Author Topic: United Airlines engine explosion over Denver prompts company to ground Boeing 777s  (Read 247 times)

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Online Elderberry

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CBS News 2/21/2021

Federal aviation regulators are ordering 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. United said it is temporarily removing those aircraft from service.

The announcements came a day after United Airlines Flight 328 had to make an emergency landing at Denver International Airport after its right engine blew apart just after takeoff. Pieces of the casing of the engine, a Pratt & Whitney PW4000, rained down on suburban neighborhoods.

Separately, Dutch authorities were investigating a strikingly similar incident in which a Boeing 747-400 cargo plane dropped engine parts shortly after taking off from Maastricht airport Saturday, according to Reuters. An airport spokesperson said small metal parts were scattered over the southern town of Meerssen. There was some damage and a woman was hurt. It landed safely.

Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Steve Dickson said in a statement 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."

Boeing said it's recommending that "operations of the 69 in-service and 59 in-storage 777s" with the Pratt & Whitney engines worldwide be suspended "until the FAA identifies the appropriate inspection protocol."


Online PeteS in CA

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The 747-400 incident in the Netherlands may or may not be relevant, as that model uses GE and Rolls Royce engines as well as the PW4000.

The swift move is understandable and appropriate, but the actual cause still needs to be determined, and that might be something other than a defect in the engine (e.g. FOD, such as a tool left inside the engine during maintenance).
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Offline Smokin Joe

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More on it including video of damaged (toast!) engine in flight.
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Online Bigun

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That is what you call a catastrophic engine failure.
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