Japan has required all airlines that use Boeing 777s with Pratt & Whitney 4000 engines to avoid their airspace until further notice.
The Japan Aviation Regulatory Authority said this includes take-off, landing and overflight operations.
An engine of the same type separated from a United Airlines plane on Saturday, leaving a wreckage near Denver, Colorado.
The Japanese Ministry of Transportation ordered Japan Airlines (JAL) and the Japanese private company ANA to suspend the use of aircraft using that engine.
The ministry said that on December 4, 2020, a Japan Airlines flight returned from “Naha” airport to Tokyo International Airport, due to a left engine failure that appeared about 100 kilometers north of “Naha” airport.
And that plane is the same age as the 26-year-old United Airlines plane that was involved in an accident on Saturday.
Japan said that the “ANA” company operates 19 of this type, and that “Gal” company operates 13 of them.
Aircraft engine maker Pratt & Whitney, which is owned by Raytheon Technologies, was not immediately available for comment.
In the meantime, the US Federal Aviation Authority issued a directive, which includes more scrutiny of the airworthiness of these aircraft, and includes immediate or intensive inspections on them.
United Airlines said on Sunday that it will voluntarily and temporarily remove 24 active such aircraft from its flight schedules.
Pictures released by Colorado State Police showed wreckage of a plane on the ground, including a broken hood outside a home, and what appeared to be other parts in the field.
The US National Transportation Safety Board said an initial inspection of the aircraft indicated that most of the damage was centered on the right engine, with only minor damage to the plane.
A statement issued by the council added that the handle and casing separated from the engine, and two of the fan blades were also damaged, while the rest of the blades were damaged.
According to the US Federal Aviation Authority, United is the only US operator of these aircraft. It is also used by other airlines in Japan and South Korea, according to the US agency.
“We reviewed all available safety data after the accident,” the authority said in a preliminary statement.
And she continued: “According to preliminary information, we concluded that the inspection interval should be shortened for the hollow propeller blades that are unique to the engine model, which is used only on Boeing 777 aircraft.”
Boeing said its technical advisors were cooperating with the US National Transportation Safety Board in its investigation.
A spokeswoman for South Korea’s Ministry of Transport said her ministry is monitoring the situation, but has not taken any action yet.
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