FAA Grounds Some Boeing 777s

By Paul Riegler on 24 February 2021
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The Federal Aviation Administration grounded Boeing 777 aircraft with Pratt & Whitney engines following a 777’s engine failure over Denver over the past weekend.

The Pratt & Whitney engine failed and broke apart shortly after takeoff on Saturday, raining debris down on the town of Bloomfield, Colorado.  There were no injuries on the ground or in the air, although residents of the town as well as passengers on the aircraft were alarmed over the incident.

As a result of the incident, the FAA issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive that requires immediate or stepped-up inspections of Boeing 777 airplanes with Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines.

Boeing said it “supports the decision” of federal regulators to suspend operations of more than a hundred of its 777 planes, namely those powered by the Pratt & Whitney engines.

Some 69 of the 128 Boeing 777s with the Pratt & Whitney engines are currently in operation, while 59 are in storage due to decreased operations as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

In the United States, the action affected the country’s only operator of the 777 with the Pratt & Whitney engines, United Airlines, which took 24 of the type out of service.

“We are voluntarily & temporarily removing 24 Boeing 777 aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000 series engines from our schedule,” the airline said in a statement.  “We will continue to work closely with regulators to determine any additional steps and expect only a small number of customers to be inconvenienced.”

Other national regulators including took similar action. The Japan Civil Aviation Bureau grounded all 777s operated by Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways.

The action comes two months after the grounding of the beleaguered Boeing 737 Max was lifted after almost two years.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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