Dozens of Boeing 777 aircraft have been grounded by Airlines in Japan and the United States. After the dramatic engine failure that United Airlines flight 328 faced over the weekend, Airlines have taken this measure. The National Transportation Safety Board’s ongoing investigation suggests that two fan blades of the flight’s engine number 2 had developed fractures.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an emergency airworthiness directive stating “immediate or stepped-up inspections of Boeing 777 airplanes equipped with certain Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines.” The administration said that it was likely these aircraft be removed from service.
After the incident, Steve Dickson, FAA administrator, reviewed the safety data, followed by the United Airlines Flight 328 onward Honolulu. According to the initial review, he said, “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.”
United Airlines has voluntarily grounded 24 Boeing 777 flights that use the Pratt& Whitney 4000-series engines. The company says that this will only cause inconvenience to only a small number of people. According to Reuters, Japan’s Civil Aviation Bureau has ordered All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines to remove aircraft with the same engines from service. JAL operates 14, and ANA has 19 of these engine flights.
On the United flight 328, which was bound for Honolulu, no one was injured due to the engine failure. Shortly after take-off, the flight safely returned to Denver after encountering engine failure.