U.S. aviation regulators ordered emergency inspections of all Boeing 777 planes equipped with a particular Pratt & Whitney engine model after the blades on one of the engines failed Saturday over suburban Denver, spraying metal debris over a wide area.
Additionally, United Airlines said Sunday it will temporarily remove from service 24 of its Boeing 777 planes in its fleet with the Pratt & Whitney engine.
“We reviewed all available safety data following yesterday’s incident,” FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said 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.”
Federal Aviation Administration officials ordered the inspections after examining the hollow fan blade that failed, triggering the failure Saturday, the agency said in an emailed statement. Japan’s Civil Aviation Bureau ordered operators of the Boeing Co. 777 involved in Saturday’s incident to halt operations, according to the FAA.
Meanwhile, Japan’s transport ministry on Sunday ordered ANA Holdings and Japan Airlines to ground Boeing 777 planes they operate following the Denver engine failure. ANA operates 19 planes and JAL 13 with Pratt & Whitney’s PW4000 engine that saw a failure with United Airlines plane.