The American manufacturer Boeing on Monday recommended the immobilization of 128 aircraft of the model 777 that are in service or stored, after a fire in the engine of a device in mid-flight, in the state of Colorado. “While the investigation [das autoridades) está em curso, recomendamos suspender as operações dos 69 aviões 777 em serviço e dos 59 em armazém com motores Pratt & Whitney 4000-112”, disse a empresa em comunicado.
No sábado, um Boeing 777-220 da companhia norte-americana United Airlines, que descolou de Denver, Colorado, com destino a Honolulu, no Havai, com 231 passageiros e dez membros da tripulação a bordo, foi forçado a regressar ao aeroporto de onde partiu, depois de o motor direito se incendiar em pleno voo.
O avião aterrou em segurança no aeroporto de Denver e nenhum dos ocupantes ficou ferido. Imagens filmadas por um passageiro do voo UA328 mostram o motor direito em chamas, com a fuselagem do motor destruída. Partes do motor caíram numa área residencial, sem no entanto provocar feridos.
No domingo, o regulador norte-americano para a aviação exigiu inspecções urgentes aos aviões Boeing 777 equipados com o mesmo tipo de motor.
“Depois de consultar a minha equipa de peritos em segurança aérea relativamente à falha de motor de ontem [sábado] on a Boeing 777 plane in Denver, I asked them to issue an emergency airworthiness directive that requires immediate or thorough inspections of Boeing 777 airplanes equipped with some Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines ”, wrote a head of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Steve Dickson, on the social network Twitter. “This will likely mean that some planes will be taken out of service,” he added.
The FAA official said that a preliminary analysis of the safety data revealed the need for further checks on the type of engine affected. “Based on initial information, we concluded that the interval between inspections should be shortened for the hollow fan blades, which are exclusive to this type of engine, used only on Boeing 777s,” explained the official.
Following the incident, United Airlines decided to shut down 24 Boeing 777 aircraft. Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA) also announced the shutdown of 13 and 19 such aircraft, respectively.
According to North American media, the only airlines that use this model are located in the United States, Japan and South Korea.
The American manufacturer Boeing has had serious problems in recent years with another of its models, the 737 MAX, which was immobilized for 20 months due to two accidents that caused 346 deaths in six months.
One such device suffered an accident on an Ethiopian Airlines flight in March 2019, which left 157 dead, and on a Lion Air flight in Indonesia in October 2018, which left 189 dead.
Commercial flights of the Boeing 737 MAX were resumed in December 2020, first in Brazil and then in the United States and Canada, with the first commercial flight in Europe carried out on 17 February, by the Belgian airline TUI fly.
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