A United Airlines Boeing 777-220 had to turn around in an emergency after the fire in its right engine.
All Boeing 777s equipped with the engine involved in a spectacular engine fire on such an aircraft are immobilized, Boeing announced. 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 the immobilization of their aircraft equipped with an engine similar to the one that caused the problem.
They followed a request from the American aircraft manufacturer Boeing, which had called for the grounding of 128 commercial 777 type planes around the world. The Federal Aviation Regulatory Authority (FAA) has ordered additional inspections on certain Boeing 777s.
The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is also investigating the incident, in which no one was injured. He said on Monday that the damage found on a hollow blade of the Pratt & Whitney engine could come from a “metal wear”, Following a preliminary examination of the device. Investigators will now have to try to understand how the fire may have continued to spread when the fuel supply was stopped by the crews on board.
«While the investigation is ongoing, we have recommended that the operations of the 69 777 aircraft in service and 59 in stock aircraft equipped with Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines be suspended.Boeing said in a statement. United said it had voluntarily withdrawn 24 Boeing 777s from service and expected “only a small number of customers are inconvenienced“. Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA) announced that they had grounded 13 and 19 aircraft with PW4000 engines, respectively, but avoided flight cancellations by using 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. South Korea’s transport ministry said it had no plans to stop planes so far, but was monitoring the situation. But Asiana Airlines, South Korea’s second-largest company, has already decided not to use the 7 Boeing 777s it has. As for Korean Air, the country’s leading carrier, which had initially declared to theAFP Having immobilized its six 777s equipped with PW4000 engines, it said it was awaiting official directives from South Korean regulators.
In a statement posted on Twitter, the head of the US Federal Aviation Regulatory Authority, Steve Dickson, said that after consulting his team of aviation safety experts, he asked them to publish an instruction to emergency airworthiness which would require immediate or in-depth inspections of Boeing 777 aircraft equipped with certain Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines.
Hard blow after the setbacks of the 737 MAX
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.
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 once 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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