Boeing has called on airlines to down more than 120 of its 777 planes after United Airlines flight 328 suffered a dramatic engine failure over Denver, Colorado at the weekend.
The flight was bound for Hawaii from Denver on Saturday, when one of its engines failed just after take-off, catching fire, and scattering debris over the ground below. According to reports, there were no injuries or casualties involving the 10 flight crew and 231 passengers onboard the flight – nor were any reported from those on the ground below.
Boeing recommended on Sunday night that any airlines using planes that have the same engines as those on flight 328 should ground them, pending inspections that need to be carried out.
Airlines in the USA and Japan were quick to follow Boeing’s directive. United Airlines announced it was grounding all 24 of its 777s that are currently in service, while Japan’s regulator ordered Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways to ground planes. The planes in question all use the 4000-series Pratt & Whitney engines – the same model that failed over Denver.
The USA’s National Transportation Safety Board’s is conducting an investigation into the engine failure and it seems that two fan blades on the plane’s number 2 engine had developed fractures.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has released an emergency directive that requires “immediate or stepped-up inspections of Boeing 777 airplanes equipped with certain Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines.” Depending on their results, the FAA says that some of these planes would be likely removed from service.