Tuesday, March 2

UK temporarily bans Boeing B777s with certain engine after two incidents

UK temporarily bans Boeing B777s with certain engine after two incidents

Boeing 777s with the same engine as the one which caught fire after taking off from Denver will be temporarily banned from entering UK airspace.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced the move on Twitter after two incidents involving Boeing 777s powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines.

In one, a plane’s engine caught fire and parts were reported to have dropped to the ground in the Netherlands.

A woman was injured by falling debris when the Boeing 747-400 cargo plane dropped engine parts after taking off from Maastricht Airport on Saturday.

That came after a United Airlines 777 bound for Hawaii was forced into an emergency landing on the same day as its right engine was seen engulfed in flames and debris plunged towards the ground.

All 231 passengers and 10 crew onboard, as well as those on the ground, were unhurt.

Boeing has said operations of all 777s powered by Pratt & Whitney engines should be suspended until the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) finds an appropriate protocol for inspections.

Currently, there are 69 such planes in service and 59 in storage.

Boeing said in a statement released on Monday: “Boeing is actively monitoring recent events related to United Airlines Flight 328.

While the NTSB investigation is ongoing, we recommended suspending operations of the 69 in-service and 59 in-storage 777s powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines until the FAA identifies the appropriate inspection protocol.

“Boeing supports the decision yesterday by the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau, and the FAA’s action today to suspend operations of 777 aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines.

“We are working with these regulators as they take actions while these planes are on the ground and further inspections are conducted by Pratt & Whitney.”

In the Dutch incident, witnesses heard one or two explosions shortly after take-off and the pilot was informed by air traffic control that an engine was on fire, Maastricht Airport spokesman Hella Hendriks said.

“The photos indicate they were parts of engine blade, but that’s being investigated,” she said. “Several cars were damaged and bits hit several houses.”

The development represents a fresh blow to Boeing as its 737 MAX returns to the skies nearly two years after the fleet was grounded following two deadly crashes.

In the case of the 777, the FAA had earlier ordered inspections of the hollow fan blades, unique to the engine model, be “stepped up”.

At least three other incidents involving Pratt & Whitney engines have been logged in recent memory:

• One of four engines on a Boeing 747-412 cargo plane failed within minutes of its departure from Maastricht in the Netherlands on Saturday

• Three months ago, a flight between Okinawa and Tokyo was forced to turn back after an engine explosion six minutes after take-off

• Another Pratt & Whitney 4000 series engine failed when a blade broke off on a United Airlines flight from San Francisco to Hawaii in 2018.

Source: News.sky.com


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