Air France Airbus A330 grounded at Bengaluru International Airport – Update 3

June 1, 2009 – The AF447 Rio to Paris story is here.

Originally posted – 16:00GMT 21:30 local March 18

Air France_A330-200 F-GZCB Aircraft_On_Ground Grounded Bangalore Bengaluru International Airport BLR VOBL technical glitchSomething is in the air at the Bengaluru International Airport. For the second time in less than a week, an Airbus A330 is getting grounded at the airport with a technical fault.

Following the five day grounding of a Dragonair A330, it is the turn of Air France. F-GZCB which was to perform flight AF191 early this morning, has been grounded with a technical flaw in the avionics bay.

An Air France engineer is flying out with the required spares on tonight’s AF192 flight, and is expected to fix the aircraft which should fly out some time tomorrow afternoon.

All the passengers on the stranded flight were put on alternate airlines or accommodated in hotels.

Update 1 – 13:00GMT 18:30 local March 19

After many efforts by the engineers at Bangalore very futile, a team of senior engineers flew in from Dubai late this afternoon on the Emirates flight and have commenced inspection of the aircraft. Parts are expected in from Paris on AF192 which should come in around 01:00 local. Hopefully F-GZCB will be repaired by tomorrow morning and leave back to her home in Paris.

Update 2 – 06:00GMT 11:30 local March 22

Poor F-GZCB is still sitting on the ground. Very forlorn. The major electrical problem has been addressed. The parking bill from the Airport is going to be big.

Update 3 – 18:00GMT 23:30 local March 22

F-GZCB finally flew out as a ferry flight at 19:00 local time (14:00 GMT). Even the departure was not without drama as the aircraft was originally scheduled to leave at 15:45 local to avoid the night curfew plaguing most European airports including Charles De Gaulle. At the last moment a hydraulics problem cropped up. Luckily there were three engineers from Air France at the site, and the issue was addressed and corrected in a record two hours.

Still special permission was needed for the European curfew, and having obtained it, the A330 finally left Bangalore almost five days after being on the ground.

Since F-GZCB was in “AOG” status (Aircraft On Ground) for such a long period, she will undergo a thorough check today before being pressed back in to service.

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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