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IndiGo engine smoke incident: Govt says AAIB pursuing the

The government Monday said the aircraft accident investigation wing AAIB is pursuing with Airbus and Pratt & Whitney (P&W) the incident of IndiGo plane emitting smoke mid-air with amid allegations that the probe is going slow.

On December 10, IndiGo's A320 neo plane made an emergency landing in Kolkata after smoke filled the plane's cabin. The pilots issued a MayDay call and the passengers were evacuated using emergency chutes.

The IndiGo incident involving an A320 neo aircraft, was the first instance globally of smoke detected from a P&W engine a senior DGCA official said last week.

The incident is being probed by the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau(AAIB).

"There is no question of any probe being hushed up. On the contrary, the AAIB is pursuing the matter with Airbus and P&W for assessing the reasons and recommending remedial measures," civil aviation secretary RN Choubey told PTI.

He was responding to a query about allegations that the probe was being hushed up due to pressure from the ministry and IndiGo.

IndiGo, on its part, also denied "influencing" the probe.

According to an industry source, the AAIB mid-way changed the probe team and brought an official, whose integrity has come under question in the past.

"The AAIB investigation team that was sent to Kolkata after the incident, was discarded the moment they returned back to Delhi. The decision was taken after a senior airline official met a top ministry official and AAIB chief," the source alleged.

IndiGo had downplayed the incident saying in a statement, that the the flight "made an emergency landing as a precaution due to a suspected smoke in cabin".

"Investigation is still underway and as a responsible corporate representing the Indian aviation industry, IndiGo will never influence any authority in its on-going investigation," IndiGo said in a statement to PTI.

The query was sent to the airline's interim Chief Executive Officer Rahul Bhatia on the issue.

According to the source, as per the the AAIB procedure manual only the officer who has visited the spot should be made the investigating officer.

"In this particular case neither the DG nor the senior official who had accompanied him are investigating officers of the case," the source alleged.

Queries sent to AAIB chief remained unanswered.