Last Updated: Feb 22, 2021, 1713 hrs IST
The recent accident in which United Airlines Flight 328 had to make an emergency landing at Denver International Airport as it’s right engine blew apart just after take-off. Pieces of the casing of the engine, a Pratt & Whitney PW4000, rained down on suburban neighbourhoods.The plane with 231 passengers and 10 crew on board landed safely, and nobody aboard or on the ground was reported hurt, authorities said.
United is the only U.S. airline with the Pratt & Whitney PW4000 in its fleet, the FAA said. United says it currently has 24 of the 777s in service.
Federal aviation regulators have ordered United Airlines to step up inspections of all Boeing 777s equipped with the type of engine that suffered a catastrophic failure over Denver on Saturday.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Steve Dickson said in a statement on Sunday that based on an initial review of safety data, inspectors “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 National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said in a separate statement that two of the engine’s fan blades were fractured and the remainder of the fan blades “exhibited damage”.
Also the National Transport safety Board (NTSB) did caution that it was too early to draw conclusions about how the incident happened.
Also airlines in Japan and South Korea are operating planes with the Pratt & Whitney engine of the same series. Japan Airways and All Nippon Airways have decided to stop operating a combined 32 planes with that engine.
Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism also ordered the planes out of service, and the ministry said an engine in the same PW4000 family suffered unspecified trouble on a JAL 777 flying to Haneda from Naha on December 4. It ordered stricter inspections in response.