One of Boeing’s aircraft once again made the headlines this weekend. This time around a Boeing 777’s right engine failed in dramatic fashion as it caught fire just after take-off and started to rain down debris onto the ground below.
According to the National Transportation Safety Board, who are currently conducting an investigation into the incident, the sudden engine failure was caused after two fan blades on the number 2 engine had developed fractures. As a result, airlines in the US and Japan have now temporarily grounded dozens of Boeing 777 aircraft.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has also gotten involved in the matter, with the organisation issuing an emergency airworthiness directive that states airlines should conduct, “immediate or stepped-up inspections of Boeing 777 airplanes equipped with certain Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines,” as reported by The Verge.
An initial examination of the Pratt & Whitney PW4077 engine by the National Transportation Safety Board revealed:
- The inlet and cowling separated from the engine
- Two fan blades were fractured
- One fan blade was fractured near the root,
- An adjacent fan blade was fractured about mid-span,
- A portion of one blade was embedded in the containment ring,
- The remainder of the fan blades exhibited damage to the tips and leading edges.
FAA administrator Steve Dickson released a statement on Twitter following the incident, in which he 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.”
Fortunately, no one was hurt during the incident, both in the plane itself and on the ground.
Take a look at the engine failure below:
Engine failure on Boeing 777 United aircraft. Plane took off from Denver and returned safely in 20 minutes. Engine parts fell soon after take off. Pilots flew the aircraft back safely. Look at the engine, it’s hardly in shape. pic.twitter.com/gByQ9Sj85q
— Nagarjun Dwarakanath (@nagarjund) February 21, 2021
Hero crew lands United Boeing 777 safely with only one engine working, passengers cheer. pic.twitter.com/4TxwXs6T7Q
— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) February 20, 2021
United Airlines Boeing 777 operating as flight 328 From Denver – Honolulu suffered a serious engine failure on its right engine. Here are the parts of the engine falling off the sky pic.twitter.com/vCIYym5lOv
— 🇨🇦✈️Sir Jamie (The Aviator) 🛫🛬🛩 (@Boeingpro) February 20, 2021
JUST IN: Denver International Airport officials tell us United Airlines Flight 328 bound for Honolulu returned to the airport after an engine problem. Neighbors heard a loud boom, took these photos of what look like Boeing 777 engine nacelle in their yards. pic.twitter.com/mklpz3VG4F
— Pete Muntean (@petemuntean) February 20, 2021