IndiGo Resorts To Unapproved Measures To Save On Fuel Cost?

IndiGo airlines has reportedly instructed its pilots to carry out Flap 3 landing each time they land the aircraft, according to a latest report published by an English daily. Apparently, a flap 3 landing saves some 6 kg of fuel as compared to Flap 4 or Full Flap landing, Indigo seems to have told its pilots.

Aviation experts say that an aircraft can land using two configurations - Flap 3 which is also known as soft landing involves only three or four flaps on the wings and therefore results in less drag for the aircraft as a result less fuel (approx. 6 - 8Kg) is consumed in comparison to a Flap 4 or full flap landing also termed as hard landing which is considered a safe landing. Flap 3 landing is to be undertaken only under certain specific conditions such as turbulence/windshear and runway length is not a limitation.

“As a company policy, the crew were asked to carry out flap 3 landing every time, which is not in line with the Airbus Flight Crew Operating Manual (FCOM) procedures,” said a DGCA official while responding to a media query sent by a publisher.

The instruction, however, is contrary to the guidelines mentioned in the Airbus Flight Crew Operating Manual. In fact, a couple of years ago, Gaurav Taneja, a former pilot with Air Asia turned YouTuber, had on his channel "Flying Beast", accused his then employer Air Asia for insisting on 98% of Flap 3 landings from its pilots even it meant jeopardizing the safety of the passengers.

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