The American aircraft manufacturer Boeing demanded on Sunday the immobilization on the ground of a number of 128 commercial Boeing 777 aircraft from all over the world.
The request comes after an aircraft of this type belonging to United Airlines had to return and make an emergency landing due to problems with the engine on the right, informs AFP.
The testimonies of the passengers of the Boeing 777 plane that landed in Denver
CALL 911: “There was a loud bang in the area of the intersection between 17 Boulevard and Cedrului Street. Large pieces fall from the sky. Blue engine. ”
It was impossible not to hear the terrible bang. Either the plane was flying overhead, or you were flying the United Airlines plane, which had just taken off from Denver on Saturday, with 241 people on board. Several passengers saw through the portholes how one of the engines caught fire and pieces of it came off. Others pulled up their sunshades and began to pray, terrified that a tragedy might be imminent.
Passenger: “The captain had just told us, ‘We’ve reached cruising altitude.’ I don’t think he even finished the communication well, when there was a strong explosion, the plane shook and he started to go down suddenly. It was as if I were in an elevator that was falling empty. “
Passenger: “Terrifying noise, a bang … My first thought was that a bomb had exploded on the plane.”
On the ground, in a suburb of Denver, people sought refuge from debris falling from the sky.
Denver resident: “I saw black smoke coming out and then, after about ten seconds, I saw a ball of fire appear. I thought it would explode. I was worried about the big pieces that kept falling from the engine, because the plane was flying over a densely populated area. “
Several airlines detained Boeing 777 aircraft on the ground
While the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) on Sunday ordered additional inspections on certain commercial aircraft of the Boeing 777 type, the American airline United Airlines, to which the plane involved in the Colorado incident belonged, as well as the main Japanese airlines, JAL and ANA, immobilized on the ground the devices equipped with an engine similar to the one that caused Saturday’s incident.
“During the ongoing investigation, we recommended suspending operations for 69 Boeing 777 aircraft in service and 59 aircraft equipped with Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines.” Boeing said in a statement.
United Airlines said it had voluntarily decided to withdraw the 24 Boeing 777s from its fleet, saying “only a small number of customers would be bothered”. Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA) also announced that they had immobilized 13 aircraft equipped with Pratt & Whitney 4000 engines on the ground, respectively, adding that they avoided canceling flights by using other aircraft.
According to NBC News, US federal officials said that South Korea also uses planes equipped with Pratt & Whitney 4000 engines.
A Boeing 777 United Airlines with 231 passengers on board and 10 crew members was heading to Honolulu, Hawaii, when it had to return and make an emergency landing after problems with the right engine, the airline said.
Images posted by police in Broomfield, Colorado, show large debris on the ground, including the hood of an engine in front of a house. Engine failures are rare, but potentially dangerous when rotating parts pierce the outer casing – an event known as continuous engine failure.
The grounding of the Boeing 777 aircraft comes shortly after the resumption of flights with the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. This plane has been banned from flying since March 2019, as a result of two accidents that caused 346 deaths.
In late January, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) agreed that Boeing 737 MAX aircraft could fly again, two months after a similar decision by the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA). In December 2020, a Boeing 737 MAX aircraft belonging to the Brazilian company Gol made the first commercial flight of this type of aircraft, after a break of 20 months. Also last week, a Boeing 737 MAX passenger plane belonging to the Belgian company TUI fly made its first commercial flight in Europe.
The Covid-19 pandemic and its catastrophic consequences for international air transport have led to the cancellation of orders for several hundred passenger planes.
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