Boeing Co recommended airlines stop using 777 jets after the engine on a United Airlines flight caught fire and fell apart over Denver on Saturday, dropping debris over residential areas before landing safely.
In particular, the company has proposed that 128 of its 777s, which run on certain Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines, be grounded for full inspections due to the incident that put turbine manufacturers in the spotlight. The move is expected to affect 69 aircraft currently in service and an additional 59 in storage.
United Airlines, which currently has 24 of the 777s in service, responded to the call as follows: “We are voluntarily and temporarily removing 24 Boeing 777 aircraft with Pratt & Whitney 4000 series engines from our flight schedule,” the company wrote in one Twitter Mondays.
“Safety continues to be our top priority. That is why our crews take part in extensive training courses to prepare and manage incidents such as UA328, ”the statement said.
Meanwhile, Japan has issued a mandatory suspension while South Korea has said it will be monitoring the situation.
We are voluntarily and temporarily removing 24 Pratt & Whitney 4000-series Boeing 777 aircraft from our flight schedule. We will continue to work closely with regulators to determine additional steps and expect only a small number of customers to be harassed.
– United Airlines (@united) February 22, 2021
A similar engine failure occurred over the weekend in a Boeing 747 freighter in the Netherlands, which, according to Reuters, also used a Pratt & Whitney engine, but a smaller version of the PW4000 model. Pratt & Whitney is owned by Raytheon Technologies.