Departing from Denver for Hawaii on Saturday, a United Airlines 777-220 had to turn around in an emergency, after the fire in its right engine. This incident led the American aircraft manufacturer to immobilize these planes.
All Boeing 777 commercial planes, equipped with the engine model involved in the spectacular reactor fire on an aircraft over Colorado, or 128 in total, were grounded, a door told AFP on Monday. – speech of the American aircraft manufacturer.
Sunday evening, Boeing had “recommended” the suspension of flights for this type of aircraft.
The American United Airlines, victim of the incident, the two large Japanese companies, JAL and ANA, as well as the South Korean air carrier Asiana Airlines had announced, Sunday and Monday, the immobilization of their aircraft.
The US Federal Aviation Regulatory Authority (FAA) has ordered additional inspections on some Boeing 777s. The US National Transportation and Safety Board is also investigating the incident, in which no one ‘was injured.
“While the investigation is ongoing, we have recommended suspending the operations of the 69 777 planes in service and 59 in stock equipped with Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines,” Boeing said in a statement on Sunday.
United had said it had voluntarily withdrawn 24 Boeing 777s from service and expected “only a small number of customers will be inconvenienced”. Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA) also grounded 13 and 19 aircraft with PW4000 engines respectively, while avoiding flight cancellations through the use of other aircraft.
Japan’s Transport Ministry said it had ordered more stringent engine inspections after a JAL 777 aircraft flying from Tokyo Haneda Airport in Naha, on the island of Okinawa, had problems with ” an engine from the same family ”in December.
Emergency Airworthiness Directive
South Korea’s transport ministry said on Monday it had no plans to stop planes, but was monitoring the situation. But Asiana Airlines, South Korea’s second largest company, has already made the decision not to use the 7 Boeing 777s it has.
As for Korean Air, the country’s leading carrier, which initially told AFP that it had immobilized its six 777s equipped with PW4000 engines, it said it was waiting for official directives from South Korean regulators.
In a statement posted on Twitter, the head of the US Federal Aviation Regulatory Authority, Steve Dickson, said he had asked his team of aviation safety experts 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 ”.
Rain of debris
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.
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.
Hard blow after the setbacks of the 737 MAX
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 dead) and that of Ethiopian Airlines in March 2019 in Ethiopia (157 dead).
After more than 20 months of prohibition, a modification of the flight control software and the implementation of new pilot training protocols, the aircraft was again authorized to fly.
The Covid-19 pandemic and its catastrophic consequences on international air transport have led to the cancellation of orders for hundreds of aircraft.
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