United Airlines said Sunday that it will temporarily remove 24 of its Boeing 777s from service after one of the planes suffered an engine failure over the weekend.
The head of the Federal Aviation Administration said Sunday the agency will order the inspection of some Boeing 777 jetliners powered by the same Pratt and Whitney engine, the PW4000.
Another Boeing flight ban: Japan’s aviation regulator has ordered airlines to suspend flights of aircraft with this type of engine until further notice, the FAA said. United is the only U.S. airline with this type of engine in its fleet, added the agency.
The Boeing 777 of the US airline United Airlines (UA) was on its way to Hawaii with 231 passengers and ten crew members on board. Shortly after taking off from Denver, Colorado, the right engine caught fire. Part of the panel ripped off. The sometimes quite large pieces of debris fell on the ground in a suburb of Denver, but only caused property damage. The plane returned to Denver and landed there.
No one was injured in the flight that was carrying 229 passengers and 10 crew members, but debris, including what appeared to be a piece of the engine covering, fell in nearby Broomfield, Colorado.
Another Boeing flight ban: The Japanese Ministry of Transport has imposed a flight ban on a good 30 Boeing 777 aircraft after an engine on a Boeing 777 caught fire on February 20, 2021. The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is also investigating the case.
Two shovels were broken.
We are talking about aircraft fitted with a specific Pratt & Whitney engine that has hollow turbine blades. According to the FAA, these blades are only used on this engine model and only on the Boeing 777. According to the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), two blades of the UA machine were broken, the rest of them had damage to the leading edges, among other things. The FAA has ordered a shortening of the inspection intervals for these turbine blades, said FAA Director Steve Dickson.
Separately, Boeing said it recommended the halting of its 777 aircraft with the same kind of engine as the United flight that dropped debris near Denver.
“While the NTSB investigation is ongoing, we recommended suspending operations of the 69 in-service and 59 in-storage 777s powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines until the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) identifies the appropriate inspection protocol,” Boeing said in a statement.
Federal investigators said their initial investigation revealed two of the right engine’s fan blades were fractured.
The National Transportation Safety Board said one of the engine’s fan blades was fractured near its root while another was fractured half-way through. Other engine fan blades were also damaged, the NTSB said in an initial report late Sunday.
United operates 44 other Boeing 777s that are powered by General Electric engines.
Such incidents are rare but have occurred in recent years.
In February 2018, another United Airlines 777-200, outfitted with Pratt and Whitney PW4077 engines, suffered engine failure over the Pacific near Hawaii, after a fan blade fractured, according to an NTSB report released in June. The flight made it safely to Honolulu with 364 passengers and 10 crewmembers.
In April 2018, a passenger was killed when a fan blade broke off from a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737′s engine, breaking a window and briefly sucking the passenger partially outside.
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