FAA orders prompt examinations of Boeing 777s after United Denver impact
The Federal Aviation Administration on Sunday gave a crisis airworthiness directive calling for quick or stepped-up examinations of planes like the one that caught fire over Denver this end of the week.
The order covers Boeing 777 airplanes equipped with certain Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines and “will likely mean that some airplanes will be removed from service,” FAA administrator Steve Dickson said in a statement.
The order came after a United Airlines traveler jet powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines suffered a fiery mid-air engine failure on Saturday, driving a crisis landing.
No wounds were accounted for on board the Honolulu-bound jet, in spite of the dramatic videos showing one of the engines ablaze and rattling loose.
There were additionally no reports of wounds in suburban Broomfield, where tremendous pieces of engine and debris arrived in yards, parks and on vehicles.
An initial review of the incident showed that “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.
United is the only US operator with the PW4000 engine type in its fleet.
The airline said Sunday it would deliberately and briefly remove its 24 active planes with that engine type from its schedule.
“As we swap out aircraft, we expect only a small number of customers to be inconvenienced,” United said in a statement.
The airline said it would keep on working with regulators “to determine any additional steps that are needed to ensure these aircraft meet our rigorous safety standards and can return to service.”