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Major Airlines Ground Boeing 777 Planes Following Denver Incident

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When it comes to traveling, it’s a well-known fact that statistically air travel is the safest form of transport there is. However, such words are of little comfort to the many travelers who experience a fear or anxiety towards flying – particularly when events such as those that unfolded over Denver make the headlines.

Travelers can however take comfort in the fact that the matter has been taken seriously, with several airlines electing to ground the craft responsible. Here’s what happened in the skies above Denver, and what is being done to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Airlines Ground Boeing 777 Planes Following Denver Incident

Engine Failure In The Air – What Happened

Over the weekend, in Broomfield, Colorado, many residents found themselves with the debris of a passenger plan in their gardens and along their streets, following an incident that occurred thousands of feet in the air.

boeing 777 landing

On its way from Denver International Airport to Honolulu on Saturday, United Airlines Flight 328 suffered the misfortune of catastrophic engine failure shortly after takeoff. Thankfully, the Boeing-777 aircraft managed to perform an emergency landing at Denver International Airport, during which none of the 231 passenger or 10 crew sustained an injury. There were also no recorded injuries following the debris of the plane raining on the suburbs below.

boeing 777 sunset

People on the plane reported hearing a large explosion, and videos were posted online of the heavily-damaged engine covered in flames. The pilot made a mayday call, before using his expertise to safely guide the plan back from the airport of departure. This type of engine failure has been described as being rare, whilst pilots routinely practice how to deal with such incidents.

plane airport docked

Airlines Respond – What Travelers Should Know

Response to the incident in Denver has been swift, with precautionary action taken almost immediately by airlines and manufacturers alike. Boeing, the manufacturer of the 777 craft the suffered the failure, has recommended grounding more than 120 of the jets around the world.

pilots flightdeck

The company warned that the airlines using the 777 craft that had the same engine as the one that suffered the fault should suspend operations until inspections could be carried out. The engine in particular is a Pratt & Whitney 4000-series engine, and is currently installed in 69 aircraft that are currently in service, and is also found in 59 aircraft that have been put into storage due to the pandemic.

Airlines reacted immediately to the announcement made by Boeing. United Airlines announced that they would be voluntarily grounding their 24 Boeing 777 aircraft that are using the Pratt & Whitney 4000-series engine, whilst also reassuring customers that only a small number of passengers would be affected by the decision. Similar decisions were also taken in Japan, as the Civil Aviation Bureau of Japan ordered Japan Airways and All Nippon Airways to remove the same craft from service, attributing to 14 and 19 of the airlines’ respective fleets. Asiana Airlines, in Korea, announced they too would stop using the nine affected planes, whilst Korean Air stated that they would hold off from making any decisions until receiving guidance from the transport ministry.

Boeing and Pratt & Whitney are cooperating with the investigation into the incident, with both companies sending teams to look into the engine failure. FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said that, based on the initial information, “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.”

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