This is a developing story. Check back for additional updates.
In response to yesterday’s event involving United flight 328 and its Number 2 engine, United has grounded its 24 Boeing 777 aircraft that were currently in service and powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000 series engines.
Also today, the FAA ordered “immediate or stepped-up inspections of Boeing 777 aircraft with certain Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines.” The FAA statement went on to say that airlines should step up the inspection interval for the hollow fan blades that are unique to this model of engine used solely on Boeing 777 airplanes.
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Statement from FAA Administrator Steve Dickson. pic.twitter.com/dGkUYuKNAL
— The FAA ✈️ (@FAANews) February 21, 2021
Regarding the situation with yesterday’s flight United 328 and today’s subsequent grounding of aircraft with similar engine types, the airline told TPG:
Starting immediately and out of an abundance of caution, we are voluntarily and temporarily removing 24 Boeing 777 aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000 series engines from our schedule. Since yesterday, we’ve been in touch with regulators at the NTSB and FAA and will continue to work closely with them to determine any additional steps that are needed to ensure these aircraft meet our rigorous safety standards and can return to service. As we swap out aircraft, we expect only a small number of customers to be inconvenienced.
Safety remains our highest priority – for our employees and our customers. That’s why our pilots and flight attendants take part in extensive training to prepare and manage incidents like United flight 328. And we remain proud of their professionalism and steadfast dedication to safety in our day to day operations and when emergencies like this occur.
It’s possible that this will result in some aircraft substitutions or schedule changes for United customers previously scheduled on these aircraft.
The standard-range version of the airline’s PW4000-powered 777-200 is typically used for flights between Hawaii and select mainland hubs, including Denver (DEN), Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO), in addition to flights between Honolulu (HNL) and Guam (GUM).
A number of 777-200ERs, most often used for intercontinental flights, may be impacted as well. In the case of international 777 flights, passengers will likely see little impact, as United should be able to substitute otherwise-identical versions of these internationally configured planes, powered by General Electric GE90 engines, instead.
Additionally, Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways have also both reportedly grounded Boeing 777 aircraft with the same Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines involved in Saturday’s United flight. (Here’s how to research the aircraft you are currently scheduled to fly.)
Featured image courtesy of Hayden Smith
Source: FS – All-Travel destinations-News2
United Airlines temporarily grounds two dozen Boeing