Los Angeles Times

Boe­ing ad­vises ground­ing 777s sim­i­lar to one whose en­gine failed.

The com­pany calls for ac­tion on jets sim­i­lar to one whose en­gine caught fire after tak­ing off from Den­ver.

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Boe­ing Co. has rec­om­mended that air­lines ground all 777s with the type of en­gine that blew apart after take­off from Den­ver this week­end, and most car­ri­ers that fly those planes said they would tem­po­rar­ily pull them from ser­vice.

The Fed­eral Avi­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion or­dered United Air­lines to step up in­spec­tions of the air­craft after one of its flights made an emer­gency land­ing at Den­ver In­ter­na­tional Air­port on Satur­day as pieces of the cas­ing of the en­gine, a Pratt & Whit­ney PW4000, rained down on sub­ur­ban neigh­bor­hoods.

None of the 231 pas­sen­gers or 10 crew mem­bers were hurt, and the flight landed safely, au­thor­i­ties said. United is among the car­ri­ers that have grounded the planes.

FAA 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.”

Dick­son said that would prob­a­bly mean some planes would be grounded — and Boe­ing said Sun­day that they should be un­til the FAA sets an in­spec­tion reg­i­men.

Boe­ing said there were 69 of its 777s with the Pratt & Whit­ney 4000-112 en­gines in ser­vice and an ad­di­tional 59 in stor­age.

United had 24 of the planes in ser­vice; it is the only U.S. air­line with the en­gine in its fleet, the FAA said. Two Ja­panese air­lines have a to­tal of 32 that are be­ing pulled. Asiana Air­lines grounded nine, seven of which were in ser­vice, un­til Boe­ing es­tab­lishes a plan to fix the prob­lems. Korean Air said it was dis­cussing whether to ground 16 air­craft, six of which are in ser­vice.

“We are work­ing with these [U.S. and Ja­panese] reg­u­la­tors as they take ac­tions while these planes are on the ground and fur­ther in­spec­tions are con­ducted by Pratt & Whit­ney,” Boe­ing said in a state­ment Sun­day.

The en­gine maker said it was send­ing a team to work with in­ves­ti­ga­tors.

The emer­gency land­ing in Den­ver is the lat­est trou­ble for Boe­ing, which saw its 737 Max planes grounded for more than a year after two deadly crashes in 2019. The planes be­gan re­turn­ing to the skies late last year — a huge boost for the com­pany, which lost bil­lions of dol­lars dur­ing the Max ground­ing be­cause it has been un­able to de­liver new planes to cus­tomers.

Video footage posted on Twit­ter of Satur­day’s emer­gency over Den­ver showed the United plane’s en­gine fully en­gulfed in flames as the plane was in flight. Freeze frames from a dif­fer­ent video taken by a pas­sen­ger sit­ting slightly in front of the en­gine ap­peared to show a bro­ken fan blade in the en­gine.

The Na­tional Trans­porta­tion Safety Board said two of the en­gine’s fan blades were frac­tured and the re­main­der of the fan blades “ex­hib­ited dam­age.”

United says it will work closely with the FAA and the NTSB “to de­ter­mine any ad­di­tional steps that are needed to en­sure these air­craft meet our rig­or­ous safety stan­dards and can re­turn to ser­vice.”

The NTSB said the cock­pit voice recorder and flight data recorder were trans­ported to its lab in Wash­ing­ton for the data to be an­a­lyzed.

Ja­pan’s Min­istry of Land, In­fras­truc­ture, Trans­port and Tourism said an en­gine in the PW4000 fam­ily suf­fered trou­ble on a Ja­pan Air­lines 777 f ly­ing to Tokyo from Naha on Dec. 4. The air­line has said the plane had en­gine trou­ble after take­off and re­turned to Naha. An in­spec­tion showed dam­age to the en­gine case and miss­ing fan blades, ac­cord­ing to the air­line. Stricter in­spec­tions were or­dered in re­sponse.

Ja­pan Air­lines and All Nip­pon Air­ways will stop op­er­at­ing a com­bined 32 planes with that en­gine, Nikkei re­ported.

 ?? HAYDEN SMITH Associated Press ?? UNITED AIR­LINES Flight 328 ap­proaches Den­ver In­ter­na­tional Air­port on Satur­day after hav­ing “a right-en­gine fail­ure” shortly after take­off from Den­ver.
HAYDEN SMITH Associated Press UNITED AIR­LINES Flight 328 ap­proaches Den­ver In­ter­na­tional Air­port on Satur­day after hav­ing “a right-en­gine fail­ure” shortly after take­off from Den­ver.

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