai and several more legs after that. The quick return to service signals that the underlying issue was minor and quickly resolved.
In a statement about the incident, an IndiGo spokesperson said,
“IndiGo A320 operating flight 6E-6654 from Lucknow to Bangalore did a priority landing at Bangalore. The pilot observed a caution message related to the air-conditioning system. The pilot followed his standard operating procedures. The aircraft is currently being inspected by the technical team at Bangalore.”
Depressurization incidents are rare in flights but certainly not unheard of. Luckily, modern aircraft can tackle these incidents and keep passengers safe. The overhead oxygen masks are a critical measure to ensure that passengers can breathe while the pilots lower altitude to safe breathing levels (usually 10,000 feet). On this flight too, they worked well to keep all passengers safe.
Have you ever been in an aircraft during an emergency? Did the oxygen masks deploy? Let us know in the comments!