777s with engine that blew apart should be grounded – Twin Cities

2021-02-22 21:33:35 –

Associated Press

Boeing has recommended airlines to ground all 777s with the type of engine that exploded after taking off from Denver last weekend, and most airlines operating these planes will provide temporary service. Said to stop.

The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered United Airlines to step up aircraft inspections after one of its flights made an emergency landing at Denver International Airport on Saturday as debris from the engine casing rained in a suburban neighborhood. did. Neither 231 passengers nor 10 crew members were injured, officials said, and the flight landed safely. United is one of the carriers that grounded the plane.

FAA administrator Steve Dixon has identified the focus of the step-up inspection as a hollow fan blade that is unique to the Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engine model and is only used on the Boeing 777. According to Dixon’s statement, the conclusions are based on the initial review of safety data and may mean grounding some planes.

National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Samwalt said at a virtual press conference on Monday night that fan blade damage found in the engine had visible signs of “damage consistent with metal fatigue.” It was. According to preliminary research, the broken blade smashed into the next blade when the engine broke.

According to Samwalt, the first destroyed blade was flown to Pratt & Whitney’s headquarters on a private jet on Monday night and investigated under the supervision of an NTSB investigator.

“Our mission is to understand not only what happened, but why it happened, and prevent it from happening again,” he said.

Boeing states that there are 69 777s running Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines, and an additional 59 are stored, confirming that they need to be grounded until the FAA establishes an inspection system. Did.

United operated 24 planes. According to the FAA, it is the only US airline to have an engine in its fleet.

Japan has two more Japanese airlines, while pointing out that the engine of the same family had a problem in December, according to the financial newspaper Nikkei.

In South Korea, Asiana Airlines has landed nine aircraft, seven of which are in service, and Korean Air has landed 16 aircraft, six of which are in service.

“We are working with these regulators to take action while these planes are on the ground and further inspection by Pratt & Whitney,” Boeing said in a statement, US and Japan. Mentioned regulators.

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

An emergency landing last weekend is the latest issue for Boeing, with a 737 Max plane landing for over a year after two fatal crashes in 2019 and a coronavirus pandemic air travel. Suffering from a significant decline. Max’s plane began to return to the sky at the end of last year. This was a huge boost for aircraft manufacturers who lost billions of dollars on the ground because they couldn’t deliver new planes to their customers.

A video posted on Twitter from a Saturday emergency showed that the engine was completely in flames when the plane flew. Freeze frames in various videos taken by passengers sitting shortly before the engine and posted on Twitter seemed to indicate that the engine’s fan blades were broken.

Passengers heading to Honolulu said they were worried that the plane would crash after the explosion and flash. Meanwhile, people on the ground lost a house and crushed a truck in a huge chunk of aircraft. The explosion seen from the ground left a mark of black smoke in the sky.

United will work closely with the FAA and NTSB to “determine the additional steps necessary to enable these aircraft to meet our strict safety standards and return to service.”

According to the NTSB, the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder were taken to a laboratory in Washington for analysis of the data. NTSB investigations can take up to a year or more, but in most cases authorities usually publish investigation materials during the process.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism said that the engine of the PW4000 family had failed on Japan Airlines 777 flying from Naha to Tokyo on December 4. The airline said the plane had engine trouble after takeoff and returned to Naha. According to the airline, inspection revealed damage to the engine case and missing fan blades. Correspondingly, stricter inspections were ordered.

Nikkei reported that Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways will suspend operations of a total of 32 aircraft equipped with their engines. ___

This story has been updated to correct the name of one of the Japanese airlines mentioned. It’s Japan Airlines, not Japan Airlines.

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