The US Federal Aviation Administration has ordered extra inspections of some Boeing 777 passenger jets, after a United Airlines flight suffered engine failure a day earlier, scattering debris across a Colorado community. A United Airlines Boeing 777-200ER plane is towed as an American Airlines Boeing 737 plane departs from O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, US, November 30, 2018. (File photo) (Reuters) US regulators have announced extra inspections on Boeing Co 777 jets using the same type of engine that shed debris over Denver, while Japan has gone further and suspended their use while it considers what action to take.
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The regulatory moves involving Pratt & Whitney 4000 engines came after a United Airlines 777 landed safely at Denver International Airport on Saturday after its right engine failed.
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United Airlines said on Sunday it would voluntarily and temporarily remove its 24 active planes of the type from its schedule.
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Images posted by police in Broomfield, Colorado showed significant plane debris on the ground, including an engine cowling scattered outside a home and what appeared to be other parts in a field
Japan's transport ministry ordered Japan Airlines Co Ltd (JAL) and ANA Holdings Inc to suspend the use of 777s with P&W4000 engines while it considered whether to take additional measures
Flight UA328 from Denver to Honolulu experienced an engine failure shortly after departure, returned safely to Denver and was met by emergency crews as a precaution. There are no reported injuries onboard. We are in contact with the FAA, NTSB and local law enforcement
— United Airlines (@united) February 20, 2021 BREAKING: Japan’s aviation regulator has ordered Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways to cease flying 777s with Pratt & Whitney PW4000s, the same type involved in #UAL328 on Saturday, according to an advisory on its website and confirmed by an industry source. pic.twitter.com/sY3egBwUjj
— Jon Ostrower (@jonostrower) February 21, 2021 The transport ministry said on December 4, 2020, a JAL flight from Naha Airport to Tokyo International Airport returned to the airport due to a malfunction in the left engine about 100 kilometres north of Naha Airport
That plane is the same age as the 26-year-old United Airlines plane involved in Saturday's incident
United Airlines is the only US operator of the planes, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The other airlines using them are in Japan and South Korea, the US agency said
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Statement from FAA Administrator Steve Dickson. pic.twitter.com/dGkUYuKNAL
— The FAA ✈️ (@FAANews) February 21, 2021 “We reviewed all available safety data following yesterday's incident,” the FAA 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.”
Japan said ANA operated 19 of the type and JAL operated 13 of them
Pratt & Whitney, owned by Raytheon Technologies Corp, was not available immediately for comment
Boeing said its technical advisers are supporting the US National Transportation Safety Board with its investigation
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Source: TRTWorld and agencies