(Washington) The US Federal Aviation Regulatory Authority (FAA) on Sunday ordered additional inspections on certain Boeing 777-type commercial aircraft, the day after a spectacular engine failure on one of these aircraft. above Colorado.
“After consulting my team of aviation safety experts about yesterday’s engine failure [samedi] aboard a Boeing 777 aircraft in Denver, I asked them to issue an Emergency Airworthiness Directive that would require immediate or in-depth inspections of Boeing 777 aircraft equipped with certain Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines, ”wrote an official at FAA Steve Dickson in a statement posted to Twitter.
“This will probably mean that some planes will be taken out of service,” he added.
A United Airlines Boeing 777-220, which had taken off Saturday from Denver (Colorado) for Honolulu (Hawaii) with 231 passengers and 10 crew members, had to turn around urgently after the fire in his right reactor.
The aircraft was able to land safely at Denver Airport and none of its occupants were injured.
Rain of debris
A video taken by a passenger on flight UA328 shows the right engine of the plane in flames and shows that the damaged engine fairing is completely missing.
As the Boeing returned to the airport, a shower of debris, some large, fell in a residential area in Broomfield, a suburb of Denver. No one was injured on the ground, according to local authorities.
Steve Dickson said a preliminary review of safety data revealed the need for additional fan blade checks for the affected reactor type.
“Based on the initial information, we concluded that the interval between inspections should be shortened for the hollow fan blades, which exist only on this type of engine, used only on Boeing 777s,” said the official. of the FAA.
Mr Dickson added that FAA officials were meeting with representatives from Pratt & Withney and Boeing on Sunday evening.
The American aircraft manufacturer has had a serious problem in recent years with another of its models, the 737 MAX. The plane was banned from flying in March 2019 after two accidents that killed 346, that of Lion Air in Indonesia in October 2018 (189 deaths) and that of Ethiopian Airlines in March 2019 in Ethiopia (157 deaths).
The 737 MAX crisis
During the two accidents, it was after receiving erroneous information from one of the two AOA angle of attack sensors, indicating that the aircraft was stalled, that the flight control software, the MCAS, had run away despite the pilots’ efforts to disable it and had the aircraft pitched down, causing it to fall.
As a result, Boeing had to modify the flight control software and put in place new pilot training protocols before the aircraft was allowed to fly again, after more than 20 months of ban.
The resumption of commercial flights of the Boeing 737 MAX took place from December 2020, first in Brazil, then in the United States and Canada. The first commercial flight in Europe, under the colors of the Belgian company TUI fly, took place on Wednesday February 17 between Brussels and Alicante then Malaga, in Spain.
When launched, the 737 MAX was a big hit with airlines, and it was Boeing’s fastest selling model until it came to a standstill in March 2019.
The COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences for international air transport have resulted in the cancellation of orders for hundreds of aircraft.
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