This week, the engine of a United Airlines Boeing 8 passenger plane crashed in mid-air, prompting several countries to suspend flights of the same model. U.S. officials have already begun investigating the incident at Denver Airport in the United States last Saturday.
It is learned that shortly after the flight with 231 passengers and 10 crew members, the engine on the right side of the plane suddenly caught fire and it broke into pieces.
Soon after, the plane was forced to return to Denver Airport in an emergency. Fortunately, no casualties were reported in the incident. However, the pieces that fell from the plane were found scattered in the surrounding area.
According to the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), United Airlines is the only airline in the country to be using the Boeing 7 model aircraft. Apart from this, Japan and South Korea operate the same model aircraft.
However, after Saturday’s incident, two major airlines, United, Korean Air and Japan, have confirmed that they have suspended all Boeing 8 models in their fleet.
U.S. aircraft maker Boeing has warned that flights of those models should be suspended until an FAA investigation is completed.
In a statement, the company said that during the NTSB’s investigation, it was advised to suspend the operation of 79 Pratt and Whitney 4000 engines (PW4000) and 59 reserved 8-model aircraft.
Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways said they had canceled 13 and 19 PW 4,000-engine aircraft, respectively. However, the flights have been kept running using alternative aircraft.
United Airlines in the United States has said it has voluntarily suspended 24 Boeing 8 models.
South Korea’s transport ministry says it has no plans to ban the model. Authorities are monitoring the situation.
However, the country’s state-owned airline, Korean Air, said it had suspended all six Boeing 8s in the United States shortly after the incident.
According to the FAA, the Pratt & Whitney 4,000-engine Boeing 8 aircraft was ordered to be tested in last Saturday’s incident.
“We are reviewing all security information,” said Steve Dixon, the company’s manager. Based on the preliminary information, it has been decided that the blades of the special type of fan used in the engine of that model need to be further tested.
The FAA administration is also scheduled to meet with Boeing and Pratt & Whitney officials.
Sources: AFP, BBC
KAA / GKS
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