Airlines Ground Boeing 777s after Denver Engine Failure

Addis Ababa, February 22, 2021 (Walta) –The US plane manufacturer Boeing has recommended grounding dozens of its 777 aircraft around the world after one of the jets suffered an engine failure.

The plane, carrying 231 passengers, was forced to return to Denver airport on Saturday. No injuries were reported.

United Airlines has grounded 24 of its 777s, while Japan’s two main airlines have suspended 32 jets from use.

In total, Boeing said 128 aircraft with the same engine as the Denver plane should be grounded.

“While [an] investigation is ongoing, we recommended suspending operations of the 69 in-service and 59 in-storage 777 aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines,” the company said in a statement.

Pratt & Whitney said it had dispatched a team to work with investigators.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), United is the only US airline flying this model of 777, with the others being in Japan and South Korea.

Debris from the engine was found scattered in a residential area

United Flight 328, bound for Honolulu, suffered a failure in its right-hand engine, the FAA said. Debris from the jet was found scattered over a nearby residential area after it returned to Denver airport.

The agency has ordered extra inspections of Boeing 777 jets fitted with the Pratt & Whitney 4000 engine following the incident. “We reviewed all available safety data following [Saturday’s] incident,” said FAA administrator Steve Dickson in a statement.

“Based on the initial information, we concluded that the inspection interval should be stepped up for the hollow fan blades that are unique to this model of engine, used solely on Boeing 777 airplanes.”

The FAA is meeting representatives from the engineering firm and Boeing.

The initial finding of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is that most of the damage occurred in the right engine, where two fan blades were fractured and other blades also impacted. The main body of the airplane suffered only minor damage, stated BBC.

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