The fallout is growing for the Boeing Company after a United Airlines flight was forced to return to Denver International Airport Saturday. The Boeing 777-200′s right engine caught on fire shortly after takeoff, throwing debris on Colorado neighborhoods below. The flight was able to return safely to DIA without any injuries to locals, passengers, or staff.
Following this incident, the Federal Aviation Administration announced Sunday it’s pulling certain Boeing 777 airplane models from service in order to inspect them.
FAA Administrator Steve Dickson released a statement on Twitter saying the agency will be pulling the models featuring certain Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines.
Statement from FAA Administrator Steve Dickson. pic.twitter.com/dGkUYuKNAL— The FAA ✈️ (@FAANews) February 21, 2021
“We reviewed all available safety data following yesterday’s incident,” Dickson said, “Based on the initial information, we concluded that the inspection interval should be stepped up for the hollow fan blades that are unique to this model of engine, used solely on Boeing 777 airplanes.”
Dickson said the FAA is already working with other civil aviation authorities to spread the news and remove the models from service while the inspections take place.
The National Transportation Safety Board also launched its own investigation Sunday regarding the engine failure aboard the United Airlines flight.
Although the investigation is still ongoing, the NTSB provided an update saying most of the damage was confined to the plane’s number 2 engine, and that the the airplane itself seems to have sustained minor damage.
The agency says its initial examination of the Pratt & Whitney PW4077 engine revealed several fractured fan blades and engine damage related to these broken blades.
Investigators are also analyzing the photographs and video taken by passengers aboard flight 328.
The cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder were transported to the NTSB laboratory in Washington to be analyzed.